This is the second in a series of mysteries featuring 11 year old Falvia DeLuce as a precocious amateur detective and busybody. While I enjoyed the setting, story and style of the first book, it was somewhat tainted for me by the character Flavia who while fun was also unbelieveably knowledgable about too many things. To the point where it pulled me out of the story from time to time in order to roll my eyes. I did not experience those feelings nearly as much in this installment and therefore the overall reading experience was much improved.
So with that minor annoyance out of the way I was able to appreciate the charming wit of the writing and particularly the fantastic descriptions of the puppet show. Strangely this is the second book I’ve read this year that heavily featured puppets (The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt) and both have reveled in the description of the magic created with puppets. Odd but weirdly compelling as I would now really like to see a live puppet show…
The books in this series tend to ramble a bit and weave in seemingly extraneous village and family happenings but that is almost my favorite thing about them. Definitely want to read on in this series.
A note on the audio: the reader evokes the 11 year old Flavia perfectly which is no small task for an adult. She has an unusual voice which I suspect might annoy some but I think she’s fantastic!