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The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (2018)

by Alan Bradley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Flavia de Luce (9)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7075923,894 (3.93)145
""The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty new mystery novel from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley. In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes against her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself as Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia's grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia's mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder--although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave. Acclaim for Alan Bradley's beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Award, and Arthur Ellis Award "If ever there were a sleuth who's bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it's Flavia de Luce."--USA Today "Delightful. a combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes."--The Boston Globe "[Flavia] is as addictive as dark chocolate."--Daily Mail"--""The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a new mystery novel from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley"--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
The Graves A Fine And Private Place (2018) (F. de Luce #9) by Alan Bradley.
Her father is dead. Her home life is fragmented. And so the ever faithful Dogger escorts Flavia and her sisters Feely and Daffy on a small holiday. While punting down a lazy river, Flavia dangles her fingers in the water while the other three dream happy thoughts. But, as this is a Flavia de Luce mystery, something incredible happens. Her dangling fingers get snarled with what at first is thought of as marsh grass but is actually the mouth of a dead man.
The police constable is called in. The dead man is the son of a notorious vicar who has been hanged for murder. And why is the dead man dressed so oddly?
Did the vicar do the deed he was sentenced for and who killed his son?
Like the other de Luce novels, this is a charming mystery that must be solved by our junior Holmes. Dogger is stalwart as ever, indispensable and thoughtful as always. There is a smattering of suspects including the young son of the local undertaker with his airborne camera equipment and several women about the small village. And there is the story of the vicar’s victims that we must learn about.
This is a nice tale about our intrepid young detective/chemist, but hardly the best of the lot. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Apr 17, 2021 |
3.25* ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
All the greatness of what I expect from Flavia de Luce. Nice that this story takes place in a new setting while the family takes a bit of a holiday from the family home and their recent troubles. And as always, the book is much better read by Jane Entwistle than my own eyes. She IS Flavia. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Bradley has his formula down and Flavia does not disappoint. After a family tragedy in Book 8, the DeLuce girls are in need of a holiday and Dogger takes them out into the countryside on a punting trip. While rowing the river, Flavia literally hooks a corpse and her next mystery is off and running. The body of Orlando Whitbread is pulled ashore and though it looks like a simple drowning, Flavia's chemical knowledge (which was way beyond me in this book!) and her act of rifling through the dead man's pockets convinces her otherwise. Absent in this installment (until the very end) is Inspector Hewitt since this is not his jurisdiction. The sisters get along the best they ever have with a bit of collaboration to solve the crime and Dogger has become a father-figure and more of a work partner with Flavia on this one. Her deductions take her to a church where Orlando's father had poisoned 3 women parishioners years prior, and include a traveling circus, a poetic pub mistress, a famous though aged London actress and a fastidious undertaker and his young son Hob, who becomes a friend to Flavia. Ultimately she ends up solving 4 murders instead of one and almost becomes a victim herself. Her scientific mind and fascination with decay are as charming as ever and she offers up this reflection: "How pleasant it is to sit in an ancient church and ponder poisons." She is the Bones of 1950s Britain with a little Nancy Drew thrown in. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
One thing I liked about this latest installment is how Flavia and her sisters have seemed to come together in the aftermath of their father's death. Of course it is subtle but encouraging. The mystery is a curious one - and underlines the theme of things we do for family. There is a sense of detached horror in how Flavia finds the body! ( )
  tjsjohanna | Oct 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Bradleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heikinheimo, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
-- Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress (1681)
Dedication
To Shirley, my inspiration
First words
I am on my deathbed. Again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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""The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty new mystery novel from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley. In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes against her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself as Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia's grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia's mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder--although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave. Acclaim for Alan Bradley's beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Award, and Arthur Ellis Award "If ever there were a sleuth who's bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it's Flavia de Luce."--USA Today "Delightful. a combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes."--The Boston Globe "[Flavia] is as addictive as dark chocolate."--Daily Mail"--""The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a new mystery novel from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley"--

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