Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

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9781409117605: Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
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'I was lying dead in the churchyard...' So says eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce - but soon a murder provides a gruesome distraction from her own death...A travelling puppet show arrives in the sleepy English village of Bishop's Lacey, and everyone gathers to watch a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk in the village hall. But a shadow is cast over proceedings when a shocking murder takes place during the performance - a murder which strangely echoes a tragedy that occurred many years before. For Flavia, undoing the complex knot that ties these strands together will test her precocious powers of deduction to the limit - and throw a revealing light into some of the darker corners of the adult world...

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Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce walked into my life one winter day, parked herself on a campstool, and refused to be budged.

It took me quite a while to realize that she wasn’t even faintly interested in the mystery novel I was attempting to write at the time: the one into which she had wandered. I found out quickly enough that Flavia wanted her own book--and that was that.

And it was just the beginning. There were still more problems to come.

The first was this: Flavia lived in 1950, while I was writing about her in 2006 and 2007.

As an author, it’s not as easy as you might think projecting--and keeping--your mind in a different century from your body--not without forever being yanked back into the present by everyday annoyances such as frozen water pipes, expiring license plates, incessantly barking dogs, and the need to shop for food.

Another problem was this: I lived on Canada’s west coast, where the clocks are set to Pacific Time, while Flavia lived in Bishop’s Lacey, England, which is on Greenwich Mean Time--a difference of nine hours. In practical terms, this meant that Flavia was raring to go every day just as I was getting ready for bed. Because there was no point in either of us being tired and cranky, we finally managed to work out a compromise in which I began awakening at 4:00 a.m. to write, while Flavia (rather impatiently) hung around until after lunch, waiting for me to show up.

As The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie progressed, I soon learned that Flavia wouldn’t be pushed around--especially by me. Because she had so many of her own ideas, she had little patience with mine. Occasionally, if I were tired, I’d find myself trying to put words in her mouth: to push her, as it were. But Flavia would have none of it.

"Blot that," she seemed to be saying. "Let’s back up and start again."

And of course we did.

Then there was the problem of the chemistry. While Flavia knew everything about chemistry that could be known, my own knowledge of the subject could be put into a thimble with room left over for a finger. If I protested that I was in doubt about the precise details of one of her more bizarre chemical experiments, Flavia would snap her metaphorical fingers and say, "Well, you can look it up in your spare time."

Almost from the outset I realized that the tale Flavia had to tell could never be contained in a single book. And that’s how the series was born. Fortunately, my editors were in total agreement!

We liked the idea of each book revolving around some now-vanished English custom, or way of life, and of being able, gradually, to get to know the de Luce family, giving each of them the time and the space to--eventually--tell his or her own story.

Of course, to convey authentic 1950s voices, the pacing would have to be slower than we are used to in the 21st century. On the other hand, a more relaxed narrative would allow for an additional overall richness of description that might not be found in a more breakneck series of thrillers.

But I needn’t have worried: Flavia had her own voice and insisted on being listened to.

It was I who had to do the learning. --Alan Bradley

(Photo © Shirley Bradley)

About the Author:

Alan Bradley was born into a family of storytellers who never stopped talking about the old days 'back home' in England - for which he is eternally grateful. He is a former professor at the University of Saskatchewan, where he lectured on screen writing. Alan is the author of a memoir, THE SHOEBOX BIBLE in addition to the bestselling Flavia de Luce series. He lives with his wife, Shirley, in the Isle of Man. To find out more, visit www.flaviadeluce.com.

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reiss.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Pigtails, poisons and murder-most-foul A travelling puppet show arrives in the sleepy village of Bishop's Lacey - and a shocking murder takes place. For eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the crime will test her precocious powers of deduction to the limit - particularly when she discovers that the murder echoes a tragedy which occurred many years before.Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries: 'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday 'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture The Castle and the Addams lightfully entertaining' Guardian Fans of M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin, Frances Brody and Alexander McCall Smith will enjoy the Flavia de Luce mysteries: 1. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 2. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag 3. A Red Herring Without Mustard 4. I Am Half Sick of Shadows 5. Speaking From Among the Bones 6. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches 7. As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust 8. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd 9. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place If you're looking for a cosy crime series to keep you hooked then look no further than the Flavia de Luce mysteries. * Each Flavia de Luce mystery can be read as a standalone or in series order *. Seller Inventory # HUK9781409117605

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reiss.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Pigtails, poisons and murder-most-foul A travelling puppet show arrives in the sleepy village of Bishop's Lacey - and a shocking murder takes place. For eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the crime will test her precocious powers of deduction to the limit - particularly when she discovers that the murder echoes a tragedy which occurred many years before.Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries: 'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday 'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture The Castle and the Addams family.delightfully entertaining' Guardian Fans of M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin, Frances Brody and Alexander McCall Smith will enjoy the Flavia de Luce mysteries: 1. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 2. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag 3. A Red Herring Without Mustard 4. I Am Half Sick of Shadows 5. Speaking From Among the Bones 6. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches 7. As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust 8. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd 9. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place If you're looking for a cosy crime series to keep you hooked then look no further than the Flavia de Luce mysteries. * Each Flavia de Luce mystery can be read as a standalone or in series order *. Seller Inventory # HUK9781409117605

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reiss.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Pigtails, poisons and murder-most-foul A travelling puppet show arrives in the sleepy village of Bishop's Lacey - and a shocking murder takes place. For eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the crime will test her precocious powers of deduction to the limit - particularly when she discovers that the murder echoes a tragedy which occurred many years before.Praise for the historical Flavia de Luce mysteries: 'The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite' Mail on Sunday 'A cross between Dodie Smith's I Capture The Castle and the Addams lightfully entertaining' Guardian Fans of M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin, Frances Brody and Alexander McCall Smith will enjoy the Flavia de Luce mysteries: 1. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 2. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag 3. A Red Herring Without Mustard 4. I Am Half Sick of Shadows 5. Speaking From Among the Bones 6. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches 7. As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust 8. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd 9. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place If you're looking for a cosy crime series to keep you hooked then look no further than the Flavia de Luce mysteries. * Each Flavia de Luce mystery can be read as a standalone or in series order *. Seller Inventory # HUK9781409117605

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Book Description Orion. Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. Murder and puppetry come to the village of Bishop's Lacey.Second novel in the highly acclaimed Flavia de Luce mystery series. Series: Flavia De Luce Mystery. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 26. Weight in Grams: 302. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781409117605

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