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The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel Hardcover – January 14, 2014
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“Part Harriet the Spy, part Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Flavia is a pert and macabre pragmatist.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Alan] Bradley’s award winning Flavia de Luce series . . . has enchanted readers with the outrageous sleuthing career of its precocious leading lady. . . . This latest adventure contains all the winning elements of the previous books.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Bradley’s latest Flavia de Luce novel reaches a new level of perfection as it shows the emotional turmoil and growth of a girl who has always been older than her years and yet is still a child. The mystery is complex and very personal this time, reaching into the past Flavia never knew about. . . . These are astounding, magical books not to be missed.”—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“Excellent . . . Flavia retains her droll wit. . . . The solution to a murder is typically neat, and the conclusion sets up future books nicely.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“It’s hard to resist either the genre’s pre-eminent preteen sleuth or the hushed revelations about her family.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Flavia . . . is as fetching as ever; her chatty musings and her combination of childish vulnerability and seemingly boundless self-confidence haven’t changed a bit.”—Booklist
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
“If ever there were a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce.”—USA Today
“Irresistibly appealing.”—The New York Times Book Review, on A Red Herring Without Mustard
“Original, charming, devilishly creative.”—Bookreporter, on I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
“Delightful and entertaining.”—San Jose Mercury News, on Speaking from Among the Bones
Top Customer Reviews
This is the book in the series that is all about Harriet. Have you ever been so involved with the characters in a book series that what happens to them can make you cry? Sometimes the happenings are good, sometimes bad, but they can still bring tears to your eyes. I had to put this book down and walk away from it for a while because it moved me so much. And yet, I cannot possibly say in this review what it was that touched me so much. That would spoil the story for you and I will not do that to you. Experience it for yourself, then you will know what I'm talking about. But, please, don't begin reading the series with this book because that would absolutely spoil all the other books for you. This crisis has been building up throughout five previous novels and jumping into the series in this spot would be a shame. Instead, start at the beginning, with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery (Flavia de Luce Mysteries). Here in book six Flavia is still the same impetuous, headstrong, independent young girl who uses chemistry and intellect to investigate mysteries around her home and English village in the idyllic seeming early years following World War II.Read more ›
The book plays to several of Bradley's strengths. His wonderful writing style is in full flower, more what one thinks of as literature than as genre fare (though that distinction is, of course, artificial), and he perfectly captures the emotional tone of the terribly reserved, terribly British de Luce family as they are shattered with sorrow but too proper to reach out to one another. This is in many ways a sad book, and Bradley's depiction of the sadness of the de Luce family is both particular to them and powerfully universal.
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches works as a study in mood and tone. But I'm not so sure it works as a novel. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't read the other de Luce books -- it wraps up a lot of threads from those books but it would be nearly incomprehensible standing on its own. Nor does it work as a mystery, not that Bradley was really trying. So this book is only for de Luce completists.
But even as a de Luce completist, I was somewhat dissatisfied.Read more ›
The highlight of this series is the charming narrative voice of its heroine. Flavia is something of a genius, but emotionally she’s still an adolescent. She possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry and poisons, but her two older sisters (and most others) still treat her like a child. And in some ways, she still behaves very much like a child. It’s that fascinating dichotomy and the author’s quirky yet authentic portrayal of her voice that makes these novels so thoroughly enjoyable. Flavia displays more emotional depth this go round as she comes to terms with her feelings toward her mother. The tone is a little more melancholy than usual, but it’s balanced nicely by Flavia’s typical snark and other humorous moments.
If there’s a weakness in this novel, it’s probably representative of the series as well. The mystery isn’t really participatory for the reader. In fact, although there’s a suspicious death in the opening sequence, and although it certainly relates to the rest of the events of the novel, it’s really just a sidebar to the family affair. The investigation occurs almost entirely off-page. It should also be noted that Flavia’s sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, are featured much less than usual.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am thoroughly enjoying this series. Flavia is such a vivid character and a great reminder of how grown up I felt as an eleven year old girl. Read morePublished 5 hours ago by MRKITTY
Oh Flavia, you are perfection in a 12 year old girl. Makes me want to be young again. Love her curious mind and her frustrations at being somewhat at the mercy of adults.Published 2 days ago by Kathleen Gallegos
I love the whole Flavia De Luce series from Alan Bradley. I love the English land and culture and Bradley captures it in a delightful way. Read morePublished 10 days ago by David Joyner
Love, love , love all the series. Delightful characters, twisted plots, and Flavia is the most diabolical child you will ever love. Cheers Alan Bradley!Published 12 days ago by Meridith Berry
Another fascinating mystery in this series. Flavia's youthful perspective keeps the subject of murder and the backdrop of a crumbling mansion from bogging down the story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K. Sullivan
Flavia is a child and although I at first thought the book would have been written for children, such was not the case. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J M
Read from April 05 to 07, 2014
Limited review to avoid spoilers: After being somewhat disappointed in books 3 and 4, I was well-pleased with book 5 and am glad to say... Read more