Customer Reviews for

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce Series #6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Faithful readers of my blog will know that I absolutely adore t

Faithful readers of my blog will know that I absolutely adore this series by Canadian Alan Bradley. I have been eagerly awaiting the sixth entry.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches marks the return of Bradley's eleven year old sleuth - the intrepid, indefatigable, indom...
Faithful readers of my blog will know that I absolutely adore this series by Canadian Alan Bradley. I have been eagerly awaiting the sixth entry.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches marks the return of Bradley's eleven year old sleuth - the intrepid, indefatigable, indomitable Flavia de Luce!

Flavia, her two older sisters and her father live at Buckshaw, a crumbling old mansion near the village of Bishop's Lacey, England. She's incredibly bright, with a passion for concocting and distilling poisons in a forgotten wing of the estate. She also has a propensity for happening upon dead bodies. Besides her lab, her greatest joy comes from solving 'whodunit'. If she can solve it ahead of the local constabulary, all the better!

Minutes before he finds his maker, courtesy of the train at Buckshaw Halt, a mysterious stranger approaches Flavia and desperately asks her to "Tell your father that the Gamekeeper is in jeopardy. He'll understand. I must speak to him. Tell him that the Nide is under - "

Over the last five books, Bradley has slowly been surely dropping hints about Harriet, Flavia's mother, who disappeared many years ago when Flavia was just a baby. There are few cracks in Flavia's armour, but the loss of her mother is one. Bradley finally reveals the answers to Harriet's whereabouts and in The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, takes the story to places I didn't see coming (But that I am very excited about!)

Why do I love this series so much? The time period, the crumbling mansion, the poky village and all of it's quirky inhabitants. All of the characters are wonderfully drawn, but it is Flavia and her busy little mind who captures me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...."Flavia is one of the most endearing, captivating, curious, beguiling, precocious characters I've ever discovered in the pages of a book."

I love her view of the world - here are a few 'Flavia-isms'....

"I counted to eleven, partly because it was my age (although not for much longer) and partly because eleven seconds seemed to me a perfect balance between awe and insolence."

"One of the marks of a truly great mind, I had discovered, is the ability to feign stupidity on demand."

"As I have mentioned before, it has been my experience that a prolonged silence has the same effect as a W.C. plunger when it comes to unclogging a stuck conversation."

But, despite her talents, she is still a little girl. Bradley has fleshed out her character beyond her talents with poisons and her brilliant mind. Because, after all that she is still a lonely, little girl whose best friends are Dogger, the family retainer and Gladys - her bicycle. Flavia unconsciously transfers and attributes many of her own feelings to Gladys.

"There was nothing that excited Gladys more than sneaking out the back way. We had performed that maneuver together on many occasions, and I think she took a certain naughty delight in having the opportunity to do it again. She gave a tiny squeak of pleasure and I hadn't the heart to reprimand her."

" I thought of her sitting home alone, wondering why I had forsaken her. Although Gladys loved nothing better than whizzing hell-for-leather down hills, she loathed being shoved up them. It made both of us cranky."

See what I mean? I love her! I wanted to be Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy when I was younger. I devoured each and every book and carried around my own notebook full of observations and clues. Flavia will appeal to all ages, but I like imagining myself in her eleven year old shoes.

Absolutely, positively recommended! If you haven't read any of this series yet, I encourage you to start at the beginning. For established Flavia fans - you won't be disappointed. And like me, you'll be counting down the days until the seventh book is released!

Flavia has a fan club - and of course I'm a member! (Also, the UK is making this series into a television program in 2015)


posted by Twink on January 14, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Plot spoiler

Another plot spoiler that ruined the book with her overly excessive reveal of the book. There is no need to regurgitate every point of the book. Just state if you liked it or not. Do not give us a readers digest version of it. Bn, please ban these plot spoilers, please....
Another plot spoiler that ruined the book with her overly excessive reveal of the book. There is no need to regurgitate every point of the book. Just state if you liked it or not. Do not give us a readers digest version of it. Bn, please ban these plot spoilers, please.

posted by 8888649 on January 16, 2014

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  • Posted January 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Faithful readers of my blog will know that I absolutely adore t

    Faithful readers of my blog will know that I absolutely adore this series by Canadian Alan Bradley. I have been eagerly awaiting the sixth entry.

    The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches marks the return of Bradley's eleven year old sleuth - the intrepid, indefatigable, indomitable Flavia de Luce!

    Flavia, her two older sisters and her father live at Buckshaw, a crumbling old mansion near the village of Bishop's Lacey, England. She's incredibly bright, with a passion for concocting and distilling poisons in a forgotten wing of the estate. She also has a propensity for happening upon dead bodies. Besides her lab, her greatest joy comes from solving 'whodunit'. If she can solve it ahead of the local constabulary, all the better!

    Minutes before he finds his maker, courtesy of the train at Buckshaw Halt, a mysterious stranger approaches Flavia and desperately asks her to "Tell your father that the Gamekeeper is in jeopardy. He'll understand. I must speak to him. Tell him that the Nide is under - "

    Over the last five books, Bradley has slowly been surely dropping hints about Harriet, Flavia's mother, who disappeared many years ago when Flavia was just a baby. There are few cracks in Flavia's armour, but the loss of her mother is one. Bradley finally reveals the answers to Harriet's whereabouts and in The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, takes the story to places I didn't see coming (But that I am very excited about!)

    Why do I love this series so much? The time period, the crumbling mansion, the poky village and all of it's quirky inhabitants. All of the characters are wonderfully drawn, but it is Flavia and her busy little mind who captures me.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...."Flavia is one of the most endearing, captivating, curious, beguiling, precocious characters I've ever discovered in the pages of a book."

    I love her view of the world - here are a few 'Flavia-isms'....

    "I counted to eleven, partly because it was my age (although not for much longer) and partly because eleven seconds seemed to me a perfect balance between awe and insolence."

    "One of the marks of a truly great mind, I had discovered, is the ability to feign stupidity on demand."

    "As I have mentioned before, it has been my experience that a prolonged silence has the same effect as a W.C. plunger when it comes to unclogging a stuck conversation."

    But, despite her talents, she is still a little girl. Bradley has fleshed out her character beyond her talents with poisons and her brilliant mind. Because, after all that she is still a lonely, little girl whose best friends are Dogger, the family retainer and Gladys - her bicycle. Flavia unconsciously transfers and attributes many of her own feelings to Gladys.

    "There was nothing that excited Gladys more than sneaking out the back way. We had performed that maneuver together on many occasions, and I think she took a certain naughty delight in having the opportunity to do it again. She gave a tiny squeak of pleasure and I hadn't the heart to reprimand her."

    " I thought of her sitting home alone, wondering why I had forsaken her. Although Gladys loved nothing better than whizzing hell-for-leather down hills, she loathed being shoved up them. It made both of us cranky."

    See what I mean? I love her! I wanted to be Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy when I was younger. I devoured each and every book and carried around my own notebook full of observations and clues. Flavia will appeal to all ages, but I like imagining myself in her eleven year old shoes.

    Absolutely, positively recommended! If you haven't read any of this series yet, I encourage you to start at the beginning. For established Flavia fans - you won't be disappointed. And like me, you'll be counting down the days until the seventh book is released!

    Flavia has a fan club - and of course I'm a member! (Also, the UK is making this series into a television program in 2015)


    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2014

    A pivotal book in this series

    In the previous book in this series, Speaking from Among the Bones, the author dropped a bombshell on the last page: Harriet’s body has been found. Harriet is the mother of our heroine and first-person narrator Flavia deLuce and, even in death, she has been a key character in this delightful series.

    The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches begins with the arrival of Harriet’s body by train in Bishop’s Lacey in 1951. There’s a huge crowd to meet her and there are many tears being shed, even though her death was more than a decade ago, when almost-twelve-year-old Flavia was just a baby. Most of the rest of the book is devoted to Flavia’s detailing Harriet’s lying-in-state and funeral. Of course, there’s a murder – and it occurs just after the victim gives Flavia a cryptic message for her father and just after Flavia’s conversation with Sir Winston Churchill.

    Even though the story is more serious than earlier books in the series, there are many lighthearted moments, in which Flavia’s youthful imagination and naiveté poke through the gloom.

    The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches is a pivotal book in this series and in the life of Flavia deLuce. Much is revealed, but much is still hidden. As usual, I can’t wait for the next book in this series. I wonder if Alan Bradley knew where this series was headed when he began writing it. I know I never would have predicted where it’s headed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2014

    Each book in this series has been outstanding. In fact, I canno

    Each book in this series has been outstanding. In fact, I cannot recall a book/series I have read recently that I can say was this enjoyable. With the Harry Potter series, I started wishing Harry would meet a dastardly end. I guess I am glad he survived. Flavia and her creator, Alan Bradley, does not disappoint!!
    Will there be more in this series?

    I agree with another less happy reader that no one should give page-by-page details. This is a book and series worth the investment of your time and money!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    READ THIS SERIES!!!

    I adore this whole series! Book #6 reveals our Flavia learning so much about her maturing almost-12-year-old-self as she deals with the death of the mother she lost as an infant. She is empathizing with family and village folk she had previously despised. More major changes are in store for our beloved Flavia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Plot spoiler

    Another plot spoiler that ruined the book with her overly excessive reveal of the book. There is no need to regurgitate every point of the book. Just state if you liked it or not. Do not give us a readers digest version of it. Bn, please ban these plot spoilers, please.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 2, 2014

    Flavia de Luce, the main character of the 6th in the series bear

    Flavia de Luce, the main character of the 6th in the series bearing her name, is for all intents and purposes Sherlock Holmes trapped in the body of an 11 year old girl who lives in a moldering old manse, Buckshaw, in 1951 England, with her father and 2 older sisters.
    I didn't think I would be saying this of a Flavia de Luce novel but this book must be read after reading all of the others of the series. In fact, I think I have to go back and re-read everything now.
    This novel is different from the get-go. We know who the dead person already is, the question is what is going to be the answer? There are the constants though ...
    Flavia's father, Haviland de Luce, is 'absent'. His wife, Harriet, an adventuress who had been lost in the mountains of Tibet for 10 years, left him sleepwalking through his life. His only interest has been stamp collecting, which has kept him oblivious to the growing debt, that now has the generations old family home for sale. Harriet left no will, therefore without money they have no way to keep the property.
    Haviland de Luce is also ignorant to the torment that Flavia's sisters put her through, telling her stories about how their mother took one look at baby Flavia's 'hideous' face and decided she had to leave Buckshaw. The oldest sister, Ophelia (Feely), is beautiful and a musical prodigy with a wicked temper. The middle sister, Daphne (Daffy), is a bibliophile - to the nth degree, she is always with a book, either in her hand or close by, unfortunately she has no patience for Flavia.
    Although Flavia is incredibly smart, smart enough to "shake it off", she is still an eleven year old girl emotionally. It's especially difficult for her since she was barely a year old when her mother left and has no memories of her at all whereas her sisters do have, at least, some memories of their mother. Flavia is a scientist, knowledgeable in all types of chemicals, especially poisons. She is an observer, a student of human nature, in many instances the residents of the village are her subjects.
    Flavia does have a friend at Buckshaw . Dogger. Dogger is a man that her father knew during the war and befriended. Dogger is incredibly loyal to Flavia's father and to Flavia herself. He is a "Man of All Trades" at Buckshaw . He has helped Flavia in solving more than one of her many mysteries by some imparted wisdom or tip. But Dogger suffers from some form of PTSD and is tormented by devils of his past that causes him to have "bad nights" or "bad days".
    Finally, one of the other 'regulars', Aunt Felicity, makes an appearance. She is Flavia's father's sister, she is a no nonsense, by the rules and almost unyielding woman. Militant in her expectations and methods.
    We begin this novel with Harriet de Luce having been found and brought back to Buckshaw, the family home. She is brought to the train station with full military pomp and accompanied by Winston Churchill. Churchill asks Flavia a strange question that tickles her brain, with familiarity. While waiting to go home, Flavia is approached by a strange man who implores her to tell her father a cryptic message but Flavia is pulled away before he can finish his sentence. Before she reaches the car she hears a commotion and discovers that the strange man has been killed, fallen on the train tracks, crushed under the train - and thus begins the first strand of the many threads of the greater mystery Flavia will untangle by the end of this installment of the "Flavia de Luce Series".
    So much goes on in this installment, the action hits the ground running, and clues start dropping right away. But things are different because of Harriet's coffin being on display, in her perfectly preserved bedroom, and the many townspeople are trailing in and out of the house to pay their respects. What is also very unusual, is that the house is full. There are long lost relatives and seldom seen guests filling up the rooms and various wings in the mansion, that are typically vacant, which stretches the de Luces' nerves all the more tightly than just a normal family in mourning. Flavia is used to roaming the house, grounds, and village unnoticed, but the crush of people and around the clock vigil of Harriet's casket by the immediate family, hinders her ability to conduct her experiments, adds to her suspicions and her need for secrecy.
    This installment, has much more intrigue, secrets, and moments of bittersweet desires of a child for their mother. This book is different in that, unexpectantly, loose ends that you didn't know were are were tied up, riddles that were unknowingly before your eyes become obvious, and comments that were made are so much more meaningful.
    I absolutely recommend this book series!!! This novel blew my mind - after the reading the previous books I did not 'see the forest for the trees' - so WOW. Run out to your library and check out all of the books in the series and READ!!!

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  • Posted August 2, 2014

    Perfet

    Another wonderful day spent with Flavia; everyone should try it.

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  • Posted July 29, 2014

     I had a hate/love relationship with the first book in this seri

     I had a hate/love relationship with the first book in this series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, I read it I hated it then I waited
    about a year and then re-read it and needless to say I loved it enough to read the rest in this series. So as the characters are saying
    goodbye to Flavia's mother, Harriet, we as readers are slowly saying goodbye to Flavia and it was  tough there for a bit for there was
    quite a few reminiscing moments in the book especially with all the different characters that dropped in that were in this or that book
    and then of course you have the residents of Bishops Lacey, all of whom are attending Harriet's funeral/wake.  Sometimes a particular
    character can just grow on someone and Flavia grew on me. Tear! Winston Churchill even rode the funeral train down from
    London. While at the train station a man approaches Flavia with a message to give to her father and then as they all go to leave
    to head back to the house a tragic accident occurs and the man is run over by the train. Was he pushed? Did he jump? Was it just a
    tragic accident? Wrapped in grief Flavia fights with her conscience not to care about solving this case while her mother is not even
    buried yet but she is finding it extremely hard. Okay so Flavia gets the brilliant idea to break into her mother's coffin in order to
    reanimate her. What?! Yep, another tear that is just so like Flavia thinking the impossible is possible with a little chemistry.
    Needless to say the whole break-in is atrocious but Flavia does find the last will and testament of her mother on her persons
    but is interrupted before she can try out her reanimation experiment on her mother and unfortunately there is not another chance
    for her to try. Clues however start pouring in to why it was that her mother was away and where she was at in that critical first year
    of Flavia's life and soon Flavia realizes that there was more there than what met the eye and that her mother didn't die in an
    accident but instead was murdered and that that very murder was among the guests of the de Luce family for the funeral of
    Harriet. But don't worry Flavia always gets her man or woman. It wasn't hard to deduce before Flavia revealed it who the
    murderer/traitor actually was and I don't like that in a book but I think that is the single fault I could find with it. I thought Alan
    Bradley wrote a most spectacular ending for Flavia.

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  • Posted July 10, 2014

    Sorry fans, I agree with Delphimo posted last March. The series

    Sorry fans, I agree with Delphimo posted last March. The series has been delightful but this one...no real plot, just a lot of hackneyed words about post-war England lifted from other books and films of the period. Unbelievable and boring.....

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  • Posted May 27, 2014

    Wonderful series. 

    Wonderful series. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2014

    Yum

    This is such a great series.

    Highly recommended!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Midnight

    Keep on goin

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    The Vault preview or whatever

    I was just talking to blue lightning about a book adolf hitler wrote when i accidently yelled at him when he tried to tell me about ww11 he left through a door that read do not enter.i decided i would just ignore the sign and follow Blue to wherever he was going.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    love this series and this book. Flavia has been  more mysterious

    love this series and this book. Flavia has been  more mysterious but this book answers a lot of questions.
    Where was her mother? Why did her mother go away? How is her father going to cope with Flavia and her questions?
    Hope we have many more books to come.

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  • Posted March 11, 2014

    I enjoy this series immensely! The voice of the young girl is so

    I enjoy this series immensely! The voice of the young girl is so prominent, but she is obviously wise beyond her years. Her critical thinking has developed through the series, but she's still a breath of fresh air.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Great read!

    I've read all of the Flavia DeLuce series by Alan Bradley and love every one of them. This one is no exception. A fun whodunit with a bit of a twist this time around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2014

    The series has suddnly become too serious

    And the eccentric family just disfunctional lost the touch of fantasy and any humor doubt if wlll continue seres

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    I have enjoyed the Flavia de Luce series in the past, but the ch

    I have enjoyed the Flavia de Luce series in the past, but the chemistry overwhelms the novel. In the last novel, word had arrived that Harriet de Luce, Flavia's mother, had been found. Harriet embellishes the hard driven woman of the WWII era; she flies a plane and mountain climbs, as well as other daring feats. Since I do not wish to spoil the story, I will curtail my analysis of Harriet. This story doe not hold the charm of past Flavia stories. The novel concerns espionage and the life after the war. I do not feel the characters are well developed in this novel, and the setting limps around.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2014

    Entrancing

    Dear Mr. Bradley,

    Please live to a quite-ripe old age--and continue writing--so Flavia may also live long in the entrancing world you've created for her.

    Sincerely,
    Camille DeSalme

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    After finishing this book can't wait to read the rest of this series!

    Alan Brady expressed Flavia's feelings










    Alan Brady's Flavia & her family were alive on every page. I felt he was writing from a long lost diary. I could not put this book down and was actually sorry when I finished it. This book deserves to be on the best seller list for a long,long time.

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