A Flavia De Luce Novel (Flavia De Luce Mystery) - As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

By Alan Bradley

feedback image
Total feedbacks: 150
41
57
36
13
3
Looking for A Flavia De Luce Novel (Flavia De Luce Mystery) - As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust in PDF? Check out Scribid.com
Audiobook
Check out Audiobooks.com

Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jo whelton
I enjoyed the earlier Flavia de Luce novels, but they seem to be getting more and more outlandish. This one sends dear Flavia to some Canadian boarding school that turns out (SPOILER ALERT) to be a training camp for adolescent female spies. I hope this trend towards the outre and unbelievable is curbed in the next novel.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dani burhop
So far this effort is the weakest of the series. It main focus seemed to be a vehicle to transport Flavia from Bishop's Lacy to Canada. I have enjoyed this series and will follow Bradley with enthusiasm and the hope that he will soon return to the colorful characters in and around Bishop's Lacy.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jeffery
Love Flavia, but felt Bradley was struggling to fill the pages. Very repetitive and not up to the standard of the previous books. HE had an idea but didn't know where to go with it. Plus I miss the sisters, Dogger and the townsfolk. Look forward to another book with Flavia hopefully back where she belongs.
From the Ashes (Ravenwood Mysteries Book 1) :: The Secrets of Wishtide (A Laetitia Rodd Mystery) :: A Flavia de Luce Story (Kindle Single) - The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse :: The Forest House (The Mists of Avalon: Prequel) :: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place - A Flavia de Luce Novel
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
gege
I am one of Flavia De Luce's biggest fans. I've purchased every audiobook--some even twice as gifts. I sooo identified with Flavia--I was the only girl in our family, mother and father worked long hours, and I was left at the "mercy" of my older brothers (6 and 8 yrs. older.) They didn't torture me physically, but mentally. Now to the "Chimney Sweepers." I can't figure out what happened to this one. 1. the cd's numbers are nearly hidden..but, I figured that I could simply follow the order in the sleeves. 2. I listened about 3-4 times in order, trying to figure out what was happening, but, I would leave one cd (for example) leaving the girls on a field trip by bus. The next cd starts out and talks about trying to get rid of the leader of the girls....that didn't make sense, so I listened to the beginning of all the rest, and I never found out what happened on the field trip, nor why Flavia was trying to get rid of the girl. I could never figure out who any of the bodies were, or why they were murdered or disappeared. Actually, nothing was resolved and I finally gave up after 4-5 more attempts. I've been a h.s. teacher for 30 years, so I have the intelligence to follow a story line. I think that one of the problems with this story (besides that fact that the cd's didn't follow each other) was that the characters in all the previous books were slowly and carefully revealed; and many were repeated in the following book. However, there simply were too many introduced in this book, and the story just didn't make sense. Did she go back to England? I finally gave up and listened to one of my previous favorites.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adoree
It too a long time, too long, to get to the crux of the mystery. I've read all the Flavia series, enjoyed them very much, but not this one. Perhaps because of the setting, Flavia doesn't display her usual personality or tinkering with madcap stuff. I recognize that the setting was key to
some of the non-Flavia, but the whole point of the series is her quirky personality and unusual activities.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grisel
Alan Bradley's latest "Flavia de Luce" novel is the seventh book in the series featuring the now 12 year old detective. Flavia is a precocious girl who lives in a small village in post-WWII England with her father and two sisters. In As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, Flavia is "banished" from her home in 1951 and sent to Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, a boarding school in Canada where she meets and interacts with an interesting cast of student and faculty characters.

Flavia is a very bright young person who has taken an interest in chemistry and poisons at home, encouraged by her aunt and a faithful family retainer named Dogger. She puts her chemical knowledge and love of solving mysteries to good use at the Academy when a startling event happens in her assigned individual room when she first arrives. The reader gets a good idea of Flavia's intelligence and irreverence toward authority (within limits) of her personality.

As a mystery story, this novel is a good one with many a twist and turn as Flavia pursues clues related to a an unidentified corpse found in her room. She is only 12, however, and homesickness is an emotional distraction she keeps at bay for most of the time. This shows strength of her personality and her determination as a junior detective to tackle difficult problems. After all, Flavia thinks, everything may be just a matter of chemistry.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (title a quote from Shakespeare) is the first novel I have read in the Flavia Deluce series, but I can see it would have great appeal to young female readers and even adult mystery fans. Alan Bradley skillfully provides information about Flavia's background, so the novel can be read without prior knowledge of anything about the first 6 series novels. I believe reading it would interest readers in the character so much that they would enjoy going back in time and reading the preceding adventures. I give it my highest recommendation.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amrit mehra
Not a bad book, but it lacks the quaint charm, humor, and familial affection of prior novels in the series. Flavia-in-Canada just doesn't work for me. Much of her allure for me came from her repartee with her sisters, her close friendship with Dogger, her enigmatic father, and quirky, iconic Buckshaw itself. She's still remarkably clever, but it's just not the same. Perhaps Alan Bradley realized this, hence the somewhat strange (to me, at least) ending?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
stephanie ruby
I did not enjoy this book as much as the others. Not because of Flavia , but the story did not grab me, for me it just went on and on, way too long. However I am looking forward to the next one, though hard to believe no one would write but Dogger, sad.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
prubo
Enjoyed this story, but am very disappointed by the lack of details that are characteristic of the previous novels. I especially miss the fun banter and warmth between characters. Would think that Alan Bradley did not write this novel. Or was it just edited to bits?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
katie konrad
I never thought I would have to say this, but I was disappointed in this Flavia de Luce book. I've loved them all before, laughed, cried, urged her on even when she was doing something completely outrageous like standing on the snow covered roof waiting to catch Santa Claus with her homemade sticky concoction. Not this time. I think Flavia was the same, in fact when I first started reading I thought maybe everything was going to be okay, but then she got to the boarding school where Harriet (her mother) had been a student and it all just went downhill from there. Maybe it was because everybody was a brand new character and I either didn't give a flip about them or they were a nonentity. I don't know, it just didn't work for me. Scenes picked up and started only to be abandoned without any resolution. Too many whispered secrets that nobody was ever supposed to talk about so how can they ever be explained to a reader? Too many times when I was supposed to just accept the information as it was given even if it made me say (out loud) "WHAT? How could that happen?".

If you haven't read any of the Flavia de Luce stories before, please do yourself a favor and don't start reading with this one. So, I was disappointed but I still give the book three stars because it is a part of the Flavia background and I'm glad I know about the things that happened to her when she got to Canada. I have to tell you though, my finger hovered over that "2" for a while before I made up my mind. I want for the next one to be better so I will get it, but only after I read the reviews to find out which way the wind blows.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jason johnson
The latest Flavia de Luce did not come up to the level of some of the earlier entries in the series. It expected a shipboard murder at the start, but instead found a contrived mystery at a Canadian boarding school. While it is easy to understand that there can only be so many murders in one small English town, this was not a move that offered endless possibilities for the heroine. Spoiler alert! Heading home at the end made her trip seem even more pointless.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
nikki fitlow
First, I want to say how much I have loved the Flavia de Luce series, eagerly awaiting each new offering, even pre-ordering, as I did with this one. It lacks the charm and the familiar characters we've all grown to love in the other novels. In fact, it is hard to find a likeable character in this book. Even Flavia is not so interesting. Most of the book is spent inside her head, and as precocious as she is, this stretches the bounds of credibility. She can spout Shakespeare, Dickens, Keats and Shelley from memory, apparently because Daffy read them all to her. The last several chapters of the book were a drudge to get through, and I just wanted it to be over. Not much satisfaction here.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
deana
Just awful! What a disappointing stew of a story that makes no sense at all. This series is now over for me and I'll waste no more time or money. What a shame that a series that started out so creatively with a totally new and interesting premise has turned into this mess. It became so boring that I couldn't wait for the end and the end left me saying, "WHAT?" Characters and set-ups that go nowhere. Everything was pointless including the murder and the strange society at the school. I wondered if the author is trying to pick up Harry Potter fans, but there was no magic to be found in this version of Hogwarts.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lu sa
I have read and enjoyed all the previous books and was highly anticipating this new installment. But after reading it, all I can is "huh?". There are some great Flavia moments however all in all, I just don't get it. Way too vague for my taste.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
llael
While I liked the continued character building of this incredible fictional youngster, Flavia de Luce, I cannot in all honesty say I enjoyed this book as a whole. It will always be set apart in my mind as "that Flavia book", the one I kept arguing with.

One of the major reasons I have been able to accept an 11 year old girl, now turned 12, as the solver of all her previous murder investigations is because the author gave me logical reasons for everything that happened in his books. Flavia working her precocious magic in 1951 rural England relates quite differently when she is transported to 1951 Toronto, Canada. This book started off on a different track as soon as that body came tumbling down the chimney in Flavia's private dorm room at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy on the very night of her arrival. I felt that information was sparsely disclosed by the author and even contradictory in some ways. How could Flavia say that it was obvious the body had been inside the chimney for quite a long time and yet that could not have been possible given who the victim turned out to be? How can Flavia give one of her petite dissertations on the process of decomposition while I couldn't stop wondering how this body went through that process with not one person in that building asking questions regarding noticeable manifestations of a decomposing corpse there in the chimney? How could a corpse have been inside a chimney where lighted fires were used to heat the room and still nobody noticed? Those were not just obstacles for me, those were just two of the many insurmountable obstacles to my acceptance of this story.

Flavia had been removed from everything and everyone surrounding her at Buckshaw which had always added so much dimension and depth to the previous stories. Nothing was added to fill that void. Here in Toronto she was alone and the new characters around her had no depth and changed their nature from one scene to the next. I couldn't grasp what was supposed to be going on with a secret society (involving the other students of various ages as well as adults) which seemed to be operating within a different secret society. Two secret groups with neither of them ever being explained? There was too much unexplained secrecy in this book. Even such mundane information as the fact that there were day students as well as boarding students was never mentioned until far into the novel. The basic development of this world Flavia had been set down in seemed woefully incomplete. Harriet is often mentioned in this book, but never anything concrete enough to make me really understand what Harriet was like when she was a student here. More mysteriousness when it wasn't really necessary. And none of my questions were ever answered, none of them.

For those of us who consider ourselves fans of these novels I do think it is important to read this book. It will never be a favorite of mine, but judging by the ending of this book we can expect there will be another. It simply must get back on track. I recommend reading this novel to keep yourself aware of what has happened to Flavia in the series. New readers to the series should definitely not begin here.

I received an ARC of this novel through NetGalley.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
georgia hunter
I'm not quite sure what Alan Bradley was going for here; another notch in Flavia's crime-solving belt? Check. A coming-of-age story of a remarkably precocious, brilliant but lonely girl who really seemed alone in the world after being shipped off to a somber, supposedly haunted boarding school in Canada? Check - as Flavia says three-quarters of the way through this confusing jumble of a story, "My whole life had been lived in doubt - doubt about my mother, doubt about even my own identity...not knowing sometimes if I were foundling or changeling, taunted by sisters...capable of being as exquisitely cruel as those in any fairy tale. Where identity was concerned, I was a raw sore - an open wound. I was quickly learning that I couldn't exist in a world of shifting shadows and whispered half-truths."

That's when our girl decides she's had it with her Aunt Felicity's experiment in training her to become part of the super-secret Nide group and she wants to go home - thankfully, at the end of this rather bizarre episode in Flavia's very eventful young life, she is aboard ship heading back to her beloved England. I wonder how Bradley will handle her homecoming? I was appalled that nobody from Buckshaw, save the loyal Dogger (and the repellant Undine), wrote to Flavia while she was at school - no letters from her father, Aunt Felicity, or sisters Daffy and Feely?!? I wouldn't expect the rotten sisters so much, but her father couldn't drop a line? Flavia's loneliness and longing for love and approval always tugs at my mother's heart, but her homesickness and stark "aloneness" in this outing was painful.

I can't wait to see where Bradley takes Flavia next; I thought the next several adventures would take place at her new school, kind of a Harry Potter, precocious kids vs. the headmistresses vibe, but that is off the table now as the Canadian episode is finished (I hope Bradley doesn't pull a "who killed JR?" and have the next book open with Flavia waking up - it was all just a bad dream!) It had some good moments filled with the dry, dark humor fans of the series expect and love - Flavia making friends with girls her own age was rather painful but interesting, Flavia interacting with adults is always priceless, if even more confusing than usual in this book. I must admit I lost patience with all the secretive nonsense! Flavia being devious is a brilliant thing to behold, but in this book EVERY character had something to hide, nobody could tell anyone anything or answer any questions - very frustrating and made me want to throw the book across the room more than once...

I have read and savored every one of Flavia's adventures and can't wait for the next one; I recommend them to everyone I know! Again, I don't know what the point of this book was exactly, but any time spent with Flavia is time well-spent, and I have absolute faith in Mr. Bradley's story-telling. I would recommend this book to series fans but wouldn't start reading with this book - if you haven't read any of Flavia's adventures, do yourself a favor and dive right in with "the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" - you're in for the ride of your life!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marbles
Banished to Canada! Flavia de Luce arrives at her late mother’s alma mater, Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, with a heavy heart, but she brightens considerably when a desiccated body wrapped in a
Union Jack tumbles down the chimney of her dorm room on her first night at the school. Who is the corpse? How did he or she die, and why was the body put into the chimney? Flavia finds herself with an absorbing puzzle to cheer her up as she makes the difficult adjustment to her new school and tries to conquer her homesickness.
Author Alan Bradley’s many fans will be pleased to know that our favorite 12-year-old sleuth did not leave her delightful ways at home in not-so-merry England and that there is a lot to enjoy in this latest volume. Flavia’s enthusiasm for science accompanies her to Canada. As the book opens she is enthusiastically describing the process of decay and decomposition, and she shares her impressive knowledge of poisons at appropriate points in the narrative. I laughed out loud at her observations on her life, such as “the more I dealt with adults the less I wanted to be one” or “the hours trudged by with chains on their ankles.” I know those feelings! I got misty-eyed as Flavia read a letter from faithful Dogger in which he reassures her of the care he is giving to Flavia’s trusty bicycle Gladys, and I felt her pain as she looked for letters from home that never arrived.
Other than Flavia herself, however, the elements that have made this series so enjoyable seem muted or missing. In contrast to the quirky characters that people the other books, the faculty and students at Miss Bodycote’s were flat, odd but not memorable. The police are just walk-on characters who treat Flavia pretty much as one would expect police to treat a 12-year-old who happens to move into a room where a body is found. The reader learns early that the boarders at the school have been chosen to learn a clandestine trade, but there also SEEMS to be an even more secret cadre within the secret body. Too big a deal is made of this issue for it not to be explained better. The plot also seems excessively cryptic. Three students have gone missing from the school. Does it not even occur to Flavia that their parents would have kicked up a fuss? The disappearances were purportedly explained at the end of the book, but the explanation was again inadequate and some of the details too incredible, even in a Flavia novel. Even in a Flavia book I want more resolution.
For readers new to the series, I do not recommend you begin with this book, both because it does not show the author at his best but even more because the backstory is important to the series.
I am not sure why Bradley decided to ship Flavia across the Atlantic other than the fact that he is Canadian. Flavia could have gone to boarding school in England, and the action is centered almost entirely on the school, so there is no real sense of place. As the book ends, Flavia is looking forward to returning to Buckshaw. So am I.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
surabhi
With Flavia going off to school I was hoping she would grow and develop--something she has yet to do in the first seven books of the series. I imagine readership for this series is falling off as her behavior becomes more and more predictable with each installment. Firstly, she desperately needs a foil. Listening to what's going on in her head is getting as dry as toast. Even Holmes had his Watson, and Flavia is no Sherlock! Although Holmes dare not admit it, Watson added levity and humanity to that series, even if he rarely contributed to the actual analysis. Here, it is too much Flavia all the time. Secondly, if she is going to be transported to a new setting, something that I hoped would breathe fresh life into the series, why send her there and then her behave same-old, same-old? Thirdly, her self-aggrandizement is getting stale. True, there are times when she congratulates herself and then falls flat in the next few pages, but she comes across more as a know-it-all brat than an ingenious sleuth. Fourthly, why does the author sprinkle Keats and Shakespeare throughout the story? Is he hoping that readers will believe the "apple doesn't fall to far . . ." It's annoying, as if he is hoping that we think he is writing great literature just because he is quoting great literature. A bit sophomoric. I'm sure he's edited books in which novice authors try that trick with no success, so why does he repeat it here? He might be doing it to acquaint his young readers with these bards. If so, a much better tact would be to have Flavia participate in a school play--the old play within a play or musical within a musical, which--truth be told--has worked for centuries. One bright spot is that the author didn't try to turn Ms. B's Female Academy into Hogwart's. I grieve because these could be so much more. And Flavia is so un-childlike I wonder how many adolescents and tweens are actually reading this series?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
patti lengel
In the last book, Flavia de Luce was told she had to go to a Canadian boarding school. Her mysterious, adventurous, dead mother Harriet attended Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, and now it's Flavia's turn to get the same elite training. I wondered how how Flavia would handle the transition from almost total freedom in her eccentric English ancestral home to life in a regimented boarding school.

