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The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel Paperback – December 30, 2014
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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The irrepressible, nearly 12-year-old Flavia de Luce, amateur detective, faces a particularly personal crisis in this, her sixth outing. Her mother, lost in the Himalayas when Flavia was a baby, is coming home in a coffin, escorted by none other than former British prime minister Winston Churchill. If that isn’t odd enough, the great man, before leaving, approaches Flavia and asks her if she has “acquired a taste for pheasant sandwiches.” Shortly thereafter, she is approached by another man with an equally cryptic message, after which he is crushed beneath a train. Despite her curiosity, Flavia must temporarily push such strange occurrences aside to evaluate her feelings about her mother and the ongoing difficulties she is having with her odious sisters and distant father. If the somewhat tangled plot requires a bit of patience to negotiate, be assured that Flavia (who leaves “the fingerprints of her brilliant mind” on nearly everything) is as fetching as ever; her chatty musings and her combination of childish vulnerability and seemingly boundless self-confidence hasn’t changed a bit. --Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
“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
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
This book is both a perfect wrap up to Flavia's real childhood and a starting point from which her adventures can expand out in unpredictable directions. I would personally love it if her next adventure includes more than just the murder of the month but rather diverges from what had begun to be formulaic into the vast expanses the author has opened up in this volume. I would also love if the personal growth our heroine is beginning to exhibit continues. I find a Flavia slightly more aware of the needs and feelings of others far more interesting than the devious but charming little girl she has been until now.
So I look forward to the next Flavia adventure with interest which I would not have been had the author just offered us more of the same. It's easy to see from this novel where the setting for the next one will start, but where will it take us? Will we eventually get to see the fearless child as a grown woman? And just what kind of a woman will she grow up to be? The stage is set.
Perhaps my hopes were set too high. I doubted this book could reach the heights of its predecessor, I just didn't expect it to be about 300 pages of filler. Lots of time is wasted with a bizarro new plot development (is this the direction the series is going in? I'm not sure I want to go with...) Unlike A Series of Unfortunate Events, which added an unusual twist that enriched the series mythology, this one serves to diminish it, making Flavia just a cog in the machine. There is one (one!) trip to Bishop's Lacey, and all the interesting characters and the book's mystery are completely neglected and pushed aside to make room for... for what? For setting up for the next book, that's what.
The writing is clever and witty as always, however. I just know that when I eventually re-read this series, I will skip this one.
If you have read & enjoyed the previous Flavia De Luce
books, then this one will satisfy your craving for more.
It picks up where the last one left off, and proceeds to
flesh out the family tree with astonishing results.
I really appreciate how the author uses the nuances of
coming of age to tamper ever so slightly with Flavia's
objectivity & intellect.
I do have to object, however at the:
Intent & attempt to bring a corpse back to life.
Not only did is cause me to gasp, but then immediately to
say "Eu! Don't do that!" for so many reasons.
As for the rest, the main characters learn more about each other
as they come to a conclusion that will sadly draw them farther apart.
I hope fervently that the author has plans to follow Flavia as she
moves away & forward with her education, as I can easily imagine
that she has more adventures ahead of her !
Most recent customer reviews
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