the last installment of the Flavia deLuce mysteries, that I was simply tiring of the series. Instead, I think I'm still in love, but just experienced a lag when Flavia went off to Canada instead of working in her natural environs of Bishops Lacey, a small country town in England. Now that the twelve-year-old sleuth has returned to bonnie England, in Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, she is back in full form and happy to be home (even if home is much quieter than in the past).
Although she expects a vibrant homecoming, she is greeted by a tight-lipped Dogger (her father's right hand man) who informs her that her father is in the hospital. Rather than glumly sitting at home in Buckshaw with her moody sisters and her annoying cousin, Undine, Flavia decides to pay a visit to her old friend, the vicar's wife. She is sent on an errand and finds a reclusive wood-carver hanging upside down from a door in his house, dead as a doorknob, of course. Instantly, Flavia goes into sleuth-mode remarking, "It's amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one's spirits."
Flavia takes in all the clues and sets out to determine who the man was and how he came to be in his precarious and fatal position. Once again, Flavia provides a running inner dialogue (her distinctive voice that sets her apart) and a good dose of chemistry lessons. With her trusty bicycle, Gladys, she roams the countryside securing one clue after the next. Sadly, her final discovery gives her the biggest shock of all. I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, to see where life takes Flavia next and what new mystery she intends to uncover.