By Alan Bradley
Published: January 14, 2014
Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) Thanks to Netgalley
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating 4 out of 5
The Flavia de Luce mysteries are so much more than just a cosy mystery. These mysteries involve an eleven (almost twelve) year old girl named Flavia who has the analytical mind of a great detective, (Sherlock Holmes comes to mind), the intellect of a mad scientist, the cunning of spy and the attitude of a precocious but lonely child growing up without a mother, with two overbearing sister a sad and eccentric father in a large Country Estate of disrepairs. Lucky for Flavia, she always has the support and protection of her fathers closest friend and confident, Dogger.
In the much anticipated 6th book in the series by Alan Bradley, the Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, we commence the story as we wait on pins and needles for the long awaited return of Harriet, the missing mother of Flavia and her sisters, Ophelia and Daphne and wife of Havilland de Luce.
"Your mother has been found" her father had said at the end of the 5th book, Speaking from Amongst the Bones..."She is coming home"....
After more than ten long years of waiting and wondering, the train carrying Harriet home, pulls in to the station, Buckshaw Halt. With the snap of your fingers, the game is a foot as the great Sherlock Holmes would have said....
Winston Churchill mentions the "Pheasant Sandwiches" those very words to Flavia.
A tall man in a long black coat tells Flavia that her father should know the "Game Keeper is in Jeopardy" and the "Nide..." too late, he has been pushed under the train by an unknown assailant..and what of Aunt Felicity, what does she know?..who is the man in the window in an American soldiers uniform..What about Harriet's plane the Blythe Spirit and who are the mysterious relatives, Lena and her daughter Undine? Has Flavia met her match in Undine? Is she a friend or foe? And who is this man, Tristram Tallis, that knows her mother so well and why is the cook, Mrs. Mullet so familiar with Tristram not to mention he knows his way around Buckshaw Estates so well?
And let's not forget Harriet and Havilland de Luce...
This book is very hard to put down. Once you start to read the first few sentences you are no longer reading this book, but are a part of the adventure, full of mysteries, clues and suspense...and when the book ends as it does, you are left stunned in disbelief, emotionally drained but begging for more!!
Alan Bradley is a wonderful writer and I hope he continues to write for many more years to come. I for one, am a huge fan and my only wish, is that I didn't have to wait to devour the next in the Flavia de Luce mysteries..