The Golden Tresses of the Dead
Flavia de Luce, the 12-year-old chemist and amateur detective, is eager to turn professional. She and her father's valet, Dogger, have founded a detective agency, Arthur Dogger & Associates, and unexpectedly cut into their first case during the revelry at her sister Ophelia's wedding reception.
After an eventful ceremony with a missing best man and spontaneous ventriloquist act, spirits are high as Feely and her new husband head for the towering and beautifully iced wedding cake.
But as Feely slices into the first piece, a scream rings out — the bridal cake contains a severed human finger. Delighted, Flavia wraps the finger in a napkin and whisks it away to her chemical laboratory.
By studying the embalmed skin, the indentation of a ring and the slope of the fingernail, she'll not only be able to determine the identity of the victim — but also point a finger at a killer. (From Doubleday Canada)
From the book
I'd like to remark at the outset that I'm a girl with better than an average brain. Just as some people are given the gift of a singular and often quite remarkable talent—such as Violet Cornish's uncanny ability to break wind to the tune of "Joy to the World"—I myself, in much the same way, have been blessed with the power of logical thinking. As Violet could easily confirm, it's something you're born with, and then improve by much practice.
The many occasions upon which I had been consulted by the constabulary had sharpened my already considerable detection skills to the point where I had little choice but to turn professional. And so I had set up with Dogger, my late father's valet, gardener, and all-round sounding board, a small agency to which we gave the name—to signal respectability—Arthur W. Dogger & Associates.
Little did we know that our very first case would be so close to home.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me begin at the beginning.
From The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley ©2019. Published by Doubleday.