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I ordered this book out of my local library following a recommendation. Initially I was a little concerned about the cover of the book as at best it could be described as dull (Red with what looks like black splodges on). However, the saying "Never judge a book by it's cover" has never been more true! This was a thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery in the style of a grown up Famous Five jaunt. The main character of the story is Flavia de Luce, a somewhat precocious 11 year old girl usually preoccupied by all things chemistry and constant feuds with her older sisters Daphne and Ophelia. This all comes to an end one day with the discovery of a dead snipe on her doorstep and a dead body in the cucumber patch below her window. Soon her father, Colonel de Luce is in the frame for the murder and so Flavia embarks on a mission to solve the crime and clear her father's name. Along the way Flavia pieces together clues and solves puzzles using her chemistry lab and her trusty stead (bicycle) Gladys. Flavia also deals with issues such as the death of her mother shortly after her birth, being taken seriously as a girl and all the challenges facing 11 year olds! This was just the book to read on a rainy Sunday afternoon as I for one could not put it down. I was sent back to a time of innocence (save for the odd attempted sabotage of older sisters ) where children were able to roam the countryside solving murders and then returning home for tea. Do not be put off by the odd Americanisms that creep into the story (The Times of London etc) this is a spiffing yarn that all of us who loved the Famous Five and Secret Seven will adore. Here's hoping for a series of books!