The answer is, Flavia gets homesick. She might have wilted entirely in this uncongenial environment, were it not for the quick and surprising appearance of a dead body in her room. Flavia, as you know if you've been following the series, is invigorated by murder. She immediately starts to investigate, and she's in her element, circumventing the rules, sneaking into forbidden places, deceiving and manipulating adults, deviously interviewing people she has no business interviewing.

There is an intellectual tone to the story – allusions to Shakespeare, Dickens Keats – because the de Luce family is brainy. Flavia's specialty is chemistry. Flavia, now twelve years old, is veritable fountain of knowledge about her chosen field. Poisons and decomposition in particular fascinate her. The murder (or rather murders) at the Female Academy make full use of her powers of deduction and her knowledge of chemical reactions.

The Flavia De Luce books are lighthearted and fun. In this book, Flavia's ghoulish personality is engaging as always, despite certain unbelievable elements in the plot. I did find the atmosphere at the school very convincing, however – the secret smoking among the girls, the rampant rumors about ghosts and mysterious disappearances, and the noisy, vigorous gymnastics.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
viola k
An excellent addition to the Flavia de Luce series. Flavia conquers unknown territory as she is sent to a private boarding school in Canada, the same school that her mother attended years ago. Flavia gets a ghastly surprise on her first night and from there things only become more complicated and confusing. But Flavia is, as usual, up to the challenge.
Flavia fans should be delighted with this latest mystery but don't expect more information on the Nide or pheasant sandwiches. If anything, her trip to Canada only muddies the waters. But we wouldn't expect anything less. .I'm so pleased with As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust and will recommend it to anyone who will listen.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
telma
I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came time to listen to As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, the seventh in the Flavia de Luce mystery series. I knew the book would find Flavia in Canada at a boarding school, and I knew that many fans of the series didn’t like it because the regular cast of characters weren’t around. Personally, I found it to be a wonderful addition the series.

It’s the fall of 1951, and twelve-year-old Flavia is heading to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, her mother’s alma mater, for formal schooling. She is not at all excited about the prospect, however, since it means she isn’t at her beloved home, Buckshaw behind in England. Her traveling companions, the dean of the school and his wife, don’t help things at all.

Things start looking up her first night at the school, however, when a dead body drops out of her chimney. The corpse is charred and decapitated. Flavia is quite ecstatic to have a new mystery to solve. But who might the corpse be? How long has it been there? And can Flavia figure out who the killer is?

Now I will start out with my usual complaint about the series, the book starts off a little slowly. Yes, we need time to get to know Flavia’s new surroundings and the teachers and students at Miss Bodycote’s. Still, there are several scenes that seem to be longer than they need to be to introduce us to everyone.

However, things pick up fairly early, and the pace is steady from that point on. There are several girls who have vanished mysteriously, and any one of them could be the corpse. Throwing further complications into Flavia’s path, she isn’t allowed to ask any of the other young women about themselves or each other. It makes for an interesting read as we watch Flavia work her way around these road blocks to find the solution.

And why the ban on Flavia asking questions? It’s because of a storyline introduced to the series in the previous book. I’m not going to say more about it than that, but fans of the series will be glad to see that particular thread is woven quite strongly into this book. The series is heading in a direction I never would have expected from the early books, and I’m finding I like this twist on things quite a bit.

Now, I will admit that I missed the stable of regular characters a bit as well, although it was nice to not have the constant fighting between Flavia and her two older sisters. This book is populated with a bunch of strong characters, however. Even better, each one of them is a suspect, so it makes the puzzle that much better.

As always, Jane Entwistle’s narration is wonderful. She gets to give many characters a Canadian accent in this book. Okay, so if I didn’t know the book was set in Canada, I would have said it was American, but I honestly don’t usually hear a difference between our two countries’ accents anyway. (Is there even one?) She still infuses her performance with such joy, it’s hard not to fall in love with Flavia, or at least the Flavia she presents.

While Flavia may not be at home, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is a strong addition to the series that advances her character’s story. Fans who go into this looking for something different in the series will be richly rewarded.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashley berg
As Chimney Sweeps Come to Dust
By Alan Bradley
Released: Jan 6, 2015
Read: Advanced. Readers Copy (ARC)

My rating: 4 out of 5

Book Seven in the Bradshaw Chronicles about Flavia de Luce's is a thoroughly enjoyable, adventure with plenty of intrigue and added humour.

Alan Bradley adds a new twist to an already outstanding series...think of a 12 year old female version of Sherlock in the 1950's, shipped (literally) by her father and Aunt Felicity (and to Flavia it feels it is more like being Banished) from her stately home in England and placed in Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Canada. This is the same boarding school as her mother Harriet attended.

In the seventh book in the Flavia du Luce series, (or Buckshaw Chronicles as they are known,) Flavia is feeling lonely in Canada where the language is somehow different at times and this combined with being miles across the sea from home and her family, and our heroine, Flavia feels homesick...that is of course, until charred remains of a body, falls out of a chimney and practically land at her feet. There is nothing better to take Flavia out of this funk, than a mystery and a dead body. Suddenly Flavia discovers that all is not as it seems. There is more to this school than she thought. Flavia curiosity has been aroused and her super sleuth skills are tested. Flavia discovers that several girls from the school have gone missing and that one of the staff had been charged and acquitted of a previous murder. Flavia also discovers that her mother is well know amongst the staff and some of her classmates. Flavia is admired by some and disliked by others and she must find out who is actually on her side and who is not. Flavia can not trust anyone until she knows what is really going on.

There are some wonderful new characters in this book from the stern but admirable Miss Bodycote, to the St. Trinian type school girls attending the school. This is but a year out of Flavia's life, but what an exciting year it is.

I did miss some of the old characters from Buckshaw such as Flavia's sisters and Dogger in the beginning, but once the mysteries took hold and the adventure began, I too like Flavia, forgot the aching to return to Buckshaw.

I could really empathise with Flavia when she first left England for Canada. I too had done this around the same age as Flavia. I was homesick for the comfort of England and my extended family and it felt quite strange and lonely at first. It must have been very hard on Flavia for at least I had my Mum, Dad and sister with me. Flavia was alone.

Flavia is an exceptional brave young lady and she prove this throughout this book too. Her determination to find the answers, to solve the mysteries and still find time to be a 12 year old girl alone in a new country is admirable.

How does Alan Bradley manage to continue to write such wonderful mysteries about a precocious preteen age girl from England during the 1950's with such passion, plenty of intrigue and humour astounds me. The characters in his books no matter how minor are always so well developed that they are believable and well remembered. Alan Bradley puts his heart and soul in his writing, he believes in Flavia and as readers of the Buckshaw Chronicles do as well.

Writers could learn a lot from this man. Alan is a truly gifted writer who not only immerses himself into the writing process with passion and love for the characters in his stories, but is the author of one of the best classic mystery series out there. It is a thoroughly enjoyable, adventure with plenty of intrigue and added humour which appeals to both the female and male reader of varying age groups....No wonder they are going to make this a TV series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elena lucas
This is the seventh book in the Flavia De Luce series. As this is a mystery series, the books are largely independent plot wise and you could probably read this one without reading the previous novels. However, Flavia constantly refers to people she’s met in the previous books. If you can, I would recommend starting with the first book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

My problem with mystery books is that once I read a enough by the same author, I’m generally able to figure out who did it. This more or less holds true for the Flavia De Luce series, although As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust threw me some surprises that I didn’t expect.

What makes this series so great is Flavia herself, a now twelve year old girl chemist who loves poisons. Flavia is a genius, very precocious, but she still is able to read as a twelve year old girl, likely due to her sense of drama and love of macabre. All in all, she’s a delightful narrator who manages to be both charming and hilarious.

“Tickling and learning were much the same thing. When you tickle yourself–ecstasy; but when anyone else tickles you–agony.”

(Flavia does not approve of Education)

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is a bold change for the series. Flavia is sent away from Buckshaw to a girls’ boarding school in Toronto. Unfortunately, I don’t think this was bold enough since (spoiler alert!) she was sent back to Buckshaw at the end, which made this entire book pointless. This book could have been used to introduce a new setting and cast of characters which would be built up on over the course of subsequent books. As is, none of the characters are able to appear long enough to be memorable or gain depth.

I think the plot was a bit thin in this one, but Flavia continues to delight. I’d recommend this series to people looking for mystery novels with a fun central character.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alires
Although 12-year-old Flavia de Luce embraces adventure wholeheartedly, leaving her home, family and friends in the small English village of Bishop's Lacey to attend school at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Toronto, Canada, isn't on her list of desirable experiences. Nonetheless, duty calls, and before she knows it, she's been dispatched to further her education at her late mother's alma mater thousands of miles from home.

Escorted across the ocean by Ryerson Rainsmith, the chairman of the academy's board of guardians, and his wife, Dorsey, Flavia can hardly wait to reach her destination and gain her freedom from the annoying pair. Dorsey demands obedience from her husband, who bows and scrapes to accommodate her every demand. All Flavia knows is that she's had enough of the duo before the ship even sets sail. At long last, the transatlantic ocean journey and a train trip to Toronto see Flavia safely delivered to the boarding school that's rumored to be haunted.

Before Flavia's first night at the academy is over, a shocking occurrence thrusts her deep into a mystery that leaves her itching to investigate. A charred body wrapped in a Union Jack flag becomes dislodged and tumbles from the chimney in her room. Who is this unfortunate victim, and what's her body doing concealed in such a way?

Rumor has it that three students have disappeared, one by one, from the school's premises, never to be seen again. Could the mummified body in the chimney be one of these unfortunates? While her classmates whisper behind closed doors about what might have happened to their missing peers, no one dares broach the subject directly.

In addition to performing her detective duties, Flavia must find a way to navigate the murky waters of a new school, learning who is to be trusted and who isn't. A person who seems to be a friend at first may turn out to be a foe before all is said and done.

Luckily, Flavia isn't without resources. Her quick mind, scathing wit and ability to think on her feet serve her well when it comes to staying out of significant trouble with those in charge of the school's students, particularly the imposing headmistress, Miss Fawlthorne. Still, will those qualities be enough to help her solve a series of mysteries in a strange land so far from home?

AS CHIMNEY SWEEPERS COME TO DUST, the latest installment in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series, provides readers with a rollicking good time and gives them additional insight into the mystery that is Flavia. While the novels can all be read individually, devouring the preceding stories will allow readers to fully know Flavia in all her glory. After all, it would be a shame to miss even one of her piercing observations about those around her or to sit out any of the adventures that apparently are a normal part of her life.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
isabelle pong
I have enjoyed all six previous entries in the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I never expected to like a series about an eleven-year-old girl who investigates crimes, but I was won over by the first book. Each book has been entertaining and fun. The books are set in post World War II Britain, in the village of Bishop's Lacey. Flavia is the youngest daughter (around 11 years old) in the de Luce family; she lives with her two sisters and their father in a very old country house that requires a lot of upkeep. Her mother died when she was young. Each member of the family is unique, and none of them communicate their feelings very well.

The sixth book resolves the plot thread of Flavia's missing mother. Now the series has moved to Canada. Flavia, now 12 years old, has been sent to a girls' school in Toronto, Canada. At Miss Bodycote's Female Academy she is to continue her education and learn some unnamed ancient arts in her mother's old school. Almost as soon as Flavia gets settled in her room at the school, a charred body comes crashing down out of her bedroom chimney. As Flavia investigates this occurrence, she discovers that more than one girl has mysteriously disappeared from the school.

This book did keep me entertained, but it was not up to the standard of earlier books. I thought I was going to like the move to a new setting; I like to read books set in Canada and the author is Canadian, but the Canadian setting did not work as well for me. There were descriptions of Toronto, but most of the book is set in the very strange Female Academy. That institution and its inhabitants strained my ability to suspend disbelief even more than earlier books. In previous books there have always been interesting secondary characters, even the ones that show up for only one book. There was no depth to any new character in this story.The plot seemed disjointed. The mystery is solved but the many questions Flavia has about her new school (a secret society, who can she trust, what is she actually there to learn?) are left unresolved.

Alan Bradley's books about Flavia have never failed to pull me in and keep me interested and entertained. I credit Bradley's superb storytelling ability for that. Flavia is a wonderful character. Where this book was lacking was in plot and characterization and the storytelling could not overcome that.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
robert hamburger
Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is the seventh Flavia de Luce story, and the first novel outside of the original six story arch that Alan Bradley first conceived when a publisher expressed interest in a Flavia series. As such, I did not know what to expect because, although I love all of Alan Bradley's Flavia stories, they are inconsistent. There are some glaring errors where characters names change from one novel to another: Max Brock to Max Wight and back again. Sowbell becomes Sowerby, etc. And a few of the stories seem, if not rushed, but as if Alan didn't put as much thought or effort into one novel as he did another. I won't name titles but I will offer a clue - these problematic novels are usually about a hundred pages shorter (or more) than the other volumes. That's not to say these are bad stories, they just aren't on par with the best of the Flavia Books. But even a mediocre Flavia story is much better than most of anything else on the market today.

It is hard to discuss "Chimney Sweepers" without first mentioning "The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches", whcih will contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the previous book, be warned!

"Arches" is the last volume in the original six story arch. The story features the "homecoming" of Harriet de Luce, during which a stranger is pushed under the wheels of a moving train after whispering a mysterious message to Flavia. But Flavia is so flummoxed by the arrival of her mother's coffin that she doesn't even investigate the mystery - the solution is left to others, entirely off page (thought I suspect that Adam Sowerby and Aunt Felicity had a hand in solving that murder as well as the murder of Harriet) - while Flavia gets it into her head to pursue an impossible and crazy scheme to resurrect her dead mother through the miracles of modern chemistry. In the end, her scheme fails, of course, and Flavia is told she will be sent away to the same Canadian boarding school her mother attended in her youth. Flavia believes she is being sent away in disgrace, completely missing the fact that both her Father and Aunt have hinted at the truth - she is being sent away to be trained to take her mother's place as the head of Buckshaw and a tool of a mysterious quasi-government agency known only as "The Nide" - more secret than the Secret Service or MI6... and there the story ends.

"Chimney Sweepers" begins with Flavia on a ship, bound for Canada and Boarding School Hell. She is now twelve, and oddly enough, her birthday and any celebration of the same, passed unnoticed between the novels, and is not even mentioned during her flashback scenes in the book - and that's the only problem I found with this novel: in real life, birthdays are a big occasion to most kids so it's very odd that Flavia would not add her birthday, good or bad, to the list of mental gripes or treasured memories she calls forth to comfort herself in moments of sadness or to fuel her ambitions to get even with a world that's treated her so poorly. And that, really, is a minor point. Flavia arrives at her school in the middle of the night, is shown to her room, and before she can even get settled in, a dead body falls out of the chimney and plunges Flavia into a new mystery. The mystery of how the corpse got up the chimney - who the dead person is - and who did the foul deed - is compounded by the secrecy surrounding the school. One of the teachers is a poisoner, who did in her husband but, though a knowledge of classical Greek mythology, managed to beat the rap. The head of the board of directors of the school lost his wife under suspicious circumstances. At least three students have vanished from the school and are rumored to be dead, and yet somehow the missing girls are kept hushed up. Something is rotten at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, and nothing is as simple as it seems on the surface!

Flavia is still having trouble coming to grips with the death of her mother, and has a breakdown when she encounters a memorial to Harriet in the hallway. She is nearly prostrated by homesickness, which surprises even her. She struggles with heartbreak when nobody except for Dogger and the Odious Undine bothers to write her in exile. She is in an unfamiliar setting, in an unfamiliar country, where she doesn't know anybody, she doesn't know the rules, and she doesn't even understand the currency. Yet, unlike in the previous book, she is at the top of her game, in spite of her inner struggles, and the culprits don't stand a chance!

Alan Bradley is also at the top of his game with "Chimney Sweepers". The opening seems a bit rushed - in only two chapters Flavia goes from Buckshaw to sea to Toronto to discovering a smoke-cured corpse in her dorm room - Imagine "The Hobbit" if Bilbo went from Bag End to Smaug's Lair in only two chapters! But in spite of this, Alan crafts an old-school mystery as good as any Agatha Christie and without any of the magical deductions of a Sherlock Holmes. Alan carefully presents the reader with the characters, the settings and the clues, without relying on any tricks or obscure or chemical knowledge. Everything is presented for the reader to be able to solve the mystery themselves - if they are able to see past the various red herrings and other distractions Alan adds in to distract the reader - and Flavia - from solving the mystery too soon.

