Flavia de Luce books

Alan Bradley's new heroine is an eleven year old living in a small British hamlet in 1950. She's a clever detective, precociously self-aware, and a really good chemist. Unlike most fiction, where science is merely a plot device (CSI, H. G. Wells, Star Trek, etc.) these books actually include real reactions.  Should you need to concoct hydrogen sulfide to poison an annoying sister, resuscitate a poisoned victim with pigeon droppings, or perform a pregnancy test on a stranger you meet weeping in a graveyard - Flavia's methods are reasonably possible and accurate for the time period. But mostly, they're a lot of fun to read. These are definitely grown-up books, despite being narrated by a child.

Bradley won the Debut Dagger Award with the first 15 pages of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and became a commercially published author at the age of 70. He's Canadian, not British, and has no chemistry training (though he does have a degree in electrical engineering). So it's pretty amazing that he writes so convincingly as a young British chemist. If you're looking for fun, interesting reading, these are great.

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