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February 18, 2014


Charlaine Harris

I did not expect to learn a single thing about poison ivy when I got up today. I'm already ahead of the game.

Marcia Talley

Welcome, Alan! Just the title "The Undertaker's Jest Book" makes me laugh. Is that a real book?

Dean (Miranda) James

I wish there had been a recording of that talk! I am a huge fan of Flavia's and am always impatiently waiting for the next book in the series, since I devour a new one immediately.

Sally Schmidt

I had never heard of Flavia, but this blog was so funny I knew I had to go and get The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie at right away and catch up. Thanks for introducing me to a new series.

And I'm glad I'm not a Libra so I don't have to please everyone ;-).

Marcia Talley

Dean, I've already read DIVA, and it's wonderful. Ties up lots of loose ends, but leaves open the possibility of more Flavia books in the future. Thank goodness! I LOVE Flavia.

Karen in Ohio

Flavia is one of the most charming of all sleuths. Thank you, Alan!

But as a fellow Libra, I have to point out that the true challenge is to make a decision. I met a young lady whose birthday was near mine once, and I said, "Another Libra! Do you have trouble making up your mind?"

Her answer was classic Libra: "Yes. No. Well, maybe."

Nancy Roessner

I love Flavia! Her series is a favorite. My son is a Libra. He seems decisive. On the other hand, my husband is a Virgo and seems to be Libra-like.

Alice Duncan

At least you Libras can plot. I'm a Sagittarius, and tend to get from the murder to the murderer in a page. Not good. Love your Flavia de Luce books! I guess this is the end of them? Or are you planning more. I HOPE you're planning more!


I'm a big fan of Flavia (and of Alan). Lovely post.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

I'm a Libra, too! (A classic LIbra? Well, yes and no.)

But here is me being VERY decisive: I love Flavia! And thank you so much for being here today.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

And yesterday's winner is SALLY SCHMIDT! Email me at h ryan @ whdh dot com and I will send you HUNTED!


Ae now return you to your regular programming..

Diana Belchase

Sounds like a wonderful, book! Very interesting post.

Good luck.

Ellen Rappaport

I have read every one of the Flavia books and enjoy them to the utmost. Fabulously written. So thrilled you invited Alan Bradley on your show. And even happier he accepted the invitation.

Leslie Budewitz

Well, you just never know when you'll need to know that poison ivy is useful in making boot blacking. One more wonderful thing I've learned from Flavia -- and her creator!

Kathy Reel

I have been a fan of Alan Bradley and Flavia de Luce since Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. First, I had to read the book because of the title, and then, I had to keep reading because of Flavia and the fantastic stories. I can hardly wait each year to see what the new ingenious title is and what Flavia is going to brew up. I will say, Mr. Bradley, that I am often overcome with sadness for Flavia and wish that there could be more happiness in her life, and, yet, I am obviously thrilled with the stories and delight in reading each book. Thank you for Flavia and all the amazing stories.

Elaine Viets

Welcome, Alan. I will never trust an English garden again now that know poison ivy is lurking there. Loved your blog.

Dana Cameron

Thank you so much for blogging with the Femmes Fatales, Alan! Yes, it seems that if only there could be a button on blogs, Facebook, etc., that says "mea culpa," and leave it at that, it would simplify things. I applaud your elegant solution!

I was told by archaeological colleagues in England that there was no poison ivy! Ha! I must write immediately to correct them!

Shari Randall

How I love the Flavia books! Wonderful to hear about the television series. I do hope that the casting for the role of Flavia is just what you wish. Talk about a juicy role. Cheers to you, congratulations!

Beth Cato

I love Flavia! These books are downright contagious. I have gotten my mom hooked on them, and she hooked her cousin, and it's spreading from there.

Jeffrey Marks

Indeed, some of Flavia's fans are male! I adore the books and often use passages in my class to let students understand the concept of narrator voice.

And while I'm allergic to most of the outdoors, poison ivy does nothing to me. Go figure.

Donna Fletcher Crow

Delightful, Alan! I, too, have fond memories of meeting you at St. Hilda's. All the best to Flavia!

Avis Crane

I'm 40 pages from the end of this book, and can't wait to finish! I have loved this series. Congratulations on the TV series.

Alan Bradley

Thanks for the warm welcome - and for all the lovely comments and kind words. I'm already feeling more balanced!

I'm happy to be able to correct those legions of poison ivy deniers - not that it will do any good, of course.

"The Undertaker's Jest Book" is not a real book - at least, not yet, Marcia. Maybe it should be.

As for the Flavia books, there are presently ten planned and I'm at work on the seventh even as we blog.

Looking forward to meeting you all again at St. Hilda's this August.

Mary Ellen Hughes

As someone who is related to undertakers I can attest to the fact that they have terrific senses of humor - much like many crime writers. But I shall never blacken my boots again now that I know the lethal ingredient. Thank you, Alan, for that and for writing absolutely delightful books.

Alan Bradley

Thanks, Mary Ellen.

As a child, I was sent in the summers to visit relatives in a Tom Sawyer-ish village where we played away the sunlit hours in the lane behind the undertaker's shop.

We played hide-and-seek in the coffins and roughboxes and our playthings were the empty bottles which had once contained embalming fluid.

I don't remember the undertakers as being particularly amusing, but we sure had quiet fun.

Ah, the days of our youth...

Incidentally (very) there's a house in Boswell, British Columbia built from embalming-fluid bottles.

Alan Bradley

Thank you, Mary Ellen.

As a child I was sent in the summer to stay with relatives who lived in a Tom Sawyer-ish village where we idled away the sunshine hours in the lane behind the local undertaker's establishment.

We played hide-and-seek in the roughboxes and coffins, and built castles with empty embalming-fluid bottles.

The undertaker was not particularly amusing, but we certainly had a great deal of fun.

Ah, the days of our childhood!

Incidentally, there is a house in Boswell, British Columbia which is built from embalming-fluid bottles.

And now back to our regular programming......

Marcia Talley

Oh my gosh, Alan! With such a childhood, no wonder you turned into a novelist!

Mary Ellen Hughes

We didn't exactly play hide and seek among the coffins, but I do remember occasional Christmas parties in the attached living quarters of these relatives when there was a body or two in silent attendance nearby.


Alan Bradley it's one of a kind,the Flavia Luce series are my favs.

Grace Topping

Hi, Alan -- I really enjoy your books and look forward to the TV series. Each year my husband and I travel from Virginia to Cobourg, Canada for Royal Marine ceremonies for Remembrance Sunday (Veterans' Day). When I discovered that Coburg is your hometown, I always think of you and Flavia when we're there. Lovely place.

Alan Bradley

Thanks for posting, Grace.

I have many memories of parading to the cenotaph in Victoria Park on Remembrance Day, as well as competing at Kingston with the Royal Marines Band.
(They won).

Please give a nod to the old town for me next time you visit.

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