- this edition published by Delacorte Press (2013?)
- ISBN 978-0-385-34403-6
- 375 pages
- #5 in the Flavia de Luce series
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.
Another enjoyable tale featuring young detective Flavia de Luce.
You really must read these in order. They are delightful cosies. The characters of Flavia, her father, her two sisters and the members of the household blossom from book to book. In SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES Flavia's bicycle Gladys takes on a life of her own.
The stories take on an aura of plausibility and you accept the wackiness of Flavia's detection skills without question. I thought as I read this one that young adult readers might enjoy the stories too.
Although Alan Bradley is a Canadian writer, the setting is firmly England in the early 1950s. The family home, Buckshaw, is under threat of sale, with Colonel de Luce having to pay exorbitant death duties after the presumed death of his wife Harriet, Flavia's mother, who disappeared while climbing in the Himalayas when Flavia was small.
We are promised #6 in the series in 2014, THE DEAD IN THEIR VAULTED ARCHES, an event to look forward to.
My Rating: 4.7
Check Flavia's website.
4.8, THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE
4.5, THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN'S BAG
4.5, A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD
4.7, I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS