First Line: I was peering through the microscope at the tooth of an adder I had captured behind the coach house when there came a light knock at the laboratory door.
Flavia de Luce is in her beloved chemistry lab when she receives a desperate note demanding her help to solve a murder. She can think of no better way to spend a Sunday, so she hops on her bicycle and pedals over to her father's old school. The sender of the note leads her to a bathroom where, sitting in a tub, is a naked dead man who-- except for his face-- looks as though he's made of copper. To Flavia, this is definitely a splendid way to spend the day, and she gets right to work to solve the mystery.
When I read Alan Bradley's first Flavia de Luce mystery, I wasn't sure I'd want to spend any time in the company of this little girl. She was just a little too passionate about chemistry and poisons. I could just see myself being invited over for tea and trying to come up with logical reasons not to eat or drink anything. However, Flavia is now my favorite eleven-year-old. I was hooked on this story the moment Gladys' tires began to hiss on the wet pavement. (Who's Gladys? Flavia's trusty bicycle.) By the time Flavia bemoaned the fact that modern detectives now have to spend time coming up with catchy titles for their investigations, I was lost. At the age of eleven, Flavia can out-Sherlock the great consulting detective himself, and I can't help but wonder what she's going to be like when she turns twenty-one.
"The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse" highlights Flavia's love of chemistry and her knack of observing the small, telling details that everyone else misses. It's a lot of fun to read, and marks a milestone for her-- but you'll have to read the story for yourself to find out what that milestone is! Never read a Flavia de Luce mystery before? This short story is an excellent way to "test the water."
"The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse" by Alan Bradley
Random House © 2014
Digital short story, 22 pages
Short Story featuring Flavia de Luce
Source: Purchased from Amazon