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Happy Valentine's Day, Ash Wednesday, *plus* What I'm Reading Wednesday: Flavia de Luce Review and Giveaway!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day, My Lovelies!  Wow, this is turning into a busy week, with Mardi Gras yesterday, and Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday today.  

I was so happy a couple of weeks ago when the latest installment of the Flavia de Luce series was released:  The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley.  And, as usual, I was delighted by this murder mystery.

According to Goodreads:

Flavia is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. Languishing in boredom, she drags a slack hand in the water, and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse.

Brought to shore, the dead man is found to be dressed in blue silk with ribbons at the knee, and wearing a single red ballet slipper.

Flavia needs to put her super-sleuthing skills to the test to investigate the murder of three gossips in the local church, and to keep her sisters out of danger. But what could possibly connect the son of an executed killer, a far too canny police constable, a traveling circus, and the publican's mysteriously talented wife?

My Review:

First of all, I must mention that the corpse Flavia drags out of the river is dressed like Henry Wallis's Chatterton, and he has red hair like him, too.  Of course I'm going to immediately like a murder mystery with a reference to art.

Henry Wallis

You may read more about this painting HERE.

Once Flavia and her butler Dogger drag the body from the river, Flavia wastes no time investigating the death and soon determines through her knowledge of chemistry that it was indeed a murder.  She learns that the victim is the son of an Anglican priest who'd been convicted of murdering the "three graces" a few years prior (three older women known to gossip).  Flavia is convinced that perhaps there is a connection between the crimes.  There are many people of interest in this case, beginning with an artist/owner of a traveling carnival; the pub's mistress who's also a poet; and a former leading lady of the stage.   One reason I like this book a lot is the previous murder narrative: The reader gets two mysteries in one book.

What I love most about this installment is the cooperation between Flavia and her sisters.  Daffy's knowledge of literature provides several needed clues, and Feely is the unlikely heroine in the end.  If you haven't started this series, really you should because Flavia's talent with all things chemical are both entertaining as well as educational.  Each of these mysteries can be read as a "stand alone," and if there's a reference in a book to a previous mystery it's always explained for the reader.

For a chance to win a hardback copy of The Grave's a Fine and Private Place, fill out the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Until next time...

Happy reading and Happy Valentine's Day!
Ricki Jill


  1. Oh, good! Art and literature references, too! That certainly works for me. These do sound awfully good. And I love that painting!

  2. I have a few...but I DO love Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear probably best! Happy Valentines day! I am happy to have my newsletter this morning! Thank you!

  3. Well this book definitely is off and running! I do like mysteries RJ. I enjoy a good Agatha Christie mystery. I adore your pretty Valentine's photo! Have a wonderful day..........

  4. I love the Flavia books. I'm currently reading the alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton. Found one at a free library and now I want them all!

  5. Nancy Drew! Happy Valentines Day! I enjoy your posts!

  6. Just wanted to say thank you for the beautiful valentine. I have it displayed so I can enjoy it. Have a wonderful evening...........

  7. Not sure if the book is my cup of tea, but I love the painting and am going back to read more about it! Does that make me weird?

  8. "Answer the following question in comments: What's your favorite murder mystery series?" Lord Peter Wimsey!

  9. Stopping by to wish you a Happy ❤️Day, Ricki Jill. Hope your day was filled with sweet treats and lots of love!

  10. When I saw this book mentioned here the other day, I thought the title was so odd, but now it makes more sense! This sounds like quite a fun and quirky series, just my cup of tea! I'm not familiar with that painting, I'm off to read about it!

  11. Right now I'm reading the series Country Club Murders, they all take place in the 70's and it's fun to see how everyone manages without cell phones and email! I'm also enjoying the Eat, Pray, Die series, based on people that professionally taste food for celebrities, which is quite fascinating! Of course, Agatha Christie is the best of the best!

  12. Agatha Christie has my vote!!
    I will be starting Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

  13. So excited to hear that you liked this one! This is one of my favorite series! Can’t wait to read it.


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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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