This book is the second installment of the Flavia de Luce mysteries...Flavia is a precocious 11 year old girl living in 1950's England. She loves chemistry and poking her nose into strange goings on in her village. Her dad and her sisters sometimes get in the way...but she still manages to get in the way and figure out the mystery. This mystery involves the death of a famous tv puppeteer who is traveling the countryside. At first the crime seems random, but as clues unfold it seems the puppeteer may have old ties to the neighborhood. The suspects? The vicar, his wife, the puppeteers assistant, a german WWII prisoner of war and others all must be investigated all while avoiding older sisters and dreaded Aunt Felicity. These mysteries are fun reads...I definitely recommend them, and I think you could get away with not reading the first book (although I think it was slightly better than this one). The third is out in hardback now..I'm sure I'll read it in a few months!