Mini-review: The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley
AKA book 2 of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series, AKA the series with titles way too long to remember :: I’m really hoping this was just a book-two flub and that book 3 (and subsequent titles) will be better, back to what I expect based on book 1. While I loved The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, this one felt overly dark and also nearly failed to keep my interest. Just kind of a dud. I’m holding out hope that A Red Herring Without Mustard is better, especially since I already have it. But I’ll give the series a break before giving it that shot at redemption.

Do you think it’s sophomore releases, or book-2s-in-a-series that’s so often the problem? Maybe both? Thoughts?

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13 responses to “Mini-review: The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

  1. It gets better, I will admit that with this series, the second book was a little bit of a let down. The rest of the books though I found as enjoyable as the first.

  2. It took me three tries to get through this book, and I only finally got through it because I was on vacation and it was the only audiobook I had with me. I loved the first book, but this was just plain awful! The third book is *much* better. Fourth book? Meh. Worth it to see the characters and to break from the formula a bit, but the mystery was no real mystery, ever. It wasn’t even that I was good at guessing – the mystery part didn’t even show up until halfway through the book, and it was always clear who the likely killer was. The book seemed more focused on character development, which I personally liked, but I know others have found bothersome.

    • I remember you saying the 3rd was much better than this one. The 4th is the Christmas one, right? I’m usually pretty good with more character development and less whodunit, and I think it could be a particularly good thing in this series.

  3. Sometimes we love the first book in a series so much that its tough for the author to replicate that experience in the second. Perhaps this is whey we are so often disappointed in the later installments.

  4. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Well, tbh the covers and titles of these books have always turned me off them.

  5. I enjoyed the first book in this series but haven’t felt compelled to pick up another one for some reason.

  6. It’s hard of book-twos to live up to a well-loved first-in-series, but I enjoyed The Weed That Strings. And not so much A Red Herring, which I thought convoluted. But I will agree that Bradley is back to form by the fourth book, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear that. I recently bought this at a sale for 2 euros. I had hoped it would be as enjoyable as the first.

  8. Pingback: Mini-reviews: Mysteries | Word Lily

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