"As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust" had a lot of potential to be a dud. Flavia was plopped into a new setting, with an entirely new cast of characters. All of our old favorites, except for Flavia herself, are missing in action, left behind at Buckshaw. A whole new cast of characters had to be invented at breakneck speed. And since Alan's original story arc had been completed, we might have been faced with a flaccid sequel that didn't do justice to the original - but happily, such is not the case! This novel is one of the best Flavia stories yet, if not the best. I highly recommend it to any mystery fan. If this book is a taste of what Alan has in mind for the final three books, I cannot wait for the next one!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lindsey wolkin
The change of location from England to Canada and from ancestral pile to crumbling boarding school changes the tone of the story for Flavia de Luce to a more somber and lonely note. She leaves hearing 'banishment' in the waves on her voyage, which ends in Toronto at the the school her mother Harriet attended and left big shoes to fill. On her first night, a corpse falls from the chimney in her room, but this is not the only mystery she encounters. Where are the 3 missing girls? Flavia has never been in a regimented school environment and this and relationships with other classmates is a trial.Of course, Flavia being who she is does not follow rules. Her family, except for Dogger, does not write to her and she is very much alone. Another mystery is her role in the Nide. It is never really explored in the story why anyone would even want to belong to the Nide with their 'pheasant sandwiches', especially with the sacrifices made by members . In the end Flavia solves the mystery of the body in the chimney and makes a decision that shows she is not a clone of Harriet. This is not as enjoyable as the other books in the series, but it did hold my attention.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mary kathryn
Very disappointing! Dull mystery, a dozen characters and not one was interesting. I agree 100% with what the others who gave it Two Stars wrote. The author is much better with a few sentences regarding Dogger and the Inspector rather than ten girls and five female teachers at a stereotypical girls' boarding school. The "pheasant sandwich" phrase is now nonsensical and this book is definitely not a stand-alone. I've now read all the Flavia books - including the one that follows - and say it's time to stop the intense meanness between the sisters.Too tedious.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
donna hurwitt
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley is the highly recommended seventh book featuring the precocious chemist and toxicologist Flavia de Luce.

In As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust Flavia has been sent away from her family home in Bishop’s Lacey, England, to Canada where she has been enrolled in her late mother’s alma mater, Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy. Flavia can immediately discern that "the faculty of Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy had one thing in common: They were all dead serious. There was no frivolity: no laughter and no lipstick." The academy is "the slap in the face with a velvet glove, the sting in the smile, the razor blade in the butter." Even in a new environment without her normal support and lab available, Flavia proves to be an intelligent, astute investigator.

On Flavia's first night at the academy another student, P.A. Collingwood, bursts into her room, pummeling her, until she realizes that Flavia is not the student she thought. Then, when an angry knock at the door makes it clear that the girls are about to get caught by Miss Fawlthorne, the head of school, Collingwood shimmers up the chimney to hide. This action results in a charred mummified body falling out of the chimney and the detached skull rolling across the floor.

Flavia likes nothing better than having a murder to solve. She learns that three girls have gone missing at the school. Could one of them be the body? Luckily, from all the movies Flavia has watched at the cinema with Daffy and Feely, Flavia already has a handle on her first foreign language and learned it well, so she is able to converse with the locals. Even in the new setting and apart from her normal set of confidantes, Flavia relishes trying to solve the murder mystery.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is a strong addition to the YA series that is enjoyed and heralded with equal fervor by many adults. It is a bit different from the others in the series because Bradley has set Flavia down in a totally new environment without her familiar people and tools available to help her investigation. This new setting requires some time spent on describing the new setting and characters. Bradley is up to the task and does an excellent job presenting this latest adventure. There will be a surprise at the end that should please fans.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy for the Kindle was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heidi agerbo
From the opening pages of the very first book, I have been a fervent fan of Alan Bradley's absolutely wonderful series that features one of the most captivating, intrepid sleuths I've ever encountered - twelve year old Flavia de Luce. ("The first syllable rhymes with 'brave' and 'grave'.") As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is the seventh book.

Faithful readers have been eagerly waiting for this book - after several revelations in the last book, Flavia is on her way from England to Canada to attend Miss Bodycote's Female Academy - "where I was to be trained to assume some ancient and hereditary role of which I was still kept mostly in ignorance." (Canadians take note - it's located just off the Danforth)

But Flavia being Flavia....yes, there's a dead body involved (okay, more than one). But along with that body, there's a whole new cast of characters to meet, a new setting and Flavia's mysterious legacy to unravel. There are numerous storylines running concurrently and the reader is kept busy alongside Flavia.

Flavia's descriptions and dialogue are a constant source of delight...

"The hours trudged by with chains on their ankles."

"I must state here that I have no fear whatsoever of being in a room in the dark with a corpse. In fact, quite the contrary. The little shiver I experience is one of excitement, not of fear."

"The hands are the canaries in one's own personal coal-mine: They need to be watched carefully and obeyed. A fidget demands attention, and a full-blown not-knowing-what-to-do-with-them means 'Vamoose'!"

Flavia's curiosity, her keen observations and her disarming view of life utterly enchant me. I so wanted to be Nancy Drew growing up - having discovered Flavia, it's still great fun to imagine being a girl gumshoe.

Despite her exceptional powers of deduction, her skill with poisons and her insatiable curiosity, she is still a young girl far from home. Will she ever see her beloved bicycle Gladys again? Her chemistry lab? Her dratted sisters, taciturn father, the enigmatic Dogger and the other assorted residents of the village of Bishop's Lacey? (I too, missed them!)

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust was great read for me (but devoured too quickly). I'll will be eagerly waiting for the eighth book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
regina ligon
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Flavia de Luce is at it again! I fell in love with Flavia and author Alan Bradley's series when the first book was published. I have to admit that I haven't read the last couple books, but it wasn't too hard to figure out what I had missed in the de Luce household.

When Flavia is shipped off to Canada to attend the alma mater of her mother, she immediately stumbles upon a murder mystery when a corpse falls out of the chimney. Precocious Flavia's homesickness is held at bay by the desire to solve the mystery of identifying the victim and the murder and trying to figure out the social code of both her new boarding school as well as the secret society, The Nide, in which her mother and great aunt were members.

In addition to the body, several of the students have gone missing over the years. The vanishing classmates provides some red herrings and twists and turns throughout the plot. Even the faculty provides plot tension; Flavia is warned multiple times to trust no one. The headmistress is the most mysterious of them all. She seems ruthless and a power figure to be feared, however, her punishments all seem to be doled out like sending the Briar Rabbit to the briar patch. Her advice and admonishments have Flavia perplexed to the end.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is fast paced and filled with quirky and amusing characters. As a character, Flavia seemed more balanced in this book. Readers get to see not only her wry humor and nerdy love of chemistry but also a young girl who is far from home and missing the very siblings she has professed to dislike. From the compelling opening ("Banished!") to Flavia's ultimate punishment at the end, Alan Bradley's latest Flavia de Luce mystery is brilliant.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ernir orsteinsson
This entry in the Flavia De Luce series has definitely revived my flagging interest in the series, even as the story line starts to take a very different direction. I read the first book, and LOVED it for the mystery and the character of Flavia, but the other books in the series have been a little too focused on how clever and precocious Flavia was as she solved mysteries. They were honestly getting a little precious.

But this book takes the series in a new direction, less of the mystery novel and more of an adventure novel of the Mysterious Benedict Society or Flora Segunda type. Suddenly, Flavia isn't just a precocious kid in over her head, she's a sort of spy in training at a school for same. It changes the WHOLE atmosphere of the book and her character entirely. It's NOT at all like the first book, which is still my favorite, but it's MILES better than the others which were still trying too hard to be mysteries. If you like a good mystery, you should probably give this a pass, but if you can appreciate a good YA adventure, this should do just fine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sureendar
Thank you to Netgalley, Random House Publishing Group-Bantam Dell and author, Alan Bradley, for the ARC of "As Chimney Sweepers Comes to Dust", (Flavia de Luce, #7). Here we return to the series, but the setting for this novel has changed from the UK to Toronto, Canada.

The village of Bishop's Lacey and Buckshaw, where Falvia de Luce's father and sisters Ophelia and Dalphne were carrying on with their lives. But for twelve year old Falvia, after the death of her mother,her life was about to change drastically. Falva had been banished, and was to be sent off to boarding school in Toronto; the same school her mother had attended.

She departed in September on a voyage by ship to Canada, accompanied by Ryerson Rainsmith, Chairman of the Board of guardians at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, and his dippy wife, Dorsey. This couple was draining Falvia's patience, or what was left of it.

" A week away from home and my list of people to poison was already up to two." (I had a good laugh!)

When Falvia is finally delivered to the boarding school,on her first night there, down from the chimney in her room drops a charred body. Now Flavia, a self-trained chemist, is in her element, and is determined both to find out the victim’s identity and who killed her. But one of the girls at the school tells Flavia that "people disappear , without a trace". Another mystery for her to solve!

Flavia is smart and used to corpses, as this is the seventh she has encountered. She is human with wit and humor.

This is a well-developed book, from the clever title and front cover, to the ending. Characters come alive as you read each small detail unfolding. The imagery is vivid and enables you to sense the atmosphere of the place.

“A Chimney Sweepers come to Dust” is a satisfying mystery from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ellie crow
Is there anything more delicious than a new Flavia de Luce tale? I eagerly await each one, pre-ordering and anticipating the day when I can hold each solid, small but substantial volume and dig in. Flavia is a tour de force, a precocious child whose grasp of chemistry and flair for deduction in her little town in England are the stuff of legends. Mr. Bradley imbues her with wit and dialog like no other character in literature before.

Flavia has solved some crimes that the local police were unable to crack. In this edition, she travels to Canada to attend a very elite private school where reading and writing are not the only things on the curriculum. There are missing girls for one, and also a pesky corpse that falls from the chimney in her room on her first night, and some extremely odd behavior from her fellow boarders and faculty. In short, Flavia is in her element, where, as we expect, she solves the unsolvable. Truly remarkable, entertaining writing. I'm never able to predict the killer and I'm always pleased to learn how Flavia does it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elanor
Flavia De Luce is again solving a murder which conveniently ‘fell’ into her lap. She was sent, or as Flavia puts it-banished, to her mother’s former boarding school in Canada.

She started her journey from Buckshaw with Dr. and Mrs. Rainsmith, two of the members of the school board who on their way back after spending some time abroad.

Flavia, of course, takes an immediate disliking to them and tries to stay as far away as possible on the ship to Canada, but has a little bit of trouble when she has to sit next to them on the train ride once they arrived.

The school, Miss Bodycote’s is housed in an old Abbey and Flavia spends her first night cold, attacked by another student and happening to be in the same room when a body wrapped in a flag comes unstuck from a chimney. After the police were called and Flavia was kept out of the loop on what was going on; she takes matters into her own hands to figure out who the body is.

Along with figuring out the mystery of the corpse she deals with trying to discern who is and is not friendly (girls can be so mean), as well as part of the Nide. (I wish I could be just so I could find fun ways to introduce the phrase ‘pheasant sandwiches’ into a conversation.)

All said and done Flavia figures out the mystery, gets herself into numerous scrapes, and in trouble with various people. Overall, I enjoyed reading another escapade of Flavia’s. I found I missed Buckshaw and it’s contents (although there was a very nice letter from Dogger.) But Bradley gave immense life to the new characters Miss Bodycote’s. There, however, seemed to be something rushed about the story, but it could just be the fact that I read through this extremely fast. Flavia always seemed to be on the go with no time to settle down, but then again she did not have her lab. That was back in England.

I found this not as good as the other Flavia books, but I will still look forward to the next novel from Bradley with much anticipation and read it with great enjoyment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
neil platten
This is the 7th in the series of comic mysteries featuring Flavia de Luce.

It is 1951 and 12 year old Flavia has been sent away to boarding school, and not just any boarding school but Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, her mother's alma mater. Flavia would not have been completely adverse to the idea of going to school if it had not been one so far from her beloved Bishop's Lacey, and her own personal chemistry laboratory. Being sent away from England, across the Atlantic and by train to the wilds of Canada - well actually a town just west of Toronto - was simply not to be borne, it was banishment, pure and simple. Still, maddening though it might be, Flavia had long ago learned that children had very little control over their circumstances but only adapt to them. She was also more than a little bit curious about what might await her at Miss Bodycote's - hints about her mother who had died when Flavia was just an baby; information about the secret destiny that Flavia had been told she was fated for. But before Flavia could even hope to get any answers she would have to survive the endless journey with her chaperones, two of the most aggravating, boring and obnoxious people she had ever had to endure. Little did she know that arriving at Miss Bodycote's would only make her problems increase. Even Flavia could not have anticipated a body falling out of a chimney on her first night at school.

Flavia might be far from home but that will not prevent her from sleuthing to ferret out answers to her many questions. Who was the body in the chimney? what happened to the many students who had disappeared from school? and why was it forbidden to ask about them? and what was the secret group that so many had hinted about? As always Flavia manages to muddle through in her own unique mixture of brilliance and good luck.

Like the previous volume, THE DEAD IN THEIR VAULTED ARCHES, this one left a whole lot of very loose ends. This will undoubtedly inspire many to rush out to purchase the next book but it does leave the reader feeling a bit frustrated in the meantime. There is, obviously, a very strong overall story arc to this series so those new to the series should begin with THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, proceed in order through the rest of Flavia's escapades, and then join the rest of us as we not so patiently wait for the next volume.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mariq
Read from November 30 to December 02, 2015

Our intrepid heroine Flavia has been bundled off across the sea to Canada, there to attend the same private boarding school where her mother was once a student. And, as luck would have it, no sooner does Flavia set foot into her room than she finds a decapitated corpse stuffed up the chimney.

(Flavia is a magnet for dead bodies. Sometimes I suspect that when she grows up, she moves to New England, changes her name to Jessica, and becomes a mystery writer.)

Dead bodies are our young sleuth's favorite thing, next to chemistry and poisons, of course. And naturally Flavia does her best to solve the mystery, but she is hampered by her unfamiliar surroundings and lack of usual sources of information. In the meantime, she makes somewhat of an effort to fit in with the other girls; even that is made difficult by the nature of the school and the secret reason Flavia is enrolled.

Mr. Bradley's storytelling here is light and airy and fun; I read Flavia's latest adventure with a big grin on my face most of the time. Our young lady, now 12ish, is starting to grow up and see the world somewhat differently. Little bits of self-reflection creep into the narrative, which serve the story and the character well. I adore Flavia, but she can be annoying, so it's good to see her start to mature. I look forward to solving more mysteries with this young woman.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
corey
Alan Bradley hit the mark again.
As the story began, it was 1951 and Flavia de Luce was on a boat sailing to Canada. She had been sent to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, had attended. Flavia was not very happy about the move but realized she had no choice.
She arrived very late in the evening and was shown to her room. It didn’t take long before Collingwood, one of the other students snuck into her room and, when they heard approaching footsteps, Collingwood hid in the chimney. As the headmistress, Miss Fawlthorne, entered the room, Collingwood fell out of the chimney accompanied by a burnt headless body wrapped in a Union Jack and a skull. This went along with the school’s reputation for being haunted. In the recent past, three students and the first wife of the Chairman of the Board of Guardians had disappeared. The school had other secrets as well.
Unfortunately for Flavia, she was not able to participate in the investigation as much as she would have like to but tried to solve it at best she could.
She became involved in school life, meeting the other students and instructors and attending her classes. She was able to continue with her chemistry and poison studies in the school’s very well-equipped lab. The instructor was an acquitted murderer. Found guilty of breaking some of the school’s rules, even though she wasn’t aware of them, Flavia became familiar with Fawlthorne’s punishments.
Once again, Bradley displayed a marvelous use of words and observations:
He described the ride over the rough ocean as “riding bareback on an enormous steel angel doing the breaststroke.”
“I missed my sister. She had been the lemon on my fish, the vinegar on my chips, I realized with a sudden pang, and that without her, life from now on was going to be less tasty.”
“Miss Bodycote’s was like that, I was to learn: the slap in the face with a velvet glove, the sting in the smile, the razor blade in the butter.”
“Give Nature a vacuum and she will try to fill it. Give her localized pressure and she will try to disperse it. She is forever seeking a balance she can never achieve, never happy with what she’s got.”
I have only two criticism of this most satisfying book: 1. Speed limit signs in Ontario are given in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour. 2. It’s going to be a long wait for the next book.
Pheasant sandwich.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rom kim
Flavia de Luce, now 12 years old, has been banished (as she thinks of it) to the Canadian wilderness. She is to attend Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school her mother attended. But being Flavia, on her very first night at the school, a skeleton comes tumbling out of a chimney, the severed skull landing at her feet.

While I can understand why the author chose to take Flavia away from familiar grounds to allow her to get mixed up in another murder case, I don't think he made particularly good use of the setting. Other than a few instances of differences in language usage and expressions, Canada was not overly displayed, although the school setting was used slightly. Flavia never seemed to actually GO to school--for all appearances she did as she pleased, coming and going when/where she wanted. The plot was muddied by lack of motivation for the characters to do what they did.

