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Literary Friday: Speaking From Among the Bones

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Picture an ancient country house somewhere in England. The year is 1950.

Picture a girl who lives there with her most unusual family. Her name is Flavia de Luce—and she’s almost eleven.

Picture a long-abandoned Victorian chemistry laboratory; no one ever goes there but Flavia. Put them all together and you’ll have a new kind of detective fiction . . ."

This week I read Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley.  It's the latest Flavia de Luce murder mystery, and it might be my favorite one yet.

These are the first four books in the series:

You can read my post about A Red Herring Without Mustard here.
You can read my post about I Am Half-Sick of Shadows here.

So just who is Flavia de Luce?  Flavia is an eleven year old genius who helps solve murders in Bishop's Lacey, England, circa 1950.  She lives in Buckshaw, a run-down estate with her father, the Colonel, and her 17 year old sister, Ophelia, (Feely) and her 14 year old sister, Daphne (Daffy).  Mrs. Mullet the cook and Dogger the butler are charming characters as they try to keep things running smoothly on the estate.  Buckshaw belonged to Flavia's mother, Harriet, who was lost on a mountain climbing expedition in The Himalayas when Flavia was just a toddler.  Buckshaw and most of their wealth was hers, but without a will, the family has fallen upon hard times.

Flavia discovered her late Uncle Tarquin's well-equipped chemistry lab in the east wing, and she has claimed it for herself.  She spends time reading Uncle Tar's journals and correspondence, and she retains everything.  Flavia has a creepy obsession with poisons, and dreams {creatively} of ways to off her sisters.  :D   With her wits, deductive reasoning skills, knowledge of chemistry, and her trusty bicycle named Gladys, Flavia solves Bishop's Lacey's unusually high number of murders. Seriously, for a small English hamlet in the early fifties, the violent crime rate is ridiculously high.

In Speaking From Among the Bones, the folks of Bishop's Lacey are preparing for the 500th Anniversary celebrations of their patron saint's death. Saint Tancred's body is being exhumed from the lower-level crypt below the Anglican Church's nave.  But as the workers open the crypt, the parish's organist Mr. Collicutt's remains are found instead.  He's wearing a gruesome gas mask which doesn't make much sense, not to mention that he is a highly unlikely murder victim in the first place.  As rumors of a Diamond of Lucifer belonging to St. Tancred come to light, some speculate about his having been interred with the treasure. As the plot thickens even more densely than the early Easter morning fog, the clues Flavia collects from right under the noses of the professionals begin fitting together, and Flavia just might have discovered a way to save her beloved Buckshaw.

Again, this is one of my favorites of all her books, *but* it ends with not one, not two, but at least THREE cliffhangers.  The other four books are stand-alones, and don't end in cliffhangers.

I am truly *D*Y*I*N*G to know what happens next because the ending was so unexpected and shocking!  When is The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches coming out?  :/  Oh, the agonizing wait!

Here is a fun title sequence for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie:

This is a linky!  Please share what you've been reading with us!

I'm taking a blog break until Monday.  I'll visit those who link-up to Literary Friday, and I'll catch-up with the rest of you next week!

Until next time...
Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Oh this sounds right up my alley! Do I need to read them in order??? I am so putting the first one on hold at the library right now. Great review!


  2. You find the best books to read!

    I just posted my Winter Reading List. I'm anxious to dig in!

  3. Thank you so much for introducing me to this author! I know I am about to be delighted and intrigued. Loved the video clip too.

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  4. Oooh, that sounds really good! I may have to check it out!

  5. I've only read the first one, but Flavia is a very fun character. I'm glad to see they're still good as the series continues! :)

  6. I've not heard of these-thanks so much for the review. Just added them to my 'Good Reads'-to read list C:

  7. good read and enjoy your break

  8. Hey RJ, I want to pick up a book for my upcoming trip. Any suggestions on must reads??

  9. Ricki Jill~ This sounds like a fun series to read! I finally finished Beautiful Ruins and Blackberry Winter. My book reading has take a back seat to my blog reading :) Enjoy your weekend!

  10. I have never heard of this series before, I am missing participating but will be back in due course.

  11. Oh how this sounds like the type of book I would love, if only I could find the time to read again.......

  12. Olá!!! Tudo bem???
    Vim aqui retribuir a sua visita no meu cantinho!!!
    Fico feliz por você me seguir!!!
    Venha sempre!!!>>> Passe lá e pegue um selinho de agradecimento!

    Com carinho e beijinhux, Marie.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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