Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce #5) by Alan Bradley

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385344031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385344036

Book Description

From award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as “one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”

Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.

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
“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today

“Utterly beguiling.”—People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag

“Outstanding . . . [a] marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on A Red Herring Without Mustard

“Original, charming, devilishly creative.”—Bookreporter, on I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

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, and I Am Half-Sick of Shadows.

My Review

This series by author Alan Bradley is so well written and so imaginative I wish that it could go on forever.  I believe that Speaking From Among The Bones is the fifth of a six series collection of stories about Flavia de Luce and her fascinating family and friends.  Bradley makes the village of Bishop Lacey come alive in these novels.  Flavia's bicycle Gladys even has a character of her own.

We discover in this latest book that our precocious heroine Flavia is exactly like her dead mother Harriet according to her father.  She inherited her brilliance and her sense of adventure from her mother.  The lack of Harriet at Buckhall, the family's ancestral home, is the centre of these books.

The village of Bishop Lacey is in an uproar over the excavation of their saint's tomb, St. Tancred.  With Flavia in their midst at the opening of the tomb what do they discover but the body of their organist, Mr. Collicutt!  We know our young sleuth will not rest until the mystery is solved.  Between chemical experiments, the impending engagement of Feely and the possibility of losing Buckhead the story beautifully unfolds for the reader.  I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

Oh my goodness...what an ending...what a cliffhanger...I cannot wait until the next book!


  1. I had no idea he was adding another, but now i know 6, thanks for that. I loved Flavia, such an amazing memorable character but I haven't continued the series. I have the Christmas one on my list for this year.

  2. Actually, he's signed a multi-book deal that included a potential for 10 additional books in this series. This being the first under that deal.

    1. Prove it. What is your source? Alan contacted me 6 Feb and said nothing of the sort. How rumors do fly...

  3. Her bicycle is a character and Feely is getting engaged. That is what your review adