Flavia, Flavia, Flavia how I love you, let me count the ways.
#1 Miss De Luce is a successful sleuth of the Miss Marple variety, growing up near the tiny English village of Bishop’s Lacey. Her historical mystery series, written by Alan Bradley, is set in 1950s England around an ancient country home where she grew up, Buckshaw.
#2 It’s her equally eccentric yet distant and out-dated father who drags her into the business of sleuthing as she must defend his innocence when a death in Buckshaw’s garden brings him under suspicion.
#3 Her interest in death originates from her great-uncle Tarquin whose long-abandoned Victorian laboratory languishes in wait for Flavia’s next chemistry experiment.
#4 Ophelia and Daphne, Flavia’s cruel older sisters don’t make her life a bowl full of cherries with their off-handed attempts to convince her A) she’s an orphan and B) that their mother never wanted her.
#5 Much like the setting of her childhood, Flavia is rich in knowledge of chemistry due in part to the resources decaying around her as well as, befitting her family’s heritage, widely read in history, the arts, the classics of literature and anything else that interests her.
#6 When Flavia was one year old her mother, Harriet, died on one of her adventures in Tibet, falling off a mountain. So Flavia is quite vulnerable about how the woman could possibly feel about her baby daughter.
#7 A thoughtful observer, Flavia contemplates and assesses as she goes over and over the points in the mystery. She thinks things through, knowing she must give room for ideas to percolate and for essential clues to be missed.
#8 To be fair to the sisters, Flavia loves mixing up concoctions in her laboratory with common ingredients from around the estate (including the greenhouse) to poison the pair.
#9 All around odd-job man, Dogger acts as her father’s hands around the estate. Due to his part in the war he’s prone to fits, luckily Flavia knows just how to pull him out of his dark memories.
#10 Oh and did I mention she’s only just turned 12 years old, having had two birthdays since the start of her short career?
Such a young and precocious girl might give you pause…don’t let it. Flavia De Luce is a marvel and makes being young and clever the best sort of English detective. You’ll quite be won over much as the reluctant Inspector Hewitt has been over the course of the series. As hard as it is to imagine, girls such as Flavia do exist in the world. For I’ve met one.
This month I’m participating in a writing challenge to post everyday in April (except Sundays) called the A to Z Challenge. I’m exploring my love of characters, find the full list here. Read some of my other writing posts here. What characters do you love?