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As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel    by Alan Bradley order for
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
by Alan Bradley
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's an annual treat, a new dose of young Flavia de Luce's antics, this time in Canada! As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust follows The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches as the seventh in this engaging series.

Precocious twelve-year-old Flavia has been selected by her Aunt Felicity 'to be trained to assume some ancient and hereditary role' like her dead mother Harriet. So she is sent to her mother's old boarding school in Toronto, Canada, Miss Bodycote's Female Academy. To say that she is unhappy about being banished from her home (and chemistry lab) at Buckshaw is a huge understatement.

Flavia being Flavia, she stumbles upon a corpse immediately upon arrival. In fact, its 'blackened and desiccated' remains tumble down the chimney of her room. Naturally she pockets a small, tarnished medallion she finds on the body and of course she investigates, between classes. And she's thrilled to find that her advanced chemistry teacher is no other than the infamous Mildred Bannerman, charged and acquitted over her husband's murder. They get along famously.

Flavia, who needs 'facts the way a tree needs sunshine', finds more mysteries to dig into at Miss Bodycote's than simply one well baked body. Why did three students go missing from the Academy in the past two years? And what happened to the Chairman of the school board's first wife? She's raring to go, especially after someone she admires is arrested. Naturally, Flavia figures it all out - she lets a reporter take the credit.

Though I found this episode meandered more than usual in Flavia's adventures, I always enjoy spending time with her, especially in a city that I know well. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust ends with our young heroine heading happily home to England, with a companion who is sure to enliven what comes next. I look forward to reading it.

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