Speaking From Among the Bones
A Flavia De Luce NoveleBook - 2013
From award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as "one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature."
Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they're found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters' diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred's death, the English hamlet of Bishop's Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint's tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there's never such thing as an open-and-shut case.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Alan Bradley's The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.
Acclaim for Speaking from Among the Bones
"[Alan] Bradley scores another success. . . . This series is a grown-up version of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and all those mysteries you fell in love with as a child." -- The San Diego Union-Tribune
"The precocious and irrepressible Flavia . . . continues to delight." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Fiendishly brilliant . . . Bradley has created an utterly charming cast of characters . . . as quirky as any British mystery fan could hope for." --Bookreporter
"Delightful and entertaining." -- San Jose Mercury News
Acclaim for Alan Bradley's beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
"Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate." -- USA Today
"Delightful." --The Boston Globe , on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
"Utterly beguiling." -- People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
"Irresistibly appealing." --The New York Times Book Review , on A Red Herring Without Mustard
From the critics
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If you’re already familiar with the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley, you’ll want to read Speaking From Among the Bones, the fifth book in the series. If you haven’t yet encountered Flavia, you have lots of great reading ahead of you, starting withThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Flavia de Luce is a precocious 11 year old who lives in the English countryside, in the1950s. She has two difficult older sisters, a distant father, a deceased mother, and lives in a crumbling old family mansion, Buckshaw. The five books in this series take us through a year in her life, a year which is strangely full of dead bodies.
Throughout the Buckshaw Chronicles, we’ve encountered Flavia’s particular interest in chemistry and in sleuthing. In this book, there is additional character development, a clever mystery, some détente between sisters -- and one heck of a cliffhanger ending as well.
Flavia is intrepid and uses her age and gender as a decoy in her investigations. Along with her trusty bicycle, Gladys, she travels the countryside and solves local murders, to the chagrin of the local Police Inspector. In this volume, Flavia is instrumental in discovering the whereabouts of the missing church organist, Mr. Collicutt. Unfortunately, he is already dead. And occupying the long-closed tomb of the church's patron saint, St Tancred.
This sets off a whirlwind search for clues and patterns, with Flavia encountering two other amateur sleuths on the case (both adults), deliberating on the history and existence of holy relics, meeting people who mistake her for her long-lost mother Harriet, ruminating about her place in both her own family and the wider world, crawling through the muck of mysterious graveyard tunnels, falling into mortal danger, and creating new chemistry experiments to prove her theories... just to name a few of her activities!
There is a great deal of action in this story, with a tangle of characters to follow. Yet Flavia is still the heart of the story, and in this book she seems to have more heart, somehow. She is becoming ever so slightly more self-aware as her world is changing around her. The family is on the verge of losing Buckshaw, and eldest sister Feely is shortly to be married and leave the family circle altogether. These things give Flavia an edge of anxiety that she doesn't necessarily recognize in herself, but which add depth to her character.
Flavia de Luce was a delight to read about right from the beginning, and book five has topped even the excellence of the previous four books. It is finely written, amusingly acerbic, full of personality and pathos, and leaves us wanting book six rather desperately! An excellent entry in this series.
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