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Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel Hardcover – January 29, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Flavia de Luce (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385344036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385344036
  • ASIN: 0385344031
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (502 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is inordinately interested in death and passionate about poisons. When she’s feeling blue, she thinks about cyanide, since its color reflects her mood. She also has a penchant for finding corpses and an extraordinary ability to ferret out the stories behind their untimely deaths. Here she is the first to espy the body of St. Tancred’s Church organist Crispin Collicutt during the excavation of the eponymous saint’s remains to mark his quincentennial, in 1951. Flavia also must deal with a crisis at home when her widowed father is forced to put the family estate, Buckshaw, up for sale. And while uncovering motives, Flavia also unearths a number of local families’ secrets, including some involving her late mother. Bradley’s Flavia cozies, set in the English countryside, have been a hit from the start, and this fifth in the series continues to charm and entertain, as Flavia—so intellectually mature yet socially unschooled—takes advantage of being able to go about unnoticed because of her youth. A final cliff-hanger guarantees interest in the next installment. --Michele Leber


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 Flavia de Luce novels
“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

Customer Reviews

The stories just keep getting better.
Marcia Barton
Much tongue-in-cheek humor, interesting characters and well developed plot.
This particular book ends in a cliff hanger.
G. Messersmith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Daniel H. Bigelow VINE VOICE on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Speaking from Among the Bones is the fifth of the beloved Flavia de Luce mysteries, about a pre-teen genius in a 1950's English village who distracts herself from her family's declining fortunes by involving herself in every homicide that occurs in the region. I've read and enjoyed them all, but two-thirds of the way through this one I thought I'd be giving it my first bad review. I thought I would be complaining the author, Alan Bradley, is finally losing his way, letting his enjoyment of creating oddball British characters run away with him and having young Flavia run all around the region just so she can bump into more eccentrics. Plus, I caught several clues before Flavia did. Was Bradley losing his touch? Was Flavia finally in over her head? I was busy thinking about questions like that rather than asking the central question in any whodunit: Who done it?

Then came the last few chapters, in which it turns out nearly every character serves a purpose, half of what I thought was throwaway detail proves to have been clues, and not only does it turn out that Flavia (and, thus, Bradley), was at least three steps ahead of me all along, Flavia also deals cleverly and courageously with a couple of physically dangerous situations. And then, as icing on the cake, Bradley throws us a cliffhanger ending I just can't spoil, but which absolutely guarantees I'll get my hands on the next de Luce book as early as possible.

The last de Luce book, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, grabbed me instantly with a corker of an opener, and is still stylistically Bradley's best work.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Angie Boyter VINE VOICE on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the fifth and best in the charming cozy mystery series set in 1951 England featuring precocious 11-year-old sleuth Flavia DeLuce. Flavia lives in the decaying family estate Buckshaw with her widowed father, two older sisters, the family retainer Doggett, whose mind has been unbalanced since he and Flavia's father were interned in a prison camp during the war, and the daily housekeeper Mrs. Mullet. Flavia's passion is chemistry, especially poisons, and she gives free rein to this passion in the fully-equipped chemistry lab that her deceased uncle Tarquin had established on an upper floor of Buckshaw.
As the book opens, Flavia's ever-active bump of curiosity has been stirred by the upcoming 500th anniversary of the death of Saint Tancred, patron saint of the village church, an event that is to be marked by opening the saint's tomb. Flavia of course manages to be present when the crypt is opened, and she is the first to see the body, not of the patron saint but of the missing church organist. Flavia is soon deep into the investigation of why and how the organist met his unusual demise and why so many people seem remarkably interested in the disinterment of Saint Tancred. While she pursues these intellectual puzzles, she also faces potentially life-changing events. Her oldest sister Ophelia has become engaged. Even more significant and more threatening, the family financial position is so bad that Buckshaw, the family home for hundreds of years, may be sold.
There is enough of a plot to this book to keep you reading, but plot is not its raison d'etre. I once saw a book on writing called "Characters Make Your Story", and this tenet is certainly true of the Flavia series.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Terri J. Rice TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"I was looking into a small stone chamber of perhaps seven feet long and three wide. The first thing I saw was a human hand, its dried fingers tightly clutching a bit of broken glass tubing. And then the face- ghastly, inhuman mask with enormous, straining acetate eyes and piggish rubber snout.

Beneath it was a white ruffle, not quite covering the ink-black vessels of the neck and throat. Above the eyes was a chock of curly golden choirboy hair.
This was definitely not the body of Saint Tancred.

I turned off the torch, withdrew my head, and turned slowly to the vicar.

'I believe we've found Mr. Collicut,' I said."

I am so behind! This is my first Flavia de Luce novel. My daughter has read and adored this series and now I can say, " I do too!"

Flavia Sabina de Luce is only eleven years old but she is a detective extraordinaire. Alan Bradley's writing is fantastic. This sort of campy satirical murder mystery is a delight to read and extremely difficult to put down. There's been a murder in the little village of Bishop's Lacey and once again, Flavia manages to insert herself into the solving of it.

Flavia has her own chemistry lab where she studies the specimens of blood from various people and animals after she has surreptitiously obtained them. Flavia does much of her distance sleuthing in Bishop's Lacey, on her faithful friend, Gladys, her bicycle. She cares for her bike as if it were a dear friend- "With bucket of water fetched from the laboratory, I partially filled the tin hip bath and swabbed Gladys down with a loofah. I used my toothbrush to get into the tight places. Although she was quite ticklish, Gladys tried to pretend she wasn't."

If you are looking for an exciting murder mystery that somehow manages to be winsome and delightful too, you will love this book.
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More About the Author

Alan Bradley received the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, his first novel, which went on to win the Agatha Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Macavity Award and the Spotted Owl Award. He is the author of many short stories, children's stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. He co-authored Ms. Holmes of Baker Street with the late William A.S. Sarjeant. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats. His seventh Flavia de Luce mystery, "As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust" will be published in the US and Canada on January 6, 2015, and in the UK on April 23.

The first-ever Flavia short story, "The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse" has recently been published in eBook format, as has his 2006 memoir, "The Shoebox Bible".