Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
|Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: When you read about Flavia de Luce novels you often also read cult series and it's difficult to think of another series where the standard stays so consistently high.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: March 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
Many eleven year olds would be excited at the thought of a five-hundred-year-old tomb being opened to (hopefully) reveal the bones of the local saint, but Flavia de Luce had what might almost be called a professional interest. Before the opening of the tomb she'd been associated with four dead bodies (to say that she was instrumental in solving the murders sounds just a little too much like bragging doesn't it?) but this time she really wasn't expecting to find Mr Collicut, the church organist who had been missing for six weeks. Still, there he was, dead - and wearing a gas mask.
The de Luce family have lived at Buckshaw, near Bishop's Lacey for - well, forever - but it looks as though it might be coming to an end. Flavia's father might have saved the family fortunes had he been prepared to sell a manuscript but he refused as it was a connection to his wife who had disappeared many years before. The estate agent's board has been knocked in and the family know that their time in the ancestral home is limited. Flavia is dealing with the unresolved loss of her mother, the almost-certain loss of Buckshaw and the rather difficult relationship which she has with her two elder sisters. Oh, and the mystery of Mr Collicut's death and what exactly has been going on in the churchyard.
I've said before that this shouldn't work. I've even said that readers will need to suspend disbelief that an eleven year old could be quite as knowledgeable, as worldly-wise as Flavia, but the more of the books that I read the more I find that I've simply come to believe them. I adore Flavia and I root for her even when she takes the most ridiculous risks, when she says the most outrageous things. Alan Bradley can tempt me to accept his story when few other authors could do the same. It's quirky. It's whimsical and it's brilliant. I stop short of calling it charming as that would take something away from the series.
Now, there's a cliffhanger ending - and it's massive. Normally I'd be infuriated, but book six is available. Even if it hadn't been I don't think that I would have been too cross.
Mind you, I have a mystery which might need Flavia's intellect to solve. At the beginning of the book we're told that Alan Bradley lives with his wife in Malta, but at the end he lives on the Isle of Man. Hmmm.
You could read any of the books as standalones but you will get more out of them if you start at the beginning and work your way through.
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