bingeable series, mystery

Mystery series: Flavia de Luce

Another Friday, another post about a series here on the blog, another new post title. Today’s series is the Flavia de Luce historical mystery series, inspired by the fact that I was writing about young detectives yesterday – and Flavia is about as young a detective as you can get, although this series is definitely for adults. I last wrote about Flavia in 2016 so it’s been a while…

At the start of the series, it’s 1950 and eleven year old Flavia has a passion for chemistry and poisons and a running feud with her two older sisters. Their mother is dead, their father eccentric and their house is crumbling around them. When Flavia stumbles over a dying man in the first book she is more fascinated than horrified and the series goes from there.

In my Goodreads review of the first book I said that Flavia could occasionally be a little too all knowing, but as the character develops, she gets to a good balance of preternaturally clever but not too all knowing and annoying. And a lot of that is because although she is very book smart, her understanding of people is about what you would expect of someone her age, so there are things – quite a lot of things sometimes – that she just misses or doesn’t understand at all.

There are ten novels in the series, and as there hasn’t been a new one since 2019, I suspect that may be the lot – certainly the last book in the series isn’t my favourite and Flavia was not quite her usual self in it, so it may be that Alan Bradley has got fed up of her or gone as far as he wants with her. Or the delay could just be because of the pandemic. Because we all know that covid has messed up a lot of things.

These are usually fairly easy to get hold of – I picked up a lot of them from The Works, and read the last two from the library, but I see them all the time in bookshops. As you can see from the picture, there has been a redesign/rejacketing exercise done – in my picture the right hand side are the original style, the left the new. And obviously they’re on Kindle and Kobo as well as audiobooks – most of them read by Sophie Aldred, who if you’re my age you will remember from children’s TV and if you’re a bit older will remember as Ace from Doctor Who. You’re probably best reading them in order, but I didn’t and it didn’t really bother me too much – although it was a bit of a pain jumping from slightly more developed Flavia back to the less evolved version!

Happy Weekend!

bingeable series

Binge-able series: Fetherings

We’re in binge reading territory this Friday, because it’s that time of year where people are starting to think about what to read on the sunlounger – and what is better than a series to binge read. And to be fair, basically anything Simon Brett writes is totally bingeable. They’re fun and moreish and won’t make your head explode.

This is a cozy crime series with a sense of humour and at its centre are Jude and Carole, next door neighbours in the seaside town of Fetherings who just keep stumbling across bodies. The two women are unlikely friends – Jude is bohemian and free spirited. Carole is not and more to the fact, Carole doesn’t really know how to be friends with anyone, so as well as trying to solve the mystery the reader has the fun of watching the two of them – Carole desperate to ask questions about her new friend but never quite managing it and Jude, who knows Carole is desperate to know more about her but not volunteering anything unless asked. It’s a hoot.

I’ve written about another Simon Brett series here before, the Charles Paris books, which are great – but written across a large span of time and so if you do binge them then you’ll notice that we’ve gone from the 70s to the now and Charles has not really aged! Fetherings doesn’t have that problem!

There are 20 books in the series – with a 21st due out in the summer. I’ve only read 9 so far, but I have a few more ready to read when I’ve got the NetGalley pile a bit more under control and finished rereading Sookie Stackhouse. Yes I know, I’m easily distracted. Too many books, not enough time – my perennial problem. Still it’s nearly hammock season – so that will help won’t it! Anyway the first one – so probably the best place to start – is The Body on the Beach. In fact the first two are in Kindle Unlimited at time of writing, so if you’re a subscriber to that you can have a read for free.