All in all, I enjoy spending time with Flavia, but the book certainly isn't one of my favorites in the series, nor would I recommend it to someone who hasn't read any of the books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lindsey barba
Other than the original book, this latest installment in the wildly popular Flavia du Luce series is the best one. I was so happy to receive this book in the mail, I took it with me to lunch. After only a few pages, I'm spurting soup from my nose! I laughed out loud at Flavia's imaginative ways of dealing with people who cross her - with poison! (Don't worry, she only daydreams about it.)

I doubt if there is a more engaging or brilliant heroine than this 12 year old. Flavia could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money!

In this latest book, Flavia du Luce has been shipped off to her mother's Canadian boarding school. Feeling a bit homesick for her family (and chemistry lab) back home in England, Flavia finds a corpse her at the school. Naturally, this event sets Flavia off on another adventure for the truth.

If you haven't read any of the previous books, then I highly recommend you go back to read them from the first installment. It's not absolutely necessary, but it'll greatly increase your enjoyment of this book. You'll laugh and be enormously amused. These books are so charming . . . they have my highest recommendation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda agnew
Flavia Strikes Again!! Alan Bradley, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.
Publisher: Random House /Bartam Dell (January 6, 2015)
418 pp
4 stars
Genre: YA series, science fantasy, Sherlock Holmes fans
Sequel to The Dead in their Vaulted Arches
Read in one sitting, as all previous books were, often late into the night.

Author:
Alan Bradley was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in the lakeside town of Cobourg, Ont. After a career in television broadcasting, he retired from the University of Saskatchewan to write full-time. He publications include children’s stories, lifestyle and arts columns in Canadian newspapers and screenplays. His adult stories have been broadcast on CBC radio and published in various literary journals. He was the recipient of the first Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature.

The first in the series, “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” won the 2007 Debut Dagger Award of the Crime Writers Association in the UK; the 2009 Agatha Award for Best First Novel; the 2010 Dilys, awarded by the International Mystery Booksellers Association; the Spotted Owl Award, given by the Friends of Mystery, and the 2010 Arthur Ellis Award, given by the Crime Writers of Canada for Best First Novel. It was also nominated for an Anthony Award, a Barry Award, and a Macavity Award. Sweetness made numerous lists and awards including the New York Times, as a Favorite Mystery of 2009, an American Library Association nominee as Best Book For Young Adults; a Barnes and Noble Bestseller. The audiobook version of “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” was voted Best AudioBook by iTunes. The books are all NYTimes best sellers. Don't miss the audio books narrated by Jayne Entwistle- she is absolutely perfect, and recently (11/14) won Outstanding Audiobook Narration for The Dead in their Vaulted Arches.
Academy Award-winning producer/director Sam Mendes, of “Skyfall” and “American Beauty” fame has optioned for Flavia for television movies (2012).

Story line:
This is book 7 in what I hope is a long series of sleuthing for our intrepid youngster Flavia De Luce. Please read these in order as there is a good progression of character, friendships, sleuthing techniques and 'in jokes'. My favourites are volumes 1,6 and now 7. If you love the Flavia stories you will definitely enjoy this installment although it is not set in England.
Flavia has been banished from her Beloved Buckshaw, transported to the wilds of Canada (Toronto, 1951). Flavia is to study at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, her mother's alma mater, and take part in a secret society NIDE. (Now run by her Aunt Felicity, and which we suspect Flavia will excel in). This is a boarding school with a secret mission, but also a mystery as there is always a body for Flavia to inspect. She has become more than a precocious preteen; while she has her trademark sarcastic wit and refreshing observations, she is growing up, becoming more analytical and thoughtful. She was terribly homesick. But felt the excitement and discovery of new places. She was grieving for her mother (whose body was just returned home), missing Dogger and scones, but successfully dealing with new girls (not her sisters) and making adjustments. She remains a very strong, original female lead and roll model.
I loved the literary quotes. I loved her anticipation and recognition of the science lab, her exposure to new, interesting adult teachers. The mystery was a minor component for me in comparison to her experiences in the new environment. While it is a satisfactory clever conclusion, it was rather sudden, although predictable, there are a number of interesting questions/themes remaining for several more books. I thought the emotional swings and roundabouts were realistic and help ground the character development of Flavia. There is a pitch perfect description of the convent and many academics. I hope and suspect we will see more of them.
I would have liked more information on the school and Harriet when she was a student here. And more on the teachers, especially as Flavia was all too suddenly whisked away. I suspect Bradley knows we are reading this series for Flavia and that we will see more adventures, in time and place as she grows up.
Meanwhile, Buckshaw looms on the horizon.
And I must find Bradley's memoir The Shoebox Bible.

Read on:
If you like Harriet the Spy or Lemony Snickett's Violet Baudeleaire.
Or listen to Jayne Entwistle narrate Julie Berry's Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.
Also note there is a Flavia short story recently epublished "The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse"

Quotes:
First sentence:
"Banished! The wind shrieked as it tore at my face."

The maggots were nothing new: I had thought of them often while dwelling on the delights of decomposition. Daffy had even read out to me at the breakfast table -- "Knowing your proclivities," she had said, smirking -- that wonderful passage from Love's Labour's Lost, where one of the characters says, "These summer-flies have blown me full of maggot ostentation." It had caused Father to put aside his sausages, get up, and leave the room, but had given me a whole new appreciation of Shakespeare.

“And this must be our little Flavia!"
On paper the man was already dead.

Magic doesn't work when you're sad.

Desperation is capable of wonderful things.

Received as an ARC ebook through Netgalley, purchased hardback for my collection.
(Just delighted to read this early, and now impatiently waiting for the next installment)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
angela getz
This is the 7th in the Flavia de Luce Series

Genre: Murder mystery

Stats: Published January 2015, 392 pages, 9 discs - 11 hours, read by Jayne Entwistle

Book Blurb: (Goodreads) Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

What I liked: Alan Bradley always makes a good mystery that you can't figure out but this is not his best book. I really enjoy his names i.e., Miss Bodycote's Female Academy - wonderful. Jayne Entwistle was as good as usual. Book spoiler: I'm surprised he is bring Flavia back to England so soon. I figured there would be a few books at this institution. Maybe he didn't like it (someone at his publishing house maybe told him he has to change the scene) and that's why the book isn't the best.

What I didn't like: The story seemed a bit disjointed. It wasn't as tightly written with clues and characters as his 6 other books, but hey - 6 good books in row is a good record. I can't complain too much.

Rating: 3.5/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sayed
For fans of the Flavia de Luce series, this latest installment does not disappoint. Though the Canadian boarding school setting lacks the familiar charm of Buckshaw and her native English village, the inner world of Flavia is imbued with greater depth, as she begins negotiating the complicated transition from young girl to young woman.

Happily, Flavia’s language is just as fresh and saucy as in the previous six novels. If anything, it’s infused with even more energy; a crackling, snapping, bubbling hodgepodge of unusual imagery, period idioms, and striking phrasing, borrowed from sources as diverse as John Donne, Shakespeare, and Raymond Chandler. The narrative flows swiftly off the pages as Flavia struggles to make sense of her swiftly changing emotions and her new setting.

Perhaps the best thing about As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is the promise of more to come.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tom kirkendall
To be honest I did not realize this was the seventh in a series! I received this from Netgalley and was so excited about the title and synopsis that I must have overlooked the series number. The good news is that I was able to read this without feeling like I missed too much. From the beginning I was hooked and absolutely love the main character, Flavia de Luce.

Flavia is definitely a girl after my heart! She is a scientist and as such thinks in very logical ways. I just love this! Even at a very young age I can tell she has a sharp mind. The first pages held me in rapture as I tried to figure out what in the world was going on! Loved it!

As we get further into the book, however, things start to fade. Flavia is so curious but it feels almost as an Alice in Wonderland curious. Has no one heard the expression that curiosity killed the cat? It’s important! But Flavia is determined to find out who the girl is that came out of the chimney. Not only that but to find her murderer also! Because that is what 12 year olds do! At least 12 year olds that are Flavia de Luce.

The book was fun but the mystery was a bit out there for me. There were so many twists and turns that I simply couldn’t keep up. I did still enjoy Flavia’s crazy ways but some of the things she did were just not understandable. For instance she goes to the laundry to get a bit of peace and quiet and when she sees she is not alone she decides to fake that she is lost and proceeds to carry on and on and on. I didn’t see a reason for all of that. She could have simply slipped away. Some of the predicaments she finds herself in, she has PUT herself in!

But truly, it was interesting and so cute! For someone to be able to come into the series and understand the character and plot is amazing. I cannot wait to read the first few books and maybe that will shed some light on this one!

In short: Very Sherlock Holmes ish! Adorable and funny.

Received by publisher for an honest review. 4.1/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
janie franz
Each time I read a Flavia de Luce novel, I think of my high school Chemistry teacher, Mr. Bundy, and feel an odd mixture of regret and anger. Regret, because I might have learned something interesting if I hadn't been so busy hating the class, and anger because Mr. Bundy could have really livened things up by talking about poisons, rot, and death.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust takes Flavia in a new direction. She leaves Buckshaw for school in Canada where things aren't always what they seem. It takes very little time for her to discover a corpse at school and, of course, she can't help but investigate the latest death to fall into her lap (almost literally, I'm afraid). Unlike her previous investigations, this one must take place without Flavia's usual contacts in and around Bishop's Lacey. She must battle home sickness, work around (or flaunt) school rules, do without her beloved Dogger, and decide who can be trusted and who should be feared.

As always, Flavia uses her many talents both in and out of the chemistry lab to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her newest corpse. Alan Bradley once again does a fantastic job of weaving Flavia's complicated emotions about her family and home into this tale. His writing is a true pleasure to experience. Flavia's navigation of the unfamiliar world of her age-mates (I won't insult her by calling them peers) is both touching, brave, and funny.

The only problem with Alan Bradley's Flavia novels is that he doesn't write them instantly, one after the other, forcing us to wait an insufferably long amount of time in between adventures.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sheifali khare
Flavia De Luce is sent from her home at Buckshaw, England to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater. She is there to be inducted into the mysterious organization called Nide. But a body comes crashing down out of the chimney the very first night at the school and Flavia can’t help trying to find out the identity of the dead body and who stuffed it into the chimney.

This is my first Flavia De Luce book, but not my last. I had no problem getting into the story, but of course, since this is book seven were there bound to be things mentioned in the book that I knew nothing about. Like for instance why she was banished to Canada? Apparently, there happened things in the last book concerning her mother that led to this. But anyway if we disregard that, everything else was not that hard to understand, she mentioned people but often I got an explanation to whom she was referring to so that was ok.

I admit that I first thought the book's story took place much earlier than 1950’s, around 1920-30’s perhaps. But then television was mentioned and that meant a bit later. Also, I wasn’t sure about Flavia's ages until someone mentioned that she was 12, I thought she would be older. But she was fun; she was like a nosy Nancy Drew, but slightly more morbid. I was a bit weary of Flavia in the beginning, there is a thin line between precocious and obnoxious but she managed to stay on the precocious side throughout the book.

The story was interesting and I liked the school setting. I have always been a bit fascinated by boarding school milieu, and for mystery books are boarding schools a perfect setting. It was a good read and I'm looking forward to reading the previous six books in the series.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
candacy white
As others have written, this is not up to the standard of the earlier books. The writing feels tedious and Flavia is downright annoying. What began as the adventures of a precocious pre-teen has turned in to a totally incredible tale only a pre-teen would credit. The characters around Flavia are pure cyphers. There is a murder and several disappearances yet the police are invisible. Makes little sense.

On the audiobook: the reader does a remarkable job of distinguishing characters by voice, however, while her Liverpool accent is charming it seems inappropriate for an upper class child from the Home Counties in the 1950s.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
josh ellis
I reread the entire series, in sequence, in anticipation of the newest installment. This book is noticeably weaker than others, although Flavia is still her own smart, resourceful, resilient self. I was eager to see how Bradley transferred Flavia to Toronto, since the environment of Bishop's Lacey has been so powerful in previous books as nearly to constitute a character in its own right. Although I was game for the new setting, and Flavia herself was good company, the plot was peculiar, to say the least. As other reviewers have noted, there is a lot of "oh, no, it's too big a secret to tell," and that got tiresome. Why had one character been in disguise for two years? What's the Nide up to, and why should we care? And then, although deaths in the Flavia stories are often spectacularly bizarre, the decapitated body in the chimney required too much suspension of disbelief. We're asked to believe that the corpse in the chimney was not noticed until it was dislodged manually? Come on. Shall we consult "De Luce on Decomposition"?! Then, at the end, when Flavia is on her way back to England, having apparently done a stellar job at Miss Bodycote's, we're left to wonder: Did she learn anything? This was a school, after all. Did her solving of the mysteries in Toronto require knowledge that she did not already possess in England? She seemed to rely on literary knowledge she'd gleaned from her sister Daffy back at home, and basic chemical tests she knew well in advance of sailing the Atlantic. Why did she have to go to Canada to prove herself? To whom? I admire Bradley's efforts to mix up the formula and move Flavia out of England for a while, but I regret that the story wasn't more cohesive. Still, Flavia is a gem, and I'll hope for better in the next installment. It'll be good to be back in Bishop's Lacey and see Flavia able to yell "Yaroo!" again. Much of this review has been negative, but on the positive side: Bradley is subtly allowing Flavia to mature, although she's still a young girl. That's not easy to achieve in prose, and it's done well here. Plus, it was fun to see so many notable women referred to in passing: Edith Cavell, for example, is well worth remembering.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marci
I read Alan Bradley’s first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie as an advanced reader copy. I loved it. Flavia de Luce was a precocious sleuth with a penchant for science and mystery solving. I found the book entertaining and amusing. I immediately read the second novel, The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, as soon as it was published. While, I enjoyed it, it didn’t seem to have the magic of the first novel. So, I didn’t read any of the other Flavia novels, until this one, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust. I thought maybe it was time to try Flavia again.

It was. I found this novel every bit as charming and entertaining as the first. I don’t know if it’s because I took a Flavia vacation, or what, but the magic was back. The novel opens with Flavia vehemently declaring that she has been banished. Banished from her home to be sent off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, her mother’s old school in Canada. Her Aunt Felicity gives her a vague hint that there is something special about this school, something special that Flavia will be introduced to.

Flavia is dramatic, intelligent, and utterly charming. A highlight from the novel: “Feigning stupidity was one of my specialties. If stupidity were theoretical physics, then I would be Albert Einstein.”

As always, I learned a lot of science along the way, and thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
charli
That's right, five stars, and not because it's the best one in the series, but because I LOVE the way Jayne Entwistle reads this. Flavia is off to Toronto, ONTARIO, Canada (I mean, really, who says New York, USA or San Francisco, USA????) to Miss Bodycote's academy.

While on the one hand I was happy to have a break from sibling rivalry and could not buy one more murder in her home area, I did miss Dogger and Mrs. Mullet. Regardless of some less than stellar reviews, there really were some great characters in this book (more readily observed when read by Jayne.)

Naturally, Entwistle doesn't do a Canadian accent the way a Canadian really talks, but at least it's better than most of the American attempts at Canadian accents, and it's very plausible since the narrator of the book is Flavia, so that's how she'd likely hear the Canadian accents.

Is the murder plausible? You be the judge; it's definitely not one you'll figure out in the first few chapters, which for me is a huge plus, and really it's more about Flavia being at Miss Bodycote's and figuring out some of the things she learned in the last book than just a murder mystery, so don't get bent out of shape if it's not just one thing, but don't expect it to be the most stellar book of the series.

However, Flavia fans, do read this one, and I STRONGLY urge you to listen to the audiobook for this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
corey vilhauer
Both author and heroine are in top form in #7 of the series - I've read all 6 previous to this; while one could certainly jump in here, a lot of the backstory references will be lost on new readers. That backstory is not just essentail for information, it's essential to understand Flavia's connection to people, places, and things that are mentioned. As for "As Chimney Sweepers..." it's a bit of a combination of Mean Girls, Hogwarts, and - mostly - a teen version of the CIAs "The Farm." Bradley wastes no time in getting to the dead body (bodies?!) and his characterizations, as always, are excellent. I love his books because they constantly drive me to dictionaries and encyclopedias for cultural references, idioms, etc. As an example - other writers would be content to write "black as the Ace of Spades" - but not Bradley...his lovely "black as Old Frizzle" is just one of many great descriptions. In terms of a fish-out-of-water story, the tale of Flavia at the academy is just terrific...themystery, while intriguing and with a creel-full of red herrings, has a rather unsatisfying conclusion. But the story ending itself is a surprise and very satisfying. The chemistry is terrific, and not overdone as has happened in one or two of the books. Overall, I think this book has less of the appeal to adult readers than any of the other books. Still, it's a really good read for Flavia fans like me. Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the e-ARC!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarahslack
This Flavia de Luce tale is my favorite since the first one. While I enjoy the stories, they had too much similarity.

Yes, Flavia is still unbelievable, an intrepid, precocious, over the top, now 12-year old. What made this one more interesting is Flavia has been shipped off to the wilds of Canada. Well, Canada anyway, a girls' school, and certainly not England. The change of scenery and new characters made for a nice change.

There is, of course, a dead body to be found and a mystery to be solved. The characters are quirky and the story moved quickly. The only thing that bothered me is Flavia was given a quite significant clue fairly early in the story, and with her analytical mind, did not pick up on it. I expected better of her.

And smart or not, analytical or not, she is still twelve, and subject to rather wonderful flights of fantasy and self-glorification before she pulls herself down to earth.

Those who didn't like the earlier books because Flavia is just not believable will probably not like this one, either. But for those of us who can suspend disbelief a little bit and who enjoy the occasional light read for entertainment value should enjoy this one.

I was given an advance e-copy of this book for review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sanjukta basu
I was introduced to the series because of a random walk-in at our local Book Warehouse outlet. The mystery series, starring twelve-year old English heroine Flavia de Luce strikes the right balance between precocious and obnoxious, which is a hard thing to do when writing a child's character! I particularly enjoyed this seventh book because we got to see Flavia in an entirely new setting (and seemingly alone). Her father and her Aunt Felicity have sent her to Canada to attend Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, which is the mysterious school that her mother Harriett attended in her own youth.

Things are getting Secret Society good in the land of Flavia de Luce. I will be tuning in for more! It probably isn't fair to classify this is a guilty pleasure read because that seems to convey that the story/writing lacks substance (which it does not), so maybe "binge-read" is a better term.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stan pedzick
If you are a reader of the Flavia de Luce series, then you know that this book, #7 in the series, is meant to serve as a turning point in Flavia's development. At age 12, she is beginning to turn from a child to a woman, but also from a largely self-educated country girl with no friends her own age to a student in a boarding school and a novice in the secret society in which her late mother, Harriet, was a member.

Though she understands that being sent to Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Toronto is important, Flavia is desperately homesick for Bishop's Lacey, her family and, especially, the faithful staff, Dogger and Mrs. Mullet. It perks her up tremendously when, on her very first night at Miss Bodycote's, a corpse falls out of the chimney in her room. Something to investigate!

But this investigation is different from the norm for Flavia. Instead of an examination of the corpse, long hours in the chemistry lab and a solution that is more based on science than anything else, this case depends to a large degree on Flavia's investigation of people and relationships. There are other types of mysteries new to Flavia as well, because here she doesn't know the identity of the body, and this killing seems to be tied up with events that occurred before Flavia arrived in Canada, including the disappearances of other girls from the Academy and at least one mysterious death.

This is a very fast and entertaining read. Flavia's voice seems to be maturing appropriately, though she is still nearly as irrepressible as ever. There are so many characters in this one that it can be a little confusing, and the resolution of the crime was a bit rushed and didn't seem all that convincing. I missed the characters back at Bishop's Lacey, though this change of setting made sense for the further development of Flavia's character.

Though reading the previous books in the series would be best, this book could be read and enjoyed as a standalone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
colin anton
I think Flavia de Luce is at her best when in her native surroundings, among the cast of secondary characters readers have come to know and love. Flavia works best when she has them around to support and play off of, with the ghost of Uncle Tar blessing her home chemistry lab, and the environs of Buckshaw (with her sisters and father and good old Dogger) and the village adding character and atmosphere. I felt as adrift as Flavia, keenly missing the same things. Still, it was great to visit with Flavia again and, as always, I enjoyed Alan Bradley's prose and style. I've enjoyed other books in the series more, however. I'd be tempted to give this book 3 stars for these reasons, but Flavia gets an extra star just for being her. ?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephen smith
Falvia, banished! Our petite poisoner is now the ripe old age of 12, the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance has been solved, and the family should have closure. Instead, Flavia learns of more family intrigue and is then sent away to from her dear Buckshaw and Bishop's Lacey, across the ocean to Canada. In Canada, she will attend the same prestigious girls' school her mother attended, a school that focus not necessarily on decorum and womanly ways, but intrigue and mayhem. Only hours after Flavia's arrival, she is faced with her first dead body. The scandal! The chaos! Flavia is immediately in her element, but also very much out of her element. She no longer has her trustworthy Dogger, her sniping sisters, or even her aloof father nearby. Instead she must make do with a fabulous and sometimes frightening folks at Miss Bodycot's Female Academy, people she barely knows and certainly dares not trust. Alan Bradley has twisted a new knot in the Flavia de Luce series and I hope he has more adventure in store for one of my favorite characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marnie
This was my first taste of Flavia de Luce & I loved it from beginning to end. She's sharp and bright and a chemistry whiz. Watching a transplanted Brit fumble and try to be nonchalant in Canada was a hoot, like hearing your French teacher do an American accent. I loved the motley girls' school cast of shifting allies and villains. I loved Flavia's tricks to ferret out clues and flee the scene and get people to divulge secrets, from playing stupid to tricks of posture and expression to vomiting on command. I loved her hilarious and wry way of describing people and places, and loved her frank esteem for both literature and science. All in all, she's a delightful young heroine and I can't wait to go back and tear through the other books immediately, and to have them all on hand to pass along when my wee daughter is reading for herself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer dopazo
Ah, Flavia! How I adore Flavia de Luce and her adventures. She is one of the best characters ever created-a tween girl that is a chemical genius and gets up to the most madcap adventures involving murders and poisons and grand ghoulish things! Wonderful stuff!! In this book, the story of Flavia’s mother, the magnificent Harriet, has been wrapped up so Flavia needs something new. She is sent away to Canada (!) to attend boarding school. Her mother attended there, so off we go with Flavia.

Of course there is a mystery at the school, and the secondary plot of mysterious spyness is perfect. Flavia doesn’t get to do her ‘chemistry thing’ as we saw in previous books-she is growing up on us and must learn new methods to find the solution. I did like the character development of Flavia in this one but it is a different sort of Flavia; I like the direction Alan Bradley is taking with her and look forward to the next installment. I received a copy of the book-the review is my own opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
james douglas
This is the latest of several Flavia De Luce mysteries that I have read and enjoyed. In this novel, our precocious preteen heroine leaves her ancestral home, Buckshaw, to attend her mother's boarding school in Canada where she will be schooled in becoming an agent for the English government. Of course, Flavia discovers a murder on her first day at the school and spends the balance of the book solving the mystery. Although the descriptions of the boarding school and its students, faculty and "code" are interesting, I, like Flavia, miss Buckshaw.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the entries in this series, I suggest that you start with one of the earlier books to get the background and atmosphere of the novels. If you have read others in the series, you will enjoy this book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shadowspun
Bradley's treatment of Flavia in this story shows him asleep at the wheel.
The story is disappointing on nearly every level. Bradley brings Flavia to his native Toronto to go to her Mother's school and I hoped for big things, local color, a reason to be there. However he fails to give us a credible story, makes no use of Canada near Niagara Falls, and presents a Flavia who babbles "pheasant sandwiches" or "Nide" to everyone she meets despite Aunt Felicity's order not to. Further, she gets no credit for solving the mystery, she gets drummed out of the corps again, and the mystery solution is not satisfactory. It is stated that Aunt Felicity dropped a bundle to keep this school working. But there is nothing for the ancestral home? The list is long but I won't tell the whole tale.
Bradley coasted on this story.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
vernika singla
I have enjoyed all of the other Flavia novels but this one disappoints. The story starts and stops and never picks up any momentum. I eventually lost interest but did finish the book. The author had an opportunity to build a new world for Flavia in Canada and set the series on an all new trajectory. But, he never quite figures out what that world should look like. In the end, he just appears to give up on the whole idea of a new world.

Flavia's usually clever monologue begins to sound a bit tired in this book - her schtick is getting too repetitive. I suspect Bradley is getting tired of writing these. He should stop Flavia and start something new.

If you are reading the Flavia novels in order, stop before you read this one. Let the series go out on a high note.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
donnam
I was curious how Flavia would one get mixed up in but two able to solve a murder away from home. Flavia is away at school with no one by her side, strangers even escort her to Canada. Her school is an old convent with dead body in the chimney falling out literally on her first night in Canada. Flavia has to work alone to figure out the identity of the victim and the killer all while balancing school, homesickness, and the mysterious family business we discovered in the last book. I enjoyed the murder solving and seeing Flavia without her normal comforts, but the whole entry into the family business was just odd and a bit muddled.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan parry
Okay, look, I've been reading, reviewing, and raving about the Flavia de Luce series since it first began.

And, I intend to continue to do so as long as Bradley keeps up the quality (which seems to be as long as he chooses to write these awesome adventures.

The problem is, I'm running out of new things to say and the writer in me hates taking the easy way out by simply saying see my past reviews.

So, let me just commit.

While you can probably find a book by another author that would compare favourably to any single book in the series; perhaps even surpass it, in terms of consistency in writing, plotting, character development, and just plain fun, THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST MYSTERY SERIES OF THE 21ST CENTURY... thus far.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jasmin iolani hakes
The longer a series lives, the greater the chance that is has peaked and should be put to bed. Charlaine Harris, I'm looking at you. Fortunately this has yet to happen with Bradley's Flavia DeLuce series, in which our little heroine is maneuvering her way through murder, social hurtles, and boarding school. I had some expectation of being forced to go through "growing pains" with Flavia as she entered a new realm at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto. But I didn't! Bradley kept the story moving along without forcing the reader to experience the usual rigors of adolescent life. Instead we are treated to a tantalising mystery with a brand new cast of suspects and allies. And, if you're listening to the Audible version, Jayne Entwhistle provides an excellent reading, bringing Flavia to delightful life with her telling. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and look forward to further adventures.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nyima
I was a little concerned that without Buckshaw, we would lose part of what makes Flavia, well, Flavia. Happy to say my fears were unfounded and Flavia's trek (banishment?!) to Canada and Miss Bodycote's Female Academy, (the boarding school her very own mother, Harriet, once attended), turns out to be a good turning point in this series. As with any good boarding school tale, there are nicknames, day girls, live-ins and even a teacher with a criminal record. Alone as the new girl in her single room, Flavia is stunned when a girl sneaks up on her, and a mysteriously wrapped bundle falls from the chimney. Unsure of who to trust or believe, we quickly enter a mystery involving both the bundle and three missing girls that no one wants to talk about. Bradley writes very well about Flavia's homesickness, even for her sisters, making this unsure 12 year old an even more likable heroine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jafar mortazavi
I have read and enjoyed the entire series of Flavia de Luce books. In this latest entry, the locale has changed from Buckshaw to Canada. The change of venue was a quick refresh for the series and is allowing Flavia to grow a bit beyond her ancestral home and her immediate family. She is, as ever, quick witted and sharp tongued. It will be fun to watch Flavia grow up (very slowly, please!) and see what new adventures she can get into.

The book was a quick read for me and I enjoyed every bit. I think that it would be best for new readers to read the backlist first. It would be possible to enjoy this book as a stand-alone read but the character of Flavia grows with each ensuring book and a reader would get the best possible outcome by knowing more about Flavia, her prior adventures, and her family. The book is not a children's book but is a mystery of the first order.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
yehoni
Thank you to the publisher via NetGalley for giving me a digital copy of Mr. Bradley's 7th Novel about Flavia de Luce in exchange for my honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel in which our young chemist and investigator does her thing in Canada. She has been shipped off to Canada to attend a boarding school where her deceased mother had been a student. Things get off to a scary start for her but Flavia can handle it. She's always ready for solving murders and her brilliant understanding of chemistry helps her out once again.

Mr. Bradley does a great job of pacing his new novel. The new characters are well-developed if not well-liked! Flavia is as charming as ever. I've read most of the Flavia novels and will look forward to the 8th one, hopefully soon.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jessica shortall
Flavia never disappoints. For a 12 year old she certainly solves more than her share of murders and mysteries, and provides so much fun while doing it.

Flavia is "banished" to Canada to attend the alma mater of her deceased mother. This creates more questions as to the secrets and spying her mother was involved in; who else enters the picture of this secret organization and as Flavia is told: "trust no one". And as usual for Flavia, her first night at the school, finds a body falling from the fireplace in her room. Lots of questions, lots of characters, and of course, "trust on one".

I think Flavia secretly is very homesick even to the point of missing her two sisters. She makes a big decision, and for reasons yet to be disclosed, Flavia is banished again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amber knox
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley.

Flavia is on her way to Canada crossing the pond cruising away from all that's familiar. Miss Fawlthorne welcomes Flavia to Miss Bodycote's Female Academy. Flavia is shown to her room, the Edith Cavell room. All is so strange and indifferent to Flavia that is until as she strolls the halls of the Academy she comes across the framed portraits of former students that have since passed. And Flavia stops by the portrait of her Mother, Harriet. One familiar face.

Flavia may have been out of England and away from Buskshaw and Gladys and her beloved Duggar, but she was still Flavia in every sense.

Another excellent entry in the Flavia de Luce series. She's as captivating as always although far from home.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marie palmer
I like this series, but this one was more difficult than others to get through. I still love her brazenness, her brilliance, and her stubbornness. This book left a lot unanswered and I was as frustrated as Flavia about not getting straightforward answers. This story as a part of the whole arc seemed like a sidetrack, and a unnecessary one at that, other than to show us how lonely and isolated she is, which we already know.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
masoud omidvar
I was worried when Mr. Bradley decided to change venues for Flavia in this sixth installment. However, I need not have wasted my energy, because this novel was just as satisfying, charming, and suspenseful as the others. Flavia is in Canada for only a few hours when a corpse comes from the chimney in her bedroom. This incident opens the door to an adventure that keeps you guessing from the very beginning. All of the wit that made Flavia the charming heroine we all love is still evident while she's in Canada, and there are many laughs and tears to be had throughout her adventure.

I did miss Gladys and Dogger, but maybe we'll get to see them in the next book. It's interesting to think a bicycle could be one of my favorite characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tony latham
Be it known to all that her name is pronounced “Flay – via”, as in “brave.” And that’s an apt bit of information for this year’s adventure. Flavia has been shipped off to a boarding school in Canada by her family, and it’s not long before she finds a dead body. More precisely, the body that was stuffed up the chimney at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy comes crashing down into her room with the disconnected head rolling to her feet. From there on, it’s a hunt for the identity of the body, and the head – and three long-missing students. This seventh in the series is an enjoyable romp, though not top-tier. The story rambles a bit and there is one major hole in the plot, i.e. we never learn the reason for Fabian’s disguise.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katie hardewig
Being a Canadian fan of the series, I was hoping that the author would do for Toronto what he did for Buckshaw, but if one is to judge from this book it appears that Mr Bradley has little artistic feeling for his country of origin and its people. I had the definite perception that this narrative about little Flavia's stay in Canada was written by an outsider merely looking at maps to get the correct place names- and that transferred to the plot and the writing too, I fear. Perhaps it's easier to write about imaginary places as opposed to real ones but the author's usual style is cramped here. Still a good book, just weaker than the others- I think it's the joy that's lacking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sumeera
This is probably my least favorite of the series. Buckshaw and Flavia's family are such essential parts to the plot, I felt this book, set at boarding school in Canada, was distinctly lacking. I was reminded a little of Hogwarts; there was a wide array of new characters, but not particularly memorable or likeable ones. I found myself as homesick as Flavia and was glad to see the book end. I trust the next will be a return to the setting and family that I love.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kurt marsh
Twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce has been sent (in her mind, exiled) from her home in England to a strict girls’ boarding school in Canada. But, as readers who have read other books in the Flavia de Luce series know, this smart, funny girl seems to find mysteries and trouble.

In this novel, a dead body falls down from a chimney. But whose is it? Is all of it from the same person? Is it the body of a girl who went missing about two years before? Who of this very secretive lot of teachers and students may or may not know more than they seem to know? Who is hiding what information, and who knows nothing? Is a classmate of Flavia’s truly sent back home for FF (failure to flourish), and could Flavia face the same fate?

Bradley does use British terminology (“mistress” for a female teacher, for instance); this should not pose any difficulty for readers and actually adds to the mood.

Readers do find some “red herrings” here – times where readers think they might know who did what – but plot twists show otherwise. This is a standard technique in mysteries, but Bradley does exceptionally well.

I liked the characterization as well. Flavia is smart and spunky. The schoolmistresses are “drawn” well; they did not impress me as the standard clueless adults one often sees in novels with a younger protagonist.

This is a gentler type of mystery; there is no foul language or undue violence, mild peril only, and some “ick factor.” I could recommend it for readers Flavia’s age and older. I will look for more in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aj oakes
This is another delightful installment in the Flavia de Luce Series. I enjoyed reading Flavia's adventures in this one when she is sent to boarding school in Toronto, Canada. Poor Flavia does not want to be sent away from her family, but aside from acting as her normal murder-solving sleuth, she also learns some things about her deceased mother. I thought this one was fun and entertaining, as is usual for Flavia's adventures. I'm already looking forward to the next book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
orsi nagy
This was my first Flavia novel. I am now going to go back and read the others because I simply love her.

As someone new to the series, there was a little backstory that I was missing. But though it truly didn't work as a standalone, I still enjoyed the heck out of it. The story is suspenseful and a little spooky.And Flavia herself was such a wonderful character - brilliant, snarky, dark, and somehow still sweet. I want to be her!

If, like me, this is your first introduction to Flavia, I think you'll enjoy the story and find yourself inspired to read the rest of the series.

Now I've got to go read book one!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
bobbi woods
I have loved this series up to now, and I hope that the author returns to his earlier standards in future books. We must, when reading mysteries, be willing to suspend disbelief to a certain extent. After all, what is the statistical likelihood of someone who does not work for the police or a detective agency to encounter murders every month or so? That being said, for a mystery to hold me, it must present somewhat plausible situations. (Warning--my last paragraph of the review will have a minor spoiler.) What we discover to be the true nature of the girls' school in this book is ridiculous. Also, none of the new characters in this--and they are all new, other than Flavia--is anything but sketchy and one-dimensional. No one is interesting, including the "acquitted murderess" chemistry teacher that Flavia is infatuated with before she even meets her. In fact, there is almost no description of any character other than physical sketches. (Also, I find it odd that Flavia idolizes a woman who apparently poisoned her husband and got away with it but strongly disapproves of other people committing murder). I listened to this an]s an audiobook, and as always, the actress is spot on. But the book itself is deeply disappointing. When everything is more or less resolved at the end, it is so ridiculous I was flabbergasted, which says a lot, given I already thought the book was a loser.

For one thing--minor spoiler alert--we discover that one of these young girls has, under the direction of the people who run the school, managed to pass herself off as a brand new student for two years, while everyone, including her own sister, believes that she has vanished and is probably dead. Her disguise consists of nothing more than changing the way she walks, altering her voice a bit, changing her hair color and style, and wearing heavy face powder to change her complexion. And NONE of the other students, including the sister, ever recognizes her. (Or, apparently, wonders why a girl in her early teens constantly wears a ton of face powder--which evidently doesn't match the color of the rest of her skin, either.) However, by the end, I did;t much care about what was passing as a mystery anyway. The book managed to steadily kill my interest in the "mysteries" confronting Flavia though sheer boredom. When no one is interesting, how can we care about "whys" and "hows"?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
antonia vitale
Flavia is banished to her mother's old school in Canada. Being Flavia,she is assigned to a residence room and a body falls out of the fireplace chimney. She is immediately on the case; with strangers in this strange land, Not even Gladys is available as a sounding board and transportation. Sorting the ally's from the enemies; this school has more secret societies than Yale, takes up a large part of the book. Flavia does seem destined to be deemed FF(Failed to Flourish) but instead wins through to finish with a flourish.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sean sullivan
I would not spill too many beans were I to say that in volume 007, Flaiva is older (12), wiser (IQ = 134) and exiled to the frozen tundra (Toronto.) Sad and virtually alone, Flavia, nevertheless, quickly returns to her “A-game” as murder goes “thump” in the night. The autodidact expat reaches out to the reader for solace as she bobs about in a sea of chilled intrigue and indifference. Bereft of home laboratory advantage, she artfully finagles local facilities and, in fact, does more with less.
“Chimney Sweepers” seemed to break slowly from the blocks, but once it hit its stride it managed to raise the pulse and reach a delightful conclusion. As the final pages turn, the author drops clues that romance and intrigue await in volume 008.
One of the most rewarding aspects of volumes 001-006 was the author’s extraordinary display of creative word-play. His unique figures of speech blessed every page if not paragraph. He made “getting there, more than half the fun.” Not so much in volume 007. The polish lacked the expected luster. I trust that the remaining volumes in the Flavia de Luce series will return to the meticulous craftsmanship of the initial half-dozen.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lona burroughs
From the first book, I've been a fan of the Flavia de Luce series of what I can only describe as "dark cozy" mysteries featuring a tween sleuth. Genius-level in science, but utterly perplexed at the doings/thinkings of adults, Flavia is one of the more unique heroines of contemporary fiction. Add that author Bradley breathes life into her character in a way unmatched as she navigates each book's crimes--it's hard not to like these novels.

Which is why it's hard for me to say that I did not like _As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust_ as well as earlier books. Bradley ships Flavia off to a Canadian girls' boarding school--and that's all well and good, as a change of scenery is needed seven books into the series. That Flavia encounters a corpse stuffed in a chimney, an acquitted murderer with whom she bonds, and the creepiness of a secretive institution hiding a possibly lurid past...well, it's a great start for the novel. Flavia attempts to sort out which staff are for her or against her, and the same for the host of schoolgirls who may have their own secrets. In the end, she solves the case--and is typical for the books--lets another garner the praise.

PROS:
* Great scenery change. Miss Bodycote's Female Academy proves a fine setting.
* Bradley fills the book with plenty of witty lines, similes, and metaphors.
* The flavor of the early 1950s truly comes through.
* Just when one looks impossible, Flavia manages some great escapes .
* Our favorite young detective must work her magic differently than in the past, which adds another level of sleuthing to her arsenal.

CONS:
* The cast of characters is hard to follow and Bradley doesn't flesh out many of the faculty or girls, so they feel indistinguishable or mere types.
* The pacing in this book was uneven. Even granting grace for establishing a new setting, the book took a long time to take off and had more scenes where little happened or felt intended solely to obfuscate the mystery elements.
* Following what was happening--and why--was more difficult in this book. Pieces did not come together as smoothly.
* The previous novel added a a surprising new revelation about Flavia, her mother, and the de Luce family. That proved less developed in this book than it should have been. Touched upon, yes; bolstered, no.
* Flavia's motivations have always been a little nebulous, but why she does what she does in this book are more impenetrable than usual, with some of her dialog with others and her inner voice both downright murky.

Don't get me wrong! This is a fantastic series. Only this novel wasn't quite as satisfying as its predecessors, despite all the fresh elements Bradley brings to it. Let's hope he returns to form in the next book and keeps Flavia going as a character for the ages.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dimple
In my opinion, this volume is by far the weakest in the series, which is really disappointing since I loved the one that came before it and thought the series was really picking up. After six books set in rural England, I was looking forward to seeing Flavia in new scenery, turning a corner into an adult life. Plus, the idea of her "secret education" in addition to the usual boarding school capers seemed like particularly good fun. I was hoping for the "Miss Bodycote's" years of the Flavia series.

This book didn't deliver on any of those promises. For those of you who like a good boarding school story, with friends and enemies and nighttime revels and scrapes galore, you will be disappointed to learn that there is practically none of the above. We hardly meet Flavia's schoolmates or teachers and she doesn't even really go to class. For those of you who like a good mystery, not only was it not clear what the real mystery was (missing girls? dead ex-wife?) there wasn't much in the way of clearing it up, either. And for those of you who, like me, were interested in Flavia's nascent career as some kind of spy, well--no one will talk about that, and they will repeatedly tell you that they can't talk about that, until you're pretty sure that the author himself has no idea where he's going with it.

Then, to cap it all off, Flavia (spoiler alert) gets sent back home to England at the end of the book, so I guess this was less of a turning point in the series than a brief and confusing excursion. Did her sainted mother also spend no more than two weeks at the academy where she's worshiped? I was hoping for new, interesting characters, and a new, interesting plot. I got neither. Do I sound bitter? I feel bitter. I was really looking forward to this one, and I'm afraid it was a dud.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bess
This review originally appeared on my blog at www.gimmethatbook.com

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for this review.

This 7th outing of Flavia De Luce’s adventures is so much better than the last few have been. I was growing so weary of the same old thing that I skipped #6, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. To me, the plots were becoming rote: body, murder, adventure, droll humor, ending.

Now I regret not reading book #6 only because I feel like I missed a turning point. Chemistry loving Flavia is growing up, and the series is fresh again. The setting is new, the characters are new, and we are seeing a new side of Ms De Luce as well.

Flavia has been sent to a girls’ boarding school in Canada, which was noted in the ending of book #6. She is to become a member of an organization called the Nide, following in the footsteps of her mother, who is revered as a goddess at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy. On Flavia’s first night there, a body falls out of a chimney, and wham! shes off working on another murder. She is very homesick, and references are made to the Buckshaw clan only via our heroine’s thoughts.

There is a lot of interaction between Flavia and the other students, and I found the conversations to be razor sharp and fun to read. The condescending tones which the adults use to interact with Flavia are gone, and it seems that everyone is treated more or less, as an equal. Of course, there is the caste system found in all schools, but since this is a classroom that is supposedly turning women into spies or the like, everyone is assumed to be intelligent and well-spoken.

I loved the whole tone of this book! The only problem I had is that it seemed that the plot was going in circles, with tiny plotlets added to round out her experience at school. Even though the conversations with her peers were scintillating, it seems that much of the content had to be read between the lines, and that got to be exhausting. By the time the murder was solved I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on. Is Flavia IN the Nide? Was the ending happy or sad? It seemed to me that the secret society was like Fight Club–don’t talk about it. This vagueness was the only thing that bothered me. Otherwise, you will see Flavia maturing and coming to terms with new emotions, with flashes of the egotistical mad chemist here and there.

Bradley has given me new faith in this series, and I will go back to read #6. For those who have been following our girl all along–you will like this, as long as you don’t expect to be reading about Daffy, Feely, Dogger, and Bishop’s Lacey. This was a refreshing break; a cleansing of the palate. As Flavia would say, it was a “jolly good” read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sean sullivan
I love this series, and it was great fun to see Flavia in a new location (a new country!) and interacting with children her own age as well as authority figures. I really enjoy the mystery and watching the characters unfold - and I have to say I like that it's not too horribly gruesome. Fun and clever in the way that Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers mysteries are. We are watching the Artful Detective series on TV which also takes place in Toronto (although 1890's rather than 1950's) - fun! I think I've used the word "fun" enough for one review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kay vavrina
Very very good book. This was our first Flavia novel and my daughter loved it. We will definitely be looking for more. Very well written with challenging vocabulary and interesting plot. The main character is engaging in a different and odd sort of way. Definitely not a cookie cutter girl. Heads up - Some parents may object to the use of cigarettes and Ouija boards. The Ouija board episode had the main character scoffing at it and many people in the book, excluding the main character, smoke.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
catdwm
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley.

Flavia is on her way to Canada crossing the pond cruising away from all that's familiar. Miss Fawlthorne welcomes Flavia to Miss Bodycote's Female Academy. Flavia is shown to her room, the Edith Cavell room. All is so strange and indifferent to Flavia that is until as she strolls the halls of the Academy she comes across the framed portraits of former students that have since passed. And Flavia stops by the portrait of her Mother, Harriet. One familiar face.

Flavia may have been out of England and away from Buskshaw and Gladys and her beloved Duggar, but she was still Flavia in every sense.

Another excellent entry in the Flavia de Luce series. She's as captivating as always although far from home.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
crystal mackay
I like this series, but this one was more difficult than others to get through. I still love her brazenness, her brilliance, and her stubbornness. This book left a lot unanswered and I was as frustrated as Flavia about not getting straightforward answers. This story as a part of the whole arc seemed like a sidetrack, and a unnecessary one at that, other than to show us how lonely and isolated she is, which we already know.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nikoleta
I was worried when Mr. Bradley decided to change venues for Flavia in this sixth installment. However, I need not have wasted my energy, because this novel was just as satisfying, charming, and suspenseful as the others. Flavia is in Canada for only a few hours when a corpse comes from the chimney in her bedroom. This incident opens the door to an adventure that keeps you guessing from the very beginning. All of the wit that made Flavia the charming heroine we all love is still evident while she's in Canada, and there are many laughs and tears to be had throughout her adventure.

I did miss Gladys and Dogger, but maybe we'll get to see them in the next book. It's interesting to think a bicycle could be one of my favorite characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sonali
Be it known to all that her name is pronounced “Flay – via”, as in “brave.” And that’s an apt bit of information for this year’s adventure. Flavia has been shipped off to a boarding school in Canada by her family, and it’s not long before she finds a dead body. More precisely, the body that was stuffed up the chimney at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy comes crashing down into her room with the disconnected head rolling to her feet. From there on, it’s a hunt for the identity of the body, and the head – and three long-missing students. This seventh in the series is an enjoyable romp, though not top-tier. The story rambles a bit and there is one major hole in the plot, i.e. we never learn the reason for Fabian’s disguise.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eman g
Being a Canadian fan of the series, I was hoping that the author would do for Toronto what he did for Buckshaw, but if one is to judge from this book it appears that Mr Bradley has little artistic feeling for his country of origin and its people. I had the definite perception that this narrative about little Flavia's stay in Canada was written by an outsider merely looking at maps to get the correct place names- and that transferred to the plot and the writing too, I fear. Perhaps it's easier to write about imaginary places as opposed to real ones but the author's usual style is cramped here. Still a good book, just weaker than the others- I think it's the joy that's lacking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
criseida
This is probably my least favorite of the series. Buckshaw and Flavia's family are such essential parts to the plot, I felt this book, set at boarding school in Canada, was distinctly lacking. I was reminded a little of Hogwarts; there was a wide array of new characters, but not particularly memorable or likeable ones. I found myself as homesick as Flavia and was glad to see the book end. I trust the next will be a return to the setting and family that I love.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christian hamaker
Twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce has been sent (in her mind, exiled) from her home in England to a strict girls’ boarding school in Canada. But, as readers who have read other books in the Flavia de Luce series know, this smart, funny girl seems to find mysteries and trouble.

In this novel, a dead body falls down from a chimney. But whose is it? Is all of it from the same person? Is it the body of a girl who went missing about two years before? Who of this very secretive lot of teachers and students may or may not know more than they seem to know? Who is hiding what information, and who knows nothing? Is a classmate of Flavia’s truly sent back home for FF (failure to flourish), and could Flavia face the same fate?

Bradley does use British terminology (“mistress” for a female teacher, for instance); this should not pose any difficulty for readers and actually adds to the mood.

Readers do find some “red herrings” here – times where readers think they might know who did what – but plot twists show otherwise. This is a standard technique in mysteries, but Bradley does exceptionally well.

I liked the characterization as well. Flavia is smart and spunky. The schoolmistresses are “drawn” well; they did not impress me as the standard clueless adults one often sees in novels with a younger protagonist.

This is a gentler type of mystery; there is no foul language or undue violence, mild peril only, and some “ick factor.” I could recommend it for readers Flavia’s age and older. I will look for more in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tiffani clinger
This is another delightful installment in the Flavia de Luce Series. I enjoyed reading Flavia's adventures in this one when she is sent to boarding school in Toronto, Canada. Poor Flavia does not want to be sent away from her family, but aside from acting as her normal murder-solving sleuth, she also learns some things about her deceased mother. I thought this one was fun and entertaining, as is usual for Flavia's adventures. I'm already looking forward to the next book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
o0juju0o26
This was my first Flavia novel. I am now going to go back and read the others because I simply love her.

As someone new to the series, there was a little backstory that I was missing. But though it truly didn't work as a standalone, I still enjoyed the heck out of it. The story is suspenseful and a little spooky.And Flavia herself was such a wonderful character - brilliant, snarky, dark, and somehow still sweet. I want to be her!

If, like me, this is your first introduction to Flavia, I think you'll enjoy the story and find yourself inspired to read the rest of the series.

Now I've got to go read book one!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lobsang yeshi
I have loved this series up to now, and I hope that the author returns to his earlier standards in future books. We must, when reading mysteries, be willing to suspend disbelief to a certain extent. After all, what is the statistical likelihood of someone who does not work for the police or a detective agency to encounter murders every month or so? That being said, for a mystery to hold me, it must present somewhat plausible situations. (Warning--my last paragraph of the review will have a minor spoiler.) What we discover to be the true nature of the girls' school in this book is ridiculous. Also, none of the new characters in this--and they are all new, other than Flavia--is anything but sketchy and one-dimensional. No one is interesting, including the "acquitted murderess" chemistry teacher that Flavia is infatuated with before she even meets her. In fact, there is almost no description of any character other than physical sketches. (Also, I find it odd that Flavia idolizes a woman who apparently poisoned her husband and got away with it but strongly disapproves of other people committing murder). I listened to this an]s an audiobook, and as always, the actress is spot on. But the book itself is deeply disappointing. When everything is more or less resolved at the end, it is so ridiculous I was flabbergasted, which says a lot, given I already thought the book was a loser.

For one thing--minor spoiler alert--we discover that one of these young girls has, under the direction of the people who run the school, managed to pass herself off as a brand new student for two years, while everyone, including her own sister, believes that she has vanished and is probably dead. Her disguise consists of nothing more than changing the way she walks, altering her voice a bit, changing her hair color and style, and wearing heavy face powder to change her complexion. And NONE of the other students, including the sister, ever recognizes her. (Or, apparently, wonders why a girl in her early teens constantly wears a ton of face powder--which evidently doesn't match the color of the rest of her skin, either.) However, by the end, I did;t much care about what was passing as a mystery anyway. The book managed to steadily kill my interest in the "mysteries" confronting Flavia though sheer boredom. When no one is interesting, how can we care about "whys" and "hows"?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chris burd
Flavia is banished to her mother's old school in Canada. Being Flavia,she is assigned to a residence room and a body falls out of the fireplace chimney. She is immediately on the case; with strangers in this strange land, Not even Gladys is available as a sounding board and transportation. Sorting the ally's from the enemies; this school has more secret societies than Yale, takes up a large part of the book. Flavia does seem destined to be deemed FF(Failed to Flourish) but instead wins through to finish with a flourish.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mia mcdaniels
I would not spill too many beans were I to say that in volume 007, Flaiva is older (12), wiser (IQ = 134) and exiled to the frozen tundra (Toronto.) Sad and virtually alone, Flavia, nevertheless, quickly returns to her “A-game” as murder goes “thump” in the night. The autodidact expat reaches out to the reader for solace as she bobs about in a sea of chilled intrigue and indifference. Bereft of home laboratory advantage, she artfully finagles local facilities and, in fact, does more with less.
“Chimney Sweepers” seemed to break slowly from the blocks, but once it hit its stride it managed to raise the pulse and reach a delightful conclusion. As the final pages turn, the author drops clues that romance and intrigue await in volume 008.
One of the most rewarding aspects of volumes 001-006 was the author’s extraordinary display of creative word-play. His unique figures of speech blessed every page if not paragraph. He made “getting there, more than half the fun.” Not so much in volume 007. The polish lacked the expected luster. I trust that the remaining volumes in the Flavia de Luce series will return to the meticulous craftsmanship of the initial half-dozen.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amorn tangjitpeanpong
From the first book, I've been a fan of the Flavia de Luce series of what I can only describe as "dark cozy" mysteries featuring a tween sleuth. Genius-level in science, but utterly perplexed at the doings/thinkings of adults, Flavia is one of the more unique heroines of contemporary fiction. Add that author Bradley breathes life into her character in a way unmatched as she navigates each book's crimes--it's hard not to like these novels.

Which is why it's hard for me to say that I did not like _As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust_ as well as earlier books. Bradley ships Flavia off to a Canadian girls' boarding school--and that's all well and good, as a change of scenery is needed seven books into the series. That Flavia encounters a corpse stuffed in a chimney, an acquitted murderer with whom she bonds, and the creepiness of a secretive institution hiding a possibly lurid past...well, it's a great start for the novel. Flavia attempts to sort out which staff are for her or against her, and the same for the host of schoolgirls who may have their own secrets. In the end, she solves the case--and is typical for the books--lets another garner the praise.

PROS:
* Great scenery change. Miss Bodycote's Female Academy proves a fine setting.
* Bradley fills the book with plenty of witty lines, similes, and metaphors.
* The flavor of the early 1950s truly comes through.
* Just when one looks impossible, Flavia manages some great escapes .
* Our favorite young detective must work her magic differently than in the past, which adds another level of sleuthing to her arsenal.

CONS:
* The cast of characters is hard to follow and Bradley doesn't flesh out many of the faculty or girls, so they feel indistinguishable or mere types.
* The pacing in this book was uneven. Even granting grace for establishing a new setting, the book took a long time to take off and had more scenes where little happened or felt intended solely to obfuscate the mystery elements.
* Following what was happening--and why--was more difficult in this book. Pieces did not come together as smoothly.
* The previous novel added a a surprising new revelation about Flavia, her mother, and the de Luce family. That proved less developed in this book than it should have been. Touched upon, yes; bolstered, no.
* Flavia's motivations have always been a little nebulous, but why she does what she does in this book are more impenetrable than usual, with some of her dialog with others and her inner voice both downright murky.

Don't get me wrong! This is a fantastic series. Only this novel wasn't quite as satisfying as its predecessors, despite all the fresh elements Bradley brings to it. Let's hope he returns to form in the next book and keeps Flavia going as a character for the ages.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
trina
In my opinion, this volume is by far the weakest in the series, which is really disappointing since I loved the one that came before it and thought the series was really picking up. After six books set in rural England, I was looking forward to seeing Flavia in new scenery, turning a corner into an adult life. Plus, the idea of her "secret education" in addition to the usual boarding school capers seemed like particularly good fun. I was hoping for the "Miss Bodycote's" years of the Flavia series.

This book didn't deliver on any of those promises. For those of you who like a good boarding school story, with friends and enemies and nighttime revels and scrapes galore, you will be disappointed to learn that there is practically none of the above. We hardly meet Flavia's schoolmates or teachers and she doesn't even really go to class. For those of you who like a good mystery, not only was it not clear what the real mystery was (missing girls? dead ex-wife?) there wasn't much in the way of clearing it up, either. And for those of you who, like me, were interested in Flavia's nascent career as some kind of spy, well--no one will talk about that, and they will repeatedly tell you that they can't talk about that, until you're pretty sure that the author himself has no idea where he's going with it.

Then, to cap it all off, Flavia (spoiler alert) gets sent back home to England at the end of the book, so I guess this was less of a turning point in the series than a brief and confusing excursion. Did her sainted mother also spend no more than two weeks at the academy where she's worshiped? I was hoping for new, interesting characters, and a new, interesting plot. I got neither. Do I sound bitter? I feel bitter. I was really looking forward to this one, and I'm afraid it was a dud.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shani
This review originally appeared on my blog at www.gimmethatbook.com

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for this review.

This 7th outing of Flavia De Luce’s adventures is so much better than the last few have been. I was growing so weary of the same old thing that I skipped #6, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. To me, the plots were becoming rote: body, murder, adventure, droll humor, ending.

Now I regret not reading book #6 only because I feel like I missed a turning point. Chemistry loving Flavia is growing up, and the series is fresh again. The setting is new, the characters are new, and we are seeing a new side of Ms De Luce as well.

Flavia has been sent to a girls’ boarding school in Canada, which was noted in the ending of book #6. She is to become a member of an organization called the Nide, following in the footsteps of her mother, who is revered as a goddess at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy. On Flavia’s first night there, a body falls out of a chimney, and wham! shes off working on another murder. She is very homesick, and references are made to the Buckshaw clan only via our heroine’s thoughts.

There is a lot of interaction between Flavia and the other students, and I found the conversations to be razor sharp and fun to read. The condescending tones which the adults use to interact with Flavia are gone, and it seems that everyone is treated more or less, as an equal. Of course, there is the caste system found in all schools, but since this is a classroom that is supposedly turning women into spies or the like, everyone is assumed to be intelligent and well-spoken.

I loved the whole tone of this book! The only problem I had is that it seemed that the plot was going in circles, with tiny plotlets added to round out her experience at school. Even though the conversations with her peers were scintillating, it seems that much of the content had to be read between the lines, and that got to be exhausting. By the time the murder was solved I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on. Is Flavia IN the Nide? Was the ending happy or sad? It seemed to me that the secret society was like Fight Club–don’t talk about it. This vagueness was the only thing that bothered me. Otherwise, you will see Flavia maturing and coming to terms with new emotions, with flashes of the egotistical mad chemist here and there.

Bradley has given me new faith in this series, and I will go back to read #6. For those who have been following our girl all along–you will like this, as long as you don’t expect to be reading about Daffy, Feely, Dogger, and Bishop’s Lacey. This was a refreshing break; a cleansing of the palate. As Flavia would say, it was a “jolly good” read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah lane
I love this series, and it was great fun to see Flavia in a new location (a new country!) and interacting with children her own age as well as authority figures. I really enjoy the mystery and watching the characters unfold - and I have to say I like that it's not too horribly gruesome. Fun and clever in the way that Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers mysteries are. We are watching the Artful Detective series on TV which also takes place in Toronto (although 1890's rather than 1950's) - fun! I think I've used the word "fun" enough for one review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
namrata arora
Very very good book. This was our first Flavia novel and my daughter loved it. We will definitely be looking for more. Very well written with challenging vocabulary and interesting plot. The main character is engaging in a different and odd sort of way. Definitely not a cookie cutter girl. Heads up - Some parents may object to the use of cigarettes and Ouija boards. The Ouija board episode had the main character scoffing at it and many people in the book, excluding the main character, smoke.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
susan schwake
Let's bring Flavia back to England, to stay. I miss the girl who has unlimited freedom and rides her bike where ever she needs to go. I waited for months for this book to be released. Hooray it came. I loved it about two thirds through and then not so much. I miss my bike-riding wind in the hair Flavia.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dogukan berk
Once again Flavia de Luce unscrambles a tricky murder mystery with humor, wicked smarts and aplomb. This time Flavia must sort out matters without her usual ensemble of distant father, horrid sisters, and faithful retainers as she has been ‘banished’ from her beloved Buckshaw to boarding school in Toronto where enemies and allies alike are hard to identify and the ‘greater good’ must be protected at all costs. Jam packed with action and delightful imagery, Mr. Bradley’s seventh de Luce installment is every bit as charming as the first.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
holly selph
Least interesting of the series. Ridiculous storyline, a departure from plausible events to cloak and dagger mysteries with preteens. Flavia was sent to Canada for school. I understand she will be "someone" in the secret organization (as revealed in the previous novel), but these are still school girls, not undercover spies!

Flavia's deductions are not logical, they take huge jumps from fact to fact. She just isn't the same without her sisters, her chemistry, and the well-loved characters left back in England. The new characters were hard to keep straight, students and teachers, they all ran together with no dimension to any of them.

I'm glad she's going back, but don't hold out much hope for the future books. If the author continues to stoop to the easy way out, explaining it all at the end, that's it for me. It's lazy and sloppy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrell
I have not read the other books in this series, but I thought this one was quite good. Twelve year old Flavia de Luce has been sent from her home in England to a boarding school in Canada that her deceased mother had once attended. On her first night there, a dead body falls out of the chimney in her room giving Flavia a mystery to pursue. Flavia is smart and spunky and a fun girl to read about. I enjoyed this book and may read others in the series as well. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zvonko
The Flavia De Luce books are adorable, and made even better in audio format. Jayne Entwistle is a fantastic reader for this series. I highly recommend listening to the entire series. The things Flavia says that are a comment on adult life from the point of view of a 12 year old are absolutely priceless. Ms Entwistle's presentation is laugh out loud funny sometimes. All the stories are interestingly told and very different from normal murder mystery formulas. There is no butler or mistress present here. Just clean fun. ...and my usual tastes are thrillers, so this has to be good!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hadil
Flavia de Luce is "banished" to Canada to her mother's old alma mater Miss Bodycote's Female Academy. There she is to learn the ways of the Nide, but of course all is not what it seems & trouble follows Flavia. Her first night at Bodycote's a body drops out of her chimney. Who is it, how long has it been there and can Flavia help to solve all of the mysteries at the Academy? To add to Flavia's troubles she is warned to trust no one. I love this series of books and this is another excellent read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sharyn
So excited that I got approved for this e-book! I fell in love with Flavia last spring and plowed through the series quickly. Summer was so boring without a Flavia novel. But she's back! In a whole new setting. And better than ever! Flavia is immediately slammed into a mystery! And an intriguing one at that. Bradley keeps you guessing until the very end and what an end it is! Flavia is just wonderful and there needs to be movies! Or a TV series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarahyl
I so enjoy the Flavia stories. No matter that she's only about 12... What a brain. I think this was my third book from the series. No sex, no bad language, no "handsome men" just a really good "who dun it"... Although I have to say this one was a bit confusing at the end... Seemed to skip over some part of the story.. Not the clues.. Just some part of the telling. Nevertheless, I'm ready for the next one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rahni
I just love the Flavia series since I read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I have read a few more in the series but somehow missed the last couple. Starting in on As Chimney Sweepers come to Dust, I think the reader can jump right in even without having read any of the previous books, yet why wouldn't you they are so good. A couple things excited me about the latest installment. One being Flavia in a different setting, she has been shipped off to Canada to her mother's boarding school Miss Bodycote's Female Academy. A nice change from Buckshaw her home and the surrounding town that was the base for the previous books I read. Flavia is out on her own and it brings a vulnerability to her more fitting of the young lady she is, she misses home and reflects on her sisters and home life that one can only come to after being away. She really grows up emotionally. Whole new cast of people to help her on her way. New mysteries to figure out and some surprises in the end for who did it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ann general
I really enjoy these books. The unexpected viewpoint, excellent character development, superb sense of place, and wonderfully believable but twisty plats are a delight. Having such a strong main character be not only female, but a child in the first book is fantastic. Highly recommend the entire series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chet greason
After the last book in this series, I was not sure what to expect from this book. Flavia away from home and all of the well loved characters she left behind made me a little anxious regarding what this new life would be like. I have to say that I loved this book and I love this series! It was like putting on a nice warm sweater, it felt so good be reading another Flavia adventure! I did not miss the Buckshaw setting as much as I thought I would and there are plenty of interesting characters in this book to keep your focused on this story. I liked that she missed home and I think her character grew a little in this book. Not sure what will happen next for Flavia but I can't wait until the next book comes out!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lindsey barba
This is my third Flavia de Luce mystery and I have to say Flavia is just a delight. She is precocious, borderline genius, fears nothing and is the bane of all adults. A dead body greets her first night arrival at Miss Bodycote's Academy, and the body falls out of the fireplace in her room. The event has traumatized another student who was in the room also but it has only fueled Flavia's desire to solve the mystery.

I thought this offering in the Flavia de Luce series was a bit slower then the others I have read although I still enjoyed every moment of Flavia's shenanigans. As with most mysteries there are red herrings and just when we think we have outsmarted our twelve-year-old heroine she outsmarts us once again. An enjoyable page turning read. I'm sure you will love Flavia like I do.

The Flavia de Luce novels in order (Although each is a standalone):

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE
THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN'S BAG
A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD
I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS
SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suvendhu patra
HOORAY!! Flavia is here!! Alan Bradley is a treasure and Flavia de Luce a true gem. Another wonderful Flavia de Luce novel, this time set in Canada where she has been exiled. Yes, I say banished! I have been banished! Rip, roaring story with lots of funny twists and typical Flavia insights. I hated to finish it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david aretha
I just love Flavia. At times reading this book, I went back and reread certain passages, because they were so cleverly written.
I particularly love the "mind fishing" segment.
I know a 12 year old girl with an IQ of 137 does not have the maturity to think like she does, but who cares!

Glad she is going back to ride Gladys.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alyssia spaan
I have read the whole series and while this is not the best, it is still a good read. While the narrator is a 12 year old girl, these are not books for children. YA at the earliest. Flavia's assessments of her world and the adults around her are insightful and entertaining and worthy of an adult reader's attention,
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dana mullins
This newest entry into the Flavia de Luce series was fantastic! This is my favorite of the books so far. I love watching Flavia grow up through each story and use her proficiency in chemistry to solve crimes, but still be a young girl. Great storytelling. Can't wait for the next one!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dadahl
Another masterpiece by Alan Bradley. I am so glad that I found his series of books about Flavia de Luce. She is a fantastic heroine for both adults and young girls. Alan has an amazing sense of humor that makes reading his books a pure delight. I highly recommend this latest book in the series. If you are not familiar, start with the first book in the series: "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anja hose
This was a transitional book taking us (and Flavia) from Buckshaw to Mrs. Bodycote's Academy in Canada. It wasn't exactly up to Mr. Bradley's usual standards, but still better than most. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who is reading through the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rochelle elliot
I've missed a few Flavia books somehow, and I'm not as sure what I think about this one. In this case, the story seems harder to follow, and, so as to not be charged with "spoilers," someone even has an identity problem. It's still a worthy entry into the Flavia world, though.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bree
This is number seven of Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce novels. This one takes place in a girl's school in Toronto, Canada. The other six take place in England. It is plotted extremely well and is very exciting - like the first six books. I love his description characters and places. Please continue this series - it is too good stop!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
caryn karmatz rudy
I wondered how Bradley would take Flavia to Canada to the school where her mother went. I was disappointed. Flavia is still clever, funny, curious and "out of the box" in her approach to life while still being a 12-year-old sent into what she considers exile. What kind of crazy school is this? She wandered around all the time, almost never went to classes, had no assignments other than the one given her as a punishment by the headmistress. I got no real feel for the school as a place for educating girls. It was merely a setting for strange, unexplained and unbelievable happenings. I hope that Bradley will return to his earlier plotting and clever turns of phrase with the original characters in the series. I'm not ready to give up on Flavia.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
prachi
I enjoyed Alan Bradley's next installment in the story of Flavia de Luce. Her story takes a detour to Canada where she attends the same all girls boarding school once attended by her mother, finds a skeleton, and does not know who to trust. She learns many things including how much she misses her home and family.I missed her family and Buckshaw, but enjoyed her new adventures. I can't wait for the next one!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erica glass
With the first few chapters a dead body drops into the room where Flavia is sent to be finished off. Many elements conspire against and for Flavia, but once she acclimated her sights turn to uncovering murder. Interesting read, I wonder where this new thread will lead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patsy
I love all the books in this series, this one is just as fun as the rest. Bradley is a great story teller filling in information from the past as well as keeping the present story line moving forward. I look forward to his next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sanhita
I may have expressed concern when Alan Bradley finished off the last Flavia mystery by sending our favourite female detective off to Canada. It occurred to me that he might be removing her from all the atmosphere and individuals that made the books so rich in interest and humour. I nurtured in my heart the suspicion that the author was getting stale, and wanted some fresh interest for his readership.
I have to say, it worked. Bradley has gone all out to populate this novel with a whole new phantasmagoria of wild and wacky characters. Flavia is banished to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto – under the leadership of Miss Fawlthorne, “The Hangman’s Mistress” – for further training in the arts of secret mayhem and saving civilization as we know it. Her first reward is a body falling from her chimney within hours of her arrival. Add a couple of ghosts and three missing students, and the chase is on. She is required to discover a whole new set of enemies and allies (Flavia doesn’t really make friends; the only one in her life so far has been Dogger, the shell-shocked butler).
But Bradley hasn’t strayed too far from his roots. Miss Bodycote’s, a private school in 1950’s Canada, is not a whole lot different from any English public school of the past three hundred years. Except for a bit of fun about dimes and nickles and moose, the whole thing could easily fit in Yorkshire or Devon. Of course three thousand miles of heaving ocean does add poignancy to Flavia’s homesickness.
In this story we see Flavia at her strongest and perhaps her weakest as well. Homesickness and lack of Dogger’s dogged support both play a part, but our heroine rises to the occasion. Without the backup of her infamous chemistry lab, she makes do with the school’s inferior equipment (the electron microscope her aunt donated was of no use) to solve the puzzle.
I couldn’t help but feel, as one often does in murder mysteries, a certain slowing of the pace about two-thirds of the way through. The suspense rather flatlined for a while, and a series of events that did not seem to be going anywhere began to lose my attention. However, a tidy twist to the plot soon fixed that, and on we rushed to the climax.
It is difficult to remember back over the years, but I believe that Bradley’s humour in this novel surpasses that of the rest of the series. I leave you with this unforgettable image: a troop of Girl Guides practices focusing the mind:
“And so we had been made to learn how to estimate time…while balancing blindfolded on a chair as a gang of girls, singing at the top of their lungs ‘Ging-gang-goolie-goolie-goolie-goolie watcha, ging-gang-goo, ging-gang-goo!’ hurled tightly balled-up winter socks at our head.”
If you’re less of an Alan Bradley fan and more of a Girl Guide you might be thinking of lawsuits right now, but I assure you it’s just part and parcel of the whole experience (the book, not the real Girl Guides).
So, instead of finding that Flavia’s Canadian jaunt signaled a weakening of the comfortable style and characters I had come to enjoy, this book was a rejuvenation of the series and Bradley’s writing talents.
Recommended for lovers of quirky humour, murder mysteries and the Flavia de Luce Mysteries. In fact, (minor spoiler alert) Bradely’s decision about Flavia’s future at the end of the story leaves me with as many misgivings as the one mentioned earlier. Probably exactly what he intended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
portlester
Flavia de Luce is a fantastic character. She makes you grin in anticipation in turning the page and find out how she is going to solve this mystery and how she is going to get herself out of the trouble she always finds herself in. If you have not read any of the previous 6 books I would recommend that you start out at the beginning of the series, you will not be disappointed. Flavia de Luce will become your favorite 12 year old.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
alvin khaled
A disappointing installment in one of my favorite series. The other students at the school were all interchangeable, and the plot was ridiculously convoluted. Apparently in 1950s Canada, children could go missing with no one giving a damn.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sahand
Love love the Flavia books. This one, though, was atypically chaotic. I had high hopes for the new setting and Flavia's mysterious purposes for being there but all the build up was too quickly resolved. Eager for the next installment.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
galihmelon
Hmmmm, at the end of this book, I was simply like why? What was the point of taking Flavia out of Buckshaw, only to put her back there again in the end? I can understand Bradley may have wanted a change in scenario, but this could have been explored further. On top of it, this plot could have taken place anywhere. Story was unbelievable, but then so were the previous ones, but yet those were so likeable. What missed that mark here?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sean gursky
This of the entire series (which has been excellent) was the hardest to follow. The murder seemed to be a throw in to the story of Flavia trying to fit in the boarding school. Anyway love the series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
naeem masnadi
This is the only one of the Flavia de Luce novels that I didn't enjoy. The author moved the character to Canada and added a year to her age. These changes greatly impacted the ongoing story of Flavia in my opinion...the move to Canada especially. I found that I really missed her interaction with neighbors where she lived as well as all of the household residents. Spoiler - at the end of the story, the author sends her back to England, so here's hoping that if there is another sequel, it will return to the truly enjoyable dynamic of the earlier novels in the series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ashunda
I've read the entire series and enjoyed them immensely. But this is the weakest book because the story just does not measure up to all the others. Being away from home didn't add anything to Flavia's growth, and I could not empathize with most, if not all, the other characters (Flavia was her usual charming self). Also, the "mysterious" aspect of the school was vastly underwhelming. I won't be a spoiler but I'm glad Flavia is going where she's going at the end of the book. Hope you get the message, Mr. Bradley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa coney
Another gem from Alan Bradley. Flavia is exiled to Canada to further her education. That a mummified body falls out of her chimney won't surprise most readers; after all, we've come to expect those things! And we've come to expect smart, tightly-crafted, well-written mysteries from Mr. B. He delivers. Again.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bryan parker
The Flavia de Luce books have a kind of exuberance and quippy humor that can make them quite entertaining. "As Chimney..." is crafted in that way, but I found it taking a very long time to get off the ground with its plot, and finally ending with a kind of shrug instead of a bang. The very long crawl toward conclusion seemed to be a set up by the author to give protagonist Flavia an extended opportunity to show off her wit. The secondary characters didn't provide much in the way of support for the heroine or weren't very helpful in pushing the plot forward. "We can't talk now"; "I don't want to discuss it"; "you mustn't mention that", etc. were often repeated fillers here.

This episode in the series makes me wonder whom the books are aimed at. This particular novel seems to have in mind a tween audience. No real violence, no strong language, no sex, and a running exhibition of how a 13 year-old will always be sharper and more principled than adults. So Flavia--may you grow up to be a better person than the adults your creator has saddled you with.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adrienna
Damn, as much as I love this series I have to agree with many of the so-so and negative reviews that appear here... this latest Flavia adventure was not that beguiling. In fact, I think we can pretty much just forget this Canadian interlude...it wasn't that great. The so called crime was almost an afterthought and the school/staff/classmates Flavia encounters are not that wonderful with the exception of one teacher - Miss Bannerman.

Well you don't always hit a homerun or get a base hit when you step up to the plate. Alan Bradley popped-up here but, hey, that happens!

Book supplied by publisher.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heather mullinix
This is the seventh in a series of mysteries featuring Flavia de Luce, an English girl with a sardonic sense of humor and an impressive background in science, particularly chemistry. She applies these skills to crime detection and solution, and I found her to be insufferable.

This was the first time we had met, and my initial impression was delight: she seemed to be a pre-teen version of Ludwig Bemelmans’ little Madeline, spunky and determined. Alas, the feeling did not last, partly because the book is written in Flavia’s voice, and like a lot of children she frequently gets hold of the wrong end of the stick. She then refuses, with infuriating superiority, to recognize that she might be wrong.

The action starts with her being sent, “banished!”, from her home, Buckshaw, in England, to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, Canada. Her mother went there, and the reasons for Flavia’s attendance are buried in previous volumes. She arrives in the middle of the night and is given temporary quarters. Another girl, mistaking her for someone else, pounces on her in the dark, and together they violate an iron rule against lighting a candle after bedtime. They are discovered by Miss Fawlthorne, the Headmistress, and the other girl leaps to hide in the chimney of the room’s fireplace. After some parleying between Flavia and the Head, the girl reappears, covered with soot and accompanied by a flag-wrapped, desiccated, headless corpse which drops into the room with her. It has obviously been in place for years.

The rest of the book, of course, is taken up with Flavia’s efforts to identify the body and to learn who stashed it away. Being set in a girls’ school with decades of alumnae, the novel was able to draw on a huge supply of persons of interest, and in a way that flawed the conclusion when it came. Flavia’s suspicions fell on a number of people, and the reader was not able to focus on any one candidate. Also, the characterizations of everyone but Flavia were a bit weak. In the end, the chessboard was crowded, and I felt that Mr. Bradley might have had to assign guilt rather late in the game, after which he adjusted the other players’ positions to be consistent with his decision.

As for Flavia, she is simply impossible. The school, so frugal about candles, possesses a research-level spectrophotometer as well as an electron microscope in its chemistry lab, both of which 12-year-old Flavia can and does operate. To add insult to injury, one night she assembles a Marsh-test setup to detect the presence of arsenic in an award medal. She should have been smothered at birth.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
dallana carreno
I've read the entire series and enjoyed them immensely. But this is the weakest book because the story just does not measure up to all the others. Being away from home didn't add anything to Flavia's growth, and I could not empathize with most, if not all, the other characters (Flavia was her usual charming self). Also, the "mysterious" aspect of the school was vastly underwhelming. I won't be a spoiler but I'm glad Flavia is going where she's going at the end of the book. Hope you get the message, Mr. Bradley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hei ar ludwig
Another gem from Alan Bradley. Flavia is exiled to Canada to further her education. That a mummified body falls out of her chimney won't surprise most readers; after all, we've come to expect those things! And we've come to expect smart, tightly-crafted, well-written mysteries from Mr. B. He delivers. Again.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
chanpheng
The Flavia de Luce books have a kind of exuberance and quippy humor that can make them quite entertaining. "As Chimney..." is crafted in that way, but I found it taking a very long time to get off the ground with its plot, and finally ending with a kind of shrug instead of a bang. The very long crawl toward conclusion seemed to be a set up by the author to give protagonist Flavia an extended opportunity to show off her wit. The secondary characters didn't provide much in the way of support for the heroine or weren't very helpful in pushing the plot forward. "We can't talk now"; "I don't want to discuss it"; "you mustn't mention that", etc. were often repeated fillers here.

This episode in the series makes me wonder whom the books are aimed at. This particular novel seems to have in mind a tween audience. No real violence, no strong language, no sex, and a running exhibition of how a 13 year-old will always be sharper and more principled than adults. So Flavia--may you grow up to be a better person than the adults your creator has saddled you with.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
soo mi park
Damn, as much as I love this series I have to agree with many of the so-so and negative reviews that appear here... this latest Flavia adventure was not that beguiling. In fact, I think we can pretty much just forget this Canadian interlude...it wasn't that great. The so called crime was almost an afterthought and the school/staff/classmates Flavia encounters are not that wonderful with the exception of one teacher - Miss Bannerman.

Well you don't always hit a homerun or get a base hit when you step up to the plate. Alan Bradley popped-up here but, hey, that happens!

Book supplied by publisher.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
khaene hirschman
This is the seventh in a series of mysteries featuring Flavia de Luce, an English girl with a sardonic sense of humor and an impressive background in science, particularly chemistry. She applies these skills to crime detection and solution, and I found her to be insufferable.

This was the first time we had met, and my initial impression was delight: she seemed to be a pre-teen version of Ludwig Bemelmans’ little Madeline, spunky and determined. Alas, the feeling did not last, partly because the book is written in Flavia’s voice, and like a lot of children she frequently gets hold of the wrong end of the stick. She then refuses, with infuriating superiority, to recognize that she might be wrong.

The action starts with her being sent, “banished!”, from her home, Buckshaw, in England, to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, Canada. Her mother went there, and the reasons for Flavia’s attendance are buried in previous volumes. She arrives in the middle of the night and is given temporary quarters. Another girl, mistaking her for someone else, pounces on her in the dark, and together they violate an iron rule against lighting a candle after bedtime. They are discovered by Miss Fawlthorne, the Headmistress, and the other girl leaps to hide in the chimney of the room’s fireplace. After some parleying between Flavia and the Head, the girl reappears, covered with soot and accompanied by a flag-wrapped, desiccated, headless corpse which drops into the room with her. It has obviously been in place for years.

The rest of the book, of course, is taken up with Flavia’s efforts to identify the body and to learn who stashed it away. Being set in a girls’ school with decades of alumnae, the novel was able to draw on a huge supply of persons of interest, and in a way that flawed the conclusion when it came. Flavia’s suspicions fell on a number of people, and the reader was not able to focus on any one candidate. Also, the characterizations of everyone but Flavia were a bit weak. In the end, the chessboard was crowded, and I felt that Mr. Bradley might have had to assign guilt rather late in the game, after which he adjusted the other players’ positions to be consistent with his decision.

As for Flavia, she is simply impossible. The school, so frugal about candles, possesses a research-level spectrophotometer as well as an electron microscope in its chemistry lab, both of which 12-year-old Flavia can and does operate. To add insult to injury, one night she assembles a Marsh-test setup to detect the presence of arsenic in an award medal. She should have been smothered at birth.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cathy
This story is about a young girl sent to a finishing school in canada. She's imaginative, inquisitive and very bright. She excels in chemistry and is fascinated with solving crime.
Soon as she arrives she discovers a dead body and that begins her adventure. Moving onward she is inducted in secret society. So secret in fact that the author does not feel the need to explain it to the reader. It's a jumbled mess of running around with too many characters, some missing, some reappearing.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kari shepherd
I have really enjoyed this series. But, I feel that this novel fell short of what had become a very intriguing plot premise and a patient, but thorough character development. I think it a decent read, but lackluster from a plot and character standpoint. Hopefully, Alan Bradley will regain his footing and continue with our enchantment of a wonderful protagonist who allows us to suspend belief while turning pages to discover what really happened.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kalolani
This book was ok, the main person is a 12 year old girl sent from England to a boarding school in Canada. The first night in her new boarding school a dead body falls out of the chimney of her room. Flavia is a budding chemist and sleuth so she hunts for the victims identity, time of dead and why the person was killed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vylit
I have read all of Alan Bradley's Flavia mysteries and enjoyed them with the delightfully cast of characters. In this one the writer's pace is off kilter producing a mystery that is over complicated and not quite believable. I nearly gave this three stars, but opted for four because the others were so very well done. I hope the next one recovers the delight that is Falvia and her family.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
william myers
I've skipped a few of the Flavia books, so i was a little out of date on her life when i started. The first few chapters to an admirable job of reminding readers of what passed in the few previous novels, no matter what toll it takes on the current narrative.

Then Flavia's at some boarding school in Canada, because reasons, and there's a corpse, and... stuff.

Flavia remains the least-convincing 12-year-old ever penned in literature, which is why i had given up on this series after book 2, only to be lured back in despite my best intentions.

The 'mystery' is one part Flavia saying 'oh, i figured it out, but i won't tell you' and one part me saying 'geez this is so flipping obvious why are the characters no noticing'. There's a dash of 'wait, is this that secret society thing? It must be, except not everyone here is in it... wait what?', and a smidge of 'oh, golly, we do love England'.

Basically, this book continues the shark-jump that seems to have started in the previous volume, when we're asked to stop ignoring the fact that Flavia is the least-convincing 12-year-old ever written, and start ignoring the fact that there's some random secret society in a boarding school in Canada except that everyone there seems to be clueless or brainless or both.

Yep, i should have stayed gone. I like Flavia's wit, her cynicism, her occasional fantasies of murdering people who offend her. I hate that she's supposed to be 12, and that apparently she's James Bond-ette now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
barry smith
I hadn't realized that this book was really for a 'young adult' audience when I ordered it, but as I read it I realized that it will appeal to early teenage girls, and is well-written for them. The protagonist doesn't hold together as a character really, as she's a combination of far-too-wise for hear age and yet acts in way that make no sense for someone who is her age.

Nonetheless, she is an appealing character and I was curious enough to know what wound up happening to keep reading. I would imagine that this will appeal to the target audience.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
dan tentiuc
I would love to listen to this, but at these prices forget it! I've read and listened to all the books in the series and they are fantastic. And since I have this book already, I won't be buying it on disc. Not at these prices. I'll wait until it's available at my public library. Once I've done reading it, I will come back and change my star rating.
Please Rate A Flavia De Luce Novel (Flavia De Luce Mystery) - As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
More information