1/series. Meet Flavia deLuce, much-put-upon younger sister to two vicious harridans-in-the-making, and dutiful daughter to an indifferent if loving father. Flavia will become your most favorite sleuth, even if she is a brilliant, bloody-minded 11-year old with a penchant for blowing things up in her private laboratory. Her other, perhaps more endearing, quality is her fascination with death. With the naive insouciance of a smart but isolated girl, she inserts herself into a murder investigation: a body is found in her family's kitchen garden. Her father's the prime suspect, and Flavia pits herself against the honest but not-quite-up-to-her-speed Inspector Hewitt, with startling (and entertaining) results. The story, and its sequels, will whisk you back to your own pre-teen years, to the I-can-do-anything notions that life inevitably changes. A delicious series; a 5.
Originally envisioned as a six-book series, the novel won most major awards, including a Macavitty Sadly, after nine books, the series has ended. Hopefully, Bradley will come up with another compelling character to entice us. There is a Flavia deLuce Fan Club, by the way. And, best of all, you've got nine delicious, unexpected, heart-warming and -wrenching books to wallow in. Enjoy.