Strictly speaking, I'm not hugely into traditional crime thrillers. You can give me a Sherlock Holmes and sure, I'll read it - but I just wish it had the same allure as modern day authors. Having said that, though, I was intrigued when I saw Speaking From Among The Bones by Alan Bradley a few weeks ago; seemingly the perfect balance between modern and classic murder mystery, and the main character is an eleven year old girl? Well, I'll try any book once - so count me in.
This is actually the fifth book in the series but I didn't bother to check that, I just picked my favourite out of all the blurbs which happened to be this one - however it definitely did work as a standalone book in my opinion; it supplies enough back story that you're not going to be left groping in the dark for a plot that you missed. The book follows 11 year old Flavia as she tries to solve a mystery about a bat in an organ pipe - only this innocent mystery seemingly spins out of control until suddenly, Flavia has a murder to contend with - and the only person in a better place to solve the murder than the police is an 11 year old with a curious personality and a knowledge of the village around her.
The book is written from the 11 year old's point of view - and although charming and easy-to-read, it's anything but juvenile in it's approach. We learn as Flavia learns and slowly but surely you see how Flavia being a child is anything but a disadvantage to her when it comes to the mystery that she's trying to solve. Throw in a gas mask, an ancient tomb, tunnels between crypts and a sister that's getting married without telling anyone and it seems like Bradley has come up with the perfect environment for an easy holiday read.
All in all this isn't going to break into my top ten any time soon, but it's definitely caused enough intrigue that I'm considering going out and buying books 1-4. A nice modern twist on a classic story - and definitely something a little different to break up the chick-lit reads when you're lazing around by the beach (or just snuggled up on the sofa by the looks of how this Spring/Summer is going in England!)
If you liked this you might like: April's To Read List