How I love a Flavia de Luce novel! I started reading these about a year ago. I began with (unknowingly) book 7, and then I back tracked to the first one. And I have always been impressed. I have listened to all 8 through Overdrive. I managed to get book 6.5 from the library. When I found The Grave’s a Fine and Lonely Place (book 9) on NetGalley, I just had to snatch it up.
A little non-spoiler history on the Flavia de Luce books:
The books start with Flavia as an 11 year old girl. She’s brilliant, especially when it comes to chemistry. But she does have an uncanny ability to find a dead body. Using her sense and chemical knowledge, Flavia has been able to solve many crimes, even before the police can find a suspect.
Flavia’s home life is a little unusual. She lives with her father and three sisters, Ophelia and Daphne. The sisters do not have the best relationship, and their father has not been the same since his wife disappeared on a mountain hiking trip. Her only dear friend is the ‘butler’ Dogger.
The first 6 books are delightful, but a little dark. From there, the series starts to make a transition – the books get darker and Flavia begins to mature. By book 8 everything has changed and it leaves the reader wondering how the series will continue.
Well never fear! Alan Bradley has geniusly taken Flavia to a whole new level and direction.
The Grave’s a Fine and Lonely Places finds Flavia, Feely, and Daffy on a much needed holiday on the river with Dogger. Flavia dips her fingers into the water and low and behold, catches a fish!! When she looks down, it’s not a fish at all. Her fingers are inside the mouth of a dead corpse.
Flavia and Dogger seek to solve the murder and uncover hidden stories from town. Things get more difficult with four dead bodies connected with the current murder.
I am so excited to be reading the Flavia de Luce series. I could not be any happier with how this story is heading. The transition with Flavia from a school girl, to now a mature woman has lead the series into something more than a childhood past time.
With the new family circumstances, Flavia has become a little closer to her sisters and their relationships are beginning to improve and grow. It really makes an effort in the importance of family.
Dogger has also taken a larger role in the series. He has suffered from severe PTSD, but now he seems to be growing stronger by the minute. He and Flavia have the best relationship and it helps Flavia in her chemical experiments.
Everything has changed with this book, but Bradley has brought everything together. I cannot wait to read the next installment.
The Grave’s a Fine and Lonely Place by Alan Bradley gets 4 stars.
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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