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

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

by Alan Bradley
4.3 40


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

On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office—and making spectacular use of Harriet’s beloved Gypsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit—Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.
Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
“If ever there were a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce.”USA Today
“Irresistibly appealing.”—The New York Times Book Review, on A Red Herring Without Mustard
“Original, charming, devilishly creative.”—Bookreporter, on I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
“Delightful and entertaining.”San Jose Mercury News, on Speaking from Among the Bones

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385344050
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/14/2014
Series: Flavia de Luce Series , #6
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 640,592
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His other Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, and Speaking from Among the Bones.

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The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
NewsieQ More than 1 year ago
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.
JayKayEff More than 1 year ago
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!!
Twink More than 1 year ago
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)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Strength in Mourning Since I started the Flavia de Luce series last year, I knew the basic set up of the sixth entry, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, a long time ago. That didn’t stop me from being intrigued by the way the topic was introduced at the end of the last book, and I was looking forward to seeing how things paid off here. The result was the best book in the series to date. “You’re mother has been found.” As this book opens, it’s been a week since Flavia’s father has made that shocking announcement. Flavia’s mother, Harriet, went missing in Tibet a decade ago and has been presumed dead, but no proof has ever been found. Now, her body is coming back on a special train into their village of Bishop’s Lacey. There is a crowd on the platform when the train bringing Harriet’s body arrives, including not only friends from the village but people that Flavia doesn’t know. One of them comes up to Flavia and starts to give her an important but cryptic message to pass on to her father. A moment later, this stranger is dead, crushed under the wheels of the train as it is departing. Who was he? What did his strange message mean? Does it have anything to do with Harriet’s death? I have complained in the past that the mystery often gets swallowed by other going ons in the book, and that certainly happens again here. There are pieces and clues to the mystery scattered throughout the book, so when Flavia does piece things together, it all makes sense. I will say one aspect of the climax seemed a bit abrupt to me, and I’m still wondering why the characters behaved in that manner, but it’s a minor issue for me. Since the mystery takes a back seat, this book is really about the mourning that the characters go through. Since Flavia is our narrator, her conflicted emotions are the easiest to see. She never knew Harriet since her mother died when she was just a baby, yet she worries that she should be feeling something. Her father clearly still loves Harriet deeply, and Flavia’s sisters try to deal with the confirmation of the loss in their own ways. It makes for a fascinating read as each of the character’s reactions is genuine and perfect for them. As a result, I don’t recommend jumping in here. To fully get the impact of this book, you need to know the characters. But if you take the time to get to know them, you’ll be very glad you did. Just in case this is sounding like a dark book, it is and it isn’t. Flavia’s antics help keep things light, and she gets a new foil in this book that is entertaining. There was one scene that had me welling up with tears one minute and laughing out loud the next. The book walks a very fine line, letting us experience the character’s grief without overwhelming or depressing us. There are some developments in several ongoing sub-plots. I called part of what happened here, but I was still shocked by the rest of it. This novel does shift our understanding of the characters in a big way, filling in backstory on some of them. I actually bought what the author did in this respect based on some of the conversations and bits and pieces we’ve seen in earlier books. I’m quite curious to see what if anything is done with this in future books. The mysteries continue to be weak here, so I can’t give the book my full endorsement, but fans of Flavia and her family will be enthralled by the character study that is The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
I don't often feel the need to read a series in order but there are a few exceptions and the Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley are a prime example. From the beginning, we've watched Flavia grow from a very precocious child with a penchant for chemistry to a slightly older and still very precocious child who not only loves chemistry but also can't abide an unsolved mystery. We've felt for her as she quietly lets us know her family with all its "issues" including the emotional distance between her father and all three of his daughters. We've come to understand how Flavia tries to cope with never having known her mother and the feeling that there's a great gaping hole in her life. And then we come to The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches in which her mother's body, found after so many years, is coming home and a virtual plethora of mysteries begin. Why on earth has Winston Churchill accompanied Harriet on her final journey? How did Aunt Felicity come to be part of the sad homecoming and why does the great Mr. Churchill ask Flavia if she likes pheasant sandwiches? Who was the man who tries to tell Flavia something he says is urgent? Of all the Flavia de Luce books, I think this one is the most emotionally wrought and there are so many twists and turns that you really have to pay attention. I ended up listening to the audio book and also reading the print version just so I could pick up on all the little nuances; by the time the end rolled around, I was a little stunned by some of the revelations and I, quite simply, had to get my hands on the next book, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust. That review will be forthcoming soon. As for the audio book, Jayne Entwistle remains one of my very favorite narrators and, in my mind, she is Flavia, bringing her to life and giving the perfect voice to one of the most delightful characters I've ever "met".
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LightningCityBookReview More than 1 year ago
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!!!
mokie10 More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful day spent with Flavia; everyone should try it.
ABookishGirlBlog More than 1 year ago
 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.
Sawitowl More than 1 year ago
Sorry fans, I agree with Delphimo posted last March. The series has been delightful but this real plot, just a lot of hackneyed words about post-war England lifted from other books and films of the period. Unbelievable and boring.....
PLMM More than 1 year ago
Wonderful series. 
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MCHEATH More than 1 year ago
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.
DeNeedle More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And the eccentric family just disfunctional lost the touch of fantasy and any humor doubt if wlll continue seres
Camille20 More than 1 year ago
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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