The grisly, gas-masked body was not what was expected inside St. Tancred’s ancient crypt. Leave it to 11-year-old Flavia de Luce to be the first one to see it, too. It’s the 500th anniversary of the county’s patron saint’s death . Flavia was only helping not snooping. Who would want to kill the church organist Mr. Collicutt? As it turns out there’s more to unearth than a saint. Flavia’s curiosity takes her on a merry circle that includes some tantalizing bits about her family’s heritage. As if a weird murder isn’t enough, her father’s debts have forced the sale of their ancestral home. Flavia’s snarky sisters and absent-minded father are no help, so she’s solving more than a murder. Life is murkier than one of her chemistry experiments gone bad. The ending is a cliff-hanger.
All the elements of a lively cozy county manor mystery are here once again. The bicycle, Gladys, her father’s man, Dogger, Inspector Hewitt as well as the village cast and crew contribute to an elegantly funny, sweet and sour mystery. The uncertain and surprising end causes great anticipation for the next book in this series. This is not an anglophile’s Nancy Drew for grown-ups. It’s better!