Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review: Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (Flavia De Luce, Book 5)

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case. (from the back of the book)

Review: It was a delight to once again go along with Flavia as she navigates her life - and the solving of a murder. We learn more about Harriet and her life at Buckshaw. We see the subtle changes in Flavia's sisters, how they are growing, maturing, as is Flavia. And Mr. de Luce - we see the burden he holds begin to take their toll. As with all these books, this feels more like an episode in a longer story. And the ending - it's brutal. If I had to wait for the next book in the serious, I might have exploded.
As other's have noted, Bradley seems to be moving away from the mystery as the center of the story and more towards Flavia's relationship with her family, and her own maturation. Much of the book centered on her navigating the impending changes to her life - namely, the selling of Buckshaw. The mystery was slightly fantastic to believe, but, since it wasn't the real focus,it simply added an interested back drop for Flavia's explorations. As always, the colorful cast of characters populated the play, making Bradley's work delightful. I highly recommend this, as I do all of these novels.

Book: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-385-34403-6
Year Published: 2013
Date Finished; 4-28-2016
Pages: 378

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