Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

To read my reviews of the other books in this series, click here: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, and Speaking from Among the Bones.


Title: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce #6)
Author: Alan Bradley
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Murder Mystery
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: some vivid scenes
Premise: "On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train's arrival in the English village of Bishop's Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces' crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office--and making spectacular use of Harriet's beloved Gypsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit--Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer" (King County Library System).
Opinions: This book was a beautiful mix of an eleven-year old dealing with intense grief in overwhelming circumstances while still hunting for the truth. It felt real, raw and emotional from Flavia's perspective. You see the emotional/psychological twists she endures now that she is seeing things in a different light, and is becoming her own most unique and intriguing grown-up. I'm continually amazed by the depth of characters among the plethora of people crossing Flavia's stage. However, the one who has my heart the most is Dogger. He is forever a hero in my book and a man I wish I could know in real life. One of the other things I love about this series is the intermittent references to history, literature and music that makes me want to delve even deeper into their amazing culture. 

Alan Bradley has done a remarkable job on a brilliant series that steps out of the norm for the mysteries that I have read (keeping in mind my scope is more limited than I would prefer to admit. In the end this book (and its series) has left me thoughtful, intrigued, and envious. I definitely recommend it, but suggest that a parent read it first to know if their specific child can handle the content).

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