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Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel    by Alan Bradley order for
Speaking from Among the Bones
by Alan Bradley
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Flavia de Luce has been my favorite cozy mystery character since I opened her first adventure, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The precocious young sleuth embarks on her fifth (as always in Bishop's Lacey, England) in Speaking from Among the Bones.

As the story opens, a shadow hangs over the de Luce household. Family fortunes are at a low ebb and their historical mansion, Buckshaw - where Flavia lives with her elder sisters (seventeen-year-old Ophelia and thirteen-year-old Daphne), her withdrawn father, and with shell-shocked Dogger - will have to be sold.

Despite that, Flavia is excited by events in the village and intends to get in on the action. It is the quincentennial of the death of the church's patron saint, Tancred, and his tomb is about to be opened. Present for the event, Flavia is first to spot the corpse of church organist, Mr. Collicutt (wearing a gas mask) in the crypt.

Of course Flavia investigates, and she has rivals - Flora-archaeologist/PI Adam Sowerby and testy local Miss Tanty. Flavia's escapades this time include a headfirst tumble into an open grave; impersonation of a ghost; breaking and entering into Bogmore Hall where she meets a strange man who mistakes her for her mother; rescue of a chicken (Esmeralda) from imminent death; and a close encounter with a killer.

Of course Flavia solves the mystery, identifies the villains, finds a hidden treasure, and takes great pleasure in sharing her findings with Inspector Hewitt and his delightful wife Antigone. But then, her father reveals his own surprising news. It will mean big changes at Buckshaw, and leave series fans keener than ever to get their hands on the next episode. I, for one, can't wait!

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