The Grave's A Fine and Private Place

The Grave's A Fine and Private Place

Book - 2018
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "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 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 her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself 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.

Praise for The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

"Outstanding . . . As usual, Bradley makes his improbable series conceit work and relieves the plot's inherent darkness with clever humor." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"There's only one Flavia. . . . Series fans will anticipate the details of this investigation, along with one last taste of Flavia's unorthodox family life." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"Bradley's unquenchable heroine brings 'the most complicated case I had ever come across' to a highly satisfying conclusion, with the promise of still brighter days ahead." -- Kirkus Reviews
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780345539991
9780385678445
Characteristics: 337 pages ;,22 cm.

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nwhite1 Sep 11, 2018

When I picked up the ninth installment of the Flavia de Luce series - my favourite 12 year old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and solving murders in 1950s England - I had forgotten that her beloved father had passed away in the last book. I was uncertain about where the story would go and if I'd want to go along for the ride. However, I didn't need to worry. This book did not disappoint. In fact, it was one of my favourites. So much Dogger! And it was great to see the relationship between Flavia and her sisters evolve. If you enjoyed any of the last eight books, you love this one too.

k
kimh454
Aug 29, 2018

This book is both hilarious and profound.

t
talk2terih
Aug 03, 2018

This was my first go at a Flavia de Luce mystery, and for the most part, I found it quite enjoyable. Granted, as others have noted, I was at a considerable disadvantage not having read the previous novels. There was a lot of catching up to do and not much background info was given in this book to go on. But I soldiered on because I found Flavia to be such an interesting character - one minute your typical bratty younger sister and the next being impossibly brilliant (and just a bit smug about it).

The book has flaws. There are indeed confusing loose ends and at the conclusion, one is left with almost more questions than answers. But perhaps such confusion is intentional by the author and offered as a sort of cliffhanger to drum up interest in the next episode.

I will pick up one or two of the earlier books and fill myself in on the history of the characters and their relationships. Then I shall be ready for the next installment.

j
jeanie123
Jul 12, 2018

If Flavia gets much smarter these books are going to be over my head. I still can't figure out how this 12 year old has accumulated so much knowledge, especially since she doesn't go to school! Although Daphne and Ophelia did not feature much in this book, I enjoyed the change in Flavia's relationships with them from antagonistic to collaborative. I wonder if it will last or will Flavia soon be scheming how to poison their face creams again. I agree with other reviewers that the ending and solution to the mystery was quite convoluted. It was a bit of hard work to figure it out and there were some loose ends which I am hoping will be tied up in the next installment. I can't wait to find out!

k
kmoyer
Jun 17, 2018

Back on form - Delightful, sly & witty plus sense of clear vision for characters moving forward.

a
athena14
Jun 02, 2018

Flavia is becoming an adolescent...and it's not becoming to her or this book. She rhapsodizes about Dogger who doesn't realize that spending hours alone with a 12-year-old girl in an inn bedroom is unwise. She still speaks of "adoring" Antigone, but that's all.

m
MrsKayStephen
May 27, 2018

Unfortunately Alan Bradley has allowed his winning formula to become old and tired. Why, or earth, is our beloved Flavia still only 12 years old? Maybe if Bradley had allowed her to age he would have found fresh material to inject into this lovely literary series.

t
Travel
May 15, 2018

This latest Flavia is more like the original ones - more entertaining than the past two. Fun to find out more about Dogger. The wrap up seemed hastily put together, however.

1
1_Great_Book
Apr 09, 2018

Alan Bradley is back on his game with this installment. I am looking forward to seeing how Flavia will navigate with the Buckshaw heritage now that her father is no longer around.

k
KatherineHere
Mar 28, 2018

Flavia's doings are always intriguing; however, as others noted, the conclusion was a bit confusing. I had to read the ending chapter twice, yet there were still many loose ends, almost as if the author had to rush the ending. Also, I wouldn't exactly call this a stand-alone book due to the family retinue, who are fleshed out and quite complex in the preceding volumes; i.e., you would miss a lot.

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reeread
Jun 10, 2018

“We! Dogger and me. The two of us, on the case together.
My heart began to glow like a potbellied woodstove in a logger’s cabin.”

“How I longed to hug him! Not just for thinking of how to provide a makeshift test-tube, but for still thinking of the Rolls as belonging to my late mother.”

“I loved it when Dogger talked like this. It made me feel that we were partners.
That we were equals.
It made me feel grown up and appreciated. It made me feel wanted.”

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