By Alan Bradley, this eighth installment of the Flavia de Luce mysteries is as charming and delightful as the others. Flavia has been ejected from Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Canada; she sails home to England expecting to be greeted joyously at the docks by her family. But there is only Dogger, her father's man-servant and her friend, waiting for her. Her father is ill in hospital and the house is in disarray as a result. Her sisters are short tempered; her cousin incorrigible. Flavia must get out of the house!
Thus she is delivering a letter for the vicar's wife when she finds the recipient...dead. Hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The 12 year old Flavia is thrilled, for she is a crack investigator, with a prime chemistry laboratory in her ancestral home of Buckshaw. The novel deals with her investigation and her family situation. The mystery is solved. The family situation is left murky; bearing an implicit promise of another Flavia de Luce mystery in the series.