Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
Flavia de Luce #7
By Alan Bradley
Delacorte Press January 2015
384 pages
Read via Netgalley

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7)

Flavia de Luce is not a happy girl. She is sent away from her family and small town English life to become a boarder at Miss Bodycote's Female Academy in Toronto, Canada. On her first night at the school, she discovers a dead body in the chimney. Flavia quickly learns that things are not quite normal at this school and determines to solve the mystery as she tries to find her way in this strange new place. 

I've written about my love for Flavia de Luce many times before and I was really interested to see how Bradley would shake up his tried and true formula of big-brained girl in small town. It is difficult at first for Flavia and for the reader to become used to this new environment and these new people. She is incredibly lonely and feels abandoned by those who were supposed to love and protect her. While Flavia is a very independent girl, it takes a whole new level of confidence for her to live without her familiar people and places to fall back on if needed. But she is a very unique characters and so the discovery of the body in the chimney makes her feel right at home.

It takes a good portion of the book for readers to become accustomed to this new location and a whole new cast of colorful characters. Instead of Flavia's sisters, father, and household staff, we spend time with a whole school full of students, a mysterious headmistress, and a science teacher who just might be a murderess. If you needed to pay attention before, you definitely need to read carefully in this book. There are secrets beneath secrets and clues behind clues and only half of them are related to the body in the chimney.

I imagine that it takes courage to shake up a much-beloved series as Bradley has done here. I admire that and I enjoyed reading this story, as usual. This book is unfortunately difficult to talk about in much detail due to the game changing events of its predecessor, the massive new direction that As Chimney Sweepers takes, and the surprising ending of this installment, I think I will hold off final judgement until I see how this new piece fits into the giant, quirky puzzle that is the life of Flavia de Luce.

Are you a newbie to Flavia? You can check out my reviews of previous books here.


  1. There are seven of these now? Oh my gosh, I am so behind. I've only read the first two! I have to catch up.

    1. I have to confess that I had a wonderful time binge-reading these. I think I read 3, 4, and 5 all in one glorious week. Maybe that would work for you too! :)

  2. I have #5 of this series sitting on my desk right now; I have to read faster so I can get to this one quickly! :) I love having good books to look forward to, don't you?

    1. I remember really loving the fifth one. I hope you do too!

      Yes, as silly as planning my books out sometimes seems, it gives me a happy feeling to look at all of the bookish goodness that is coming up!

  3. Replies
    1. Me too! I feel like they do a great job of capturing the feel of the books.

  4. I still haven't read any of these. As with just about everything else, it's on my TBR. Sigh.

    1. I feel your pain, my friend. It just never seems to get any smaller, does it??