The thrill of a new Flavia de Luce novel is a special thing. I know I will be back in the company of the very special Flavia, a young woman, now fourteen, who is fascinated by chemistry and murder, not necessarily in that order. In Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d, Flavia is returning after a year in Canada at a boarding school for girls. She comes home to discover her father is in hospital with pneumonia and she cannot go to see him.

The vicar’s wife asks Flavia to run a message out to a woodworker whose doing some carving for the church. Of course, he’s been murdered and Flavia finds the body. Even more of course, Flavia takes the time to inspect the scene of the crime. There are not many clues at all, but she does think it odd that he has all the first editions of a famed children’s authors books.

Her investigation leads her to investigate the long-ago death of the children’s author, the self-proclaimed witch who lives directly across from the victim and the aunt of a local girl close to Flavia in age who used to work with the author at his publishing house. The investigation invigorates Flavia, making her feel more herself, her old self despite her concerns for her father.


I enjoyed Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d very much. Yes, there is a brindle cat, a very affectionate one. I was glad to see Flavia back at home with her friends, her sisters and Digger. It was also good to see Flavia get back some of her confidence and élan. She is maturing, kinder, more compassionate, more polite. The book is quite a shocking addition to the series. I am very eager, now, to see where the book goes in the next book.