Oh Flavia, you and your poison...This second installment in the Flavia De Luce series was a bit slower than the first (the murder doesn't even occur until half-way through the book!) but more revealing of the De Luce family background, which made up for the slower start. Flavia is freakishly observant and manipulative, and she's 11 years old. The mysteries are told from the viewpoint of a very precocious, highly intelligent child. She misses things that an adult would grasp immediately, but she also sees and hears things that an adult would never see or hear. As a child, she's still somewhat invisible, therefore she's "safe." People talk. The charm of the Flavia mysteries lies not in the complexity of the story, (because it's not very complex,) but in the way she's such a strange little outsider, living her mostly unsupervised life in a somewhat fractured and detached family. For those of us who felt like outsiders as children, you feel what she feels, and in the end, it kind of feels like the smart kids won.