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Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel Hardcover – January 29, 2013
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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
Top customer reviews
I will read one of the other books in the series because I think they are probably very good. The CD book was promising. Other than the voices, my only complaint is that, even for me who practices it regularly with mystery, science fiction, and fantasy stories, it's necessary to grant a little more than usual suspension of disbelief.
Their father continues to isolate himself in his study with his stamps. However, conditions are dire, and it appears that Buckshaw must be sold!
There are many events taking place in this, the fifth outing of Bradley's feisty young detective. The five-hundredth anniversary of Saint Tancred's death, and the folk of Bishop's Lacey are preparing to open the crypt and pay honor to their patron saint.
However, what is discovered are the remains of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist. How did he manage to end up in the tomb of Saint Tancred?
As always, Bradley does a wonderful job of developing his characters, and even though you might wonder how and why certain people are introduced to the story, all is made clear by the end.
Inspector Hewitt didn't play as large a part in this entry in the series, but readers will still enjoy everything that goes on in Flavia's world.
Without giving anything away, there is QUITE a surprise at the end of the book, so DON'T LOOK ahead!
The mystery is the tightest and most interesting yet, and has a slightly eerie atmosphere new to the series. I loved that eerieness and hope it reappears in another.
Flavia has grown up a little (she's almost 12, after all) and the stories of Flavia and her sisters, her mother, father and the estate Buckshaw move forward more than ever. The changes in these beloved characters are most welcome after the static, stilted book four.
Alan Bradley's clever prose is wonderfully entertaining. It's not great literature but for what it is, it's terrific. He is a remarkably gifted writer and at his best here. The book has mystery, wit, suspense, irony, humor and I could go on with the adjectives but the best of all is it has heart. He loves his characters and the town itself and writes about them with lovely tenderness. I didn't want to reach the end of the book.
That he ended on a cliffhanger is surprising -- and maddening good fun. I wish I had book six right now (and seven through ten as well!), and sincerely hope they meet the very high standard he has set himself with "Speaking From Among the Bones."
The fifth Flavia book gets the ball rolling rather quickly with the main murder plot, but there are a lot of other subplots from previous novels that are starting to come together here. The de Luce family’s financial problems have finally come to a head, and Buckshaw is up for sale. There is a cliffhanger here at the end, and the next book seems to be headed for a resolution of sorts. If you’ve enjoyed the other books in the series, this one is a must read.