Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7), Alan Bradley


Hardcover, 416 pages

Published January 6th 2015 by Delacorte Press

Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss

I adore Flavia de Luce.  This is a review for book 7 of a series-but I’ll tell you when to stop reading if you haven’t yet started.  I have been a fan of this series since The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was published in 2009 and I wait impatiently for each new release.  Flavia is hilarious.  She is precocious, shameless, quick on her feet and probably too smart for her own good.  She does not tolerate fools gladly.  Be warned, if you make her mad you’re going to end up on her list of people to be poisoned.  She’s fascinated with murder and has an excellent record when inserting herself into a murder investigation.

So if you’re not familiar with this series start now!

Going ahead, now we’re on book number 7 and there will be some spoilers.  Flavia has been exiled to boarding school in Canada at Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy.  It seems to me that she’s still not quite back to herself (a little too subdued, maybe) since saying goodbye to Harriet in Book 6.  But upon learning her mother had also been a student at Miss Bodycote’s she finds some comfort.  I was excited for the chance to get to learn more about Harriet’s past as well. I can’t think of another character right now that feels as mysterious as Harriet de Luce.  I want to know what her marriage was like and what the heck she was up to for the Nide in her short life!

I loved how Flavia just jumped into the school setting, introducing herself as “de Luce” and throwing out movie slang to try to fit in with the other girls.  Of course Flavia finds a body before she’s even spent a whole night at school.  Then she learns that girls have been disappearing from Miss Bodycote’s and who has time for homesickness-there’s a murderer to be found!  I found myself missing the setting of Buckshaw and the usual cast of characters that both support and infuriate Flavia but I did like seeing how Flavia handled herself with entirely new people.  She is so totally incorrigible.

I honestly think the last book ended so strongly that any book would have had a hard time following.  This mystery itself wasn’t my favorite either so I just can’t rate it as high as some others in the series.  That being said I am excited to see where Book 8 leads us-next year I hope?  I think this journey away from Buckshaw was important for Flavia to grow-up a bit and I look forward to seeing what she gets up to next.

3 stars!

Thank you Delacorte Press and Edelweiss for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review!


  1. I too have been reading and enjoying the Flavia series. I agree with Amanda about the previous story (book 6), The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, being a stronger story than is As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (book 7). I am interested in seeing how the Flavia story unfolds when she returns to Buckshaw.

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