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Flavia is fab!

October 7, 2013

The delightful twelve-year-old precocious sleuth Flavia de Luce is on fine form in ‘Speaking from among the bones’ by Alan Bradley.  This is her fifth adventure, and her detective skills have improved dramatically since the first book. As has her skill with chemistry and knowledge of poisons, both manufactured and botanical.

flaviaThere is great excitement in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, as the tomb of St Tancred is about to be opened for the first time in 500 years. Flavia is there to witness the historic event, but instead they find the corpse of the church organist, who has been missing for six weeks.

Meanwhile, Buckshaw, the de Luce family manor, is for sale as Flavia’s widowed father struggles to manage. So when Flavia discovers that St Tancred de Luce was buried with a massive diamond, she has extra incentive to solve this case before any one else. After all, surely it’s a family heirloom?  Flying around the country on her trusty bicycle Gladys, interviewing suspects, breaking and entering, analysing evidence … Flavia is in her element!

The ending was not what I expected, which is the most important thing for a mystery novel – but I won’t spoil it for you. Suffice to say that I certainly did not guess the culprit, or foresee the unexpected twist announced by Mr de Luce. The character of Flavia is as real to me as Harry Potter ever was, and she beats Sherlock any day. One day, I believe we will all see young Flavia on the small screen!

– Natalie

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