“Murder! the letter says, Come at once. Anson House, Greyminster, Staircase No. 3. How can Flavia de Luce resist such an urgent plea? After all, examining a dead body sounds like a perfectly splendid way to spend a Sunday. So Flavia hops upon her trusted bicycle, Gladys, whose rubber tires hiss happily along the rainy road, and arrives at her father’s mist-shrouded old school. There, a terrified boy leads her to the loo where, sitting in a bathtub, is what appears to be a statue. But, no: To Flavia’s surprise, the thing is in fact a naked dead man. Save his face, he seems to have been carved out of copper. Never one to shy away from the macabre, Flavia gets to work—only to find that when an investigation begins with a metallic cadaver, ever more curious twists are to be expected.” – Goodreads
As has become much the rage these days, the fabulous Alan Bradley had gifted his readers with a Flavia de Luce short story to whet our appetites just one month prior to the anxiously awaited publication of his most recent novel, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.
On a quiet Sunday afternoon, girl detective Flavia de Luce is summoned at home by a local schoolboy. His housemaster has been found dead – the same man that he had threatened to kill just days before. He needs Flavia to prove him innocent before he can be accused of his housemaster’s death. As always, Flavia is up to the task.
Flavia is brought to the scene of death, where she finds the deceased, naked, in a bathtub – completely covered in copper plating. Thankfully Flavia’s history as a chemist extraordinaire will be of great value in this curious case. It’s not long before she meets the rest of the boys in the dormitory, does a little snooping around the school campus, and – as always – nabs her man.
Unfortunately, it is glaringly obvious, after reading The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse, that for Bradley this was merely a homework assignment to be completed – without much effort on his part. The magic that follows Flavia de Luce is not to be seen in this short story, nor is it much of a mystery. I realize, that in 27 short pages, things have to move quickly – but could we not have been given more than 27 short pages to allow this tale to be more fleshed-out? For it’s length, and $0.99 price, I suppose we are getting what we paid for, and I shouldn’t complain. For I know, without a doubt, that when I crack open the cover for As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, all feelings of dissatisfaction will fade away.
The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse by Alan Bradley. Read it today!
Source: Personal Library
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