Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Flavia and the rest of the regular cast
Cons: Mystery a little obvious but still engaging
The Bottom Line:
A bad homecoming
Bucked up by a dead body
Flavia still shines
Death of a Woodcarver
There are four series I am listening to on audio, and I was trying to rotate them. That fell by the wayside based on availability this year, and I wound up getting up to date on the Flavia de Luce mysteries. Naturally, that meant that I made a point of listening to Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d as soon as it came out, which coincided with as soon as my library got the audio version.
Twelve-year-old Flavia has returned from Canada. However, her welcome home in December of 1951 wasn’t nearly what she’d hoped it would be. She arrives home to the news that her father is in the hospital with pneumonia, and he is so sick that he can’t receive any visitors. Her sisters are as obnoxious as ever, and her young cousin is annoying Flavia as well.
So when Cynthia, the vicar’s wife, asks Flavia to deliver a message to a woodcarver in the next village, Flavia jumps at the chance. She arrives to find the woodcarver hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door dead. Naturally, Flavia is delighted at this turn of events. But can she figure out who would kill an old woodcarver?
Those who missed Flavia’s family and the English village setting while she was in Canada in the previous book will be delighted with the return to Bishop’s Lacey here. Even though I enjoyed the last outing and the different setting, I was glad to get back to the usual characters and setting. These characters are a fun group.
Of course, Flavia is the real star of the series. I’m enjoying seeing some growth and maturity in her. No, it’s not enough to change her character, but it is refreshing to see that she is growing into a young woman who is slightly more sympathetic and mature. And I get a kick out of Flavia’s interactions with her young cousin. Flavia can’t figure out why this girl annoys her so much, but she is so much like Flavia it adds a comic touch to things.
The mystery is much more the focus here than in some of the previous books in the series. It’s not the best element of the series usually, and that’s the case again here since I figured out some of what was happening long before Flavia did. Still, it is interesting and kept me engaged the entire way through.
As always, Jayne Entwistle is fantastic at bringing the story to life. She is engaging and perfect as Flavia without overwhelming the story at all. Seriously, if you are looking for a great audio book to try, this is the series for Jayne’s narration.
The bad part of being caught up on a series is that you now have to wait impatiently for the next in the series to come out, and I will definitely be doing that for the next in tise series. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d will please fans of this unique detective.
And once you meet Flavia, you'll definitely want to read more of the Flavia de Luce Mysteries.