Review of “Speaking from Among the Bones” by Alan Bradley

Oh how I love Flavia! The eleven-year-old protagonist and chemistry wizard is the heart and soul of Alan Bradley’s cozy mystery series; and like Anne of Green Gables and Jo March, she is so artfully depicted that I just want her to be real. “Speaking from Among the Bones” is Bradley’s fifth Flavia deLuce mystery, and I really enjoyed this installment, especially since the character development continued with the other family members into much greater depth than ever before.

When Flavia discovers the church organist dead and wearing a gas mask, tucked inside the organ case, the exhuming of St. Tancred (for his 500th anniversary) is halted. Flavia has to do her usual undercover sleuthing, while using her vast knowledge of poisons, etc. to figure out who is involved and why. Along the way, various suspects and interesting characters cross paths, but none so interesting as Flavia herself and her family: her rather distracted father, and terrorizing older sisters Daffy (Daphne) and Feely (Ophelia).

Bradley’s writing makes me laugh out loud and Flavia’s voice is strong and unique. She is one of my favorite characters of all time.

While the first installment, “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”, is still my favorite of this series, this story is a close second. But readers beware: there is a MAJOR cliffhanger at the end!

THANK YOU to Net Galley and Delacorte Press for my ARC!!

This book comes out at the end of January.

Here’s what I had to say about the first in the series:

Review: I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

Love, love, love.

I just love the character of young chemistry wiz Flavia deLuce in this series of books by Alan Bradley. I know they are often billed as YA, but I think they are fine for adults. If you follow me, you know I just adored “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” and while I continued to love the characters and writing in the next two books, I was disappointed in the plot lines.

This time, however, I was thrilled. In this installment, it is Christmas time, and Flavia is determined to “trap” Father Christmas up on the roof to prove his existence to her two unfeeling and scornful sisters. Meanwhile, her father has rented their home estate to be used for a movie featuring a famous actress. In all the excitement of filming and house guests, along with Christmas and snowstorms, a murder occurs, and Flavia is determined to figure out who the murderer is (while they are all snowed in!).

If you’ve read the other books, or even if you haven’t, I highly recommend this one!

(and thanks to Father Christmas who brought me mine!)