As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: 08/26/16
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley is the seventh of the Flavia de Luce mysteries. Flavia is sent to her mother's boarding school. Shortly after she arrives, a body is discovered in the chimney of the great hall.
When Flavia was shipped off to Canada at the close of The Dead in their Vaulted Arches I was super-excited to see what Flavia would do with a chance of location. And when the body showed up only a dozen or so pages I was encouraged that we would be back to the headstrong, devious Flavia of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Except she isn't. She's out of sorts throughout the entire book. The school she's in is weird. It's built from a cobbled together series of buildings. The school prides itself on not providing new students with maps. I expected Flavia to find all the secret passages, make keys for all the best rooms, and basically have the run of the place.
But she doesn't. She acts like a lost, scared, mopey girl the entire book. Even when she's investigating the murder she's shy, apologetic, and completely out of character.
The book ends with a reset switch. Flavia's sent packing for England. Out of some crazy loyalty to this series, I have the eighth book, Thrice the Blinded Cat Hath Mew'd on my wishlist. But if it's Flavia isn't showing her earlier book gumption by the end of it, I'm giving up on the series.