The brilliant eleven-year-old sleuth, Flavia de Luce, is back in Alan Bradley’s sixth book in this mystery series – The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. If you have not yet met this smart updated version of Nancy Drew with a chemistry set, a pet chicken, and a bicycle name Gladys, who lives in a rundown version of Downton Abbey, you really do need to find this precocious heroine from the first book – The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Her adventures are fun; the mysteries are engaging; and the information you will glean about poison is enormous.
Although Flavia’s father and two sisters have been unlikely and mostly unwilling assistants as Flavia solves each case, her mother, Harriet, has been missing. Harriet, who died mysteriously in a plane crash over the Himalayas when Flavia was just a baby, is finally found, and her body is shipped home. As possible villains and World Was II heroes (including Winston Churchill) appear to attend the funeral, Flavia is determined to use her knowledge of chemistry to bring her mother back to life.
I am in the middle of reading this engaging book, and look forward to each page and more of Flavia’s wise, yet not always appropriate, comments. The action is just heating up with possibilities of espionage and secret family history, but the word is that Flavia will be shipped off to boarding school when she turns twelve soon – and then how will she – and her readers – manage. What will become of Gladys (her bicycle) and Esmerelda (her pet chicken). Will she have access to her lab materials that have played an important role in solving crimes in the six book series? Alan Bradley, don’t disappoint us.
Reviews of Other Flavia de Luce books: Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley