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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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Alas the series sags

    Needs a very firm plot with a fantasy of the child genius lighter and with more humor as this was a wake

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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.

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