The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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February 14, 2018

The further adventures of Flavia

Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce mysteries are among my favorites, and I always look forward to a new one. Flavia, in case you haven't met her, is a young {she was 11 for a long time, and I'm not sure how old she is now, but makes a passing reference to her braces}, wise-beyond-her-years, chemisty-obsessed girl living in an old English country house with her two older sisters, their faithful cook, and Dogger, a man of all trades who was imprisoned with Flavia's father during World War II and stll has frightening flashbacks.  A lot has happened to Flavia over the course of the books (in addition to the crimes she solves):  her long-lost mother Harriet has been found and finally buried, her father has just died, and she has inherited Buckshaw. It's a dispiriting time for all concerned, and as this book opens, Dogger has taken the sisters off for a much-needed holiday, and of course there's a suitably gruesome body for Flavia to find.

I found this book a little quieter than some of the others -- I think it's because the supporting characters don't feature in it very much -- but I wasn't disappointed (I never am). Flavia is still Flavia, I thought it was a good turn to show us more of her relationship with Dogger, and there's the promise at the end of an interesting new direction to look forward to.

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place has just been published by Random House. Thanks to  Netgalley for sharing the book with me.


Lark said...

I'm impatiently waiting for my reserve copy of this book to come in from the library...I hope it arrives soon. Because I, too, love Flavia. And Dogger is my second favorite character. :D

Frances said...

I was just glad that Bradley re-invented Flavia's world in a way that interests me going forward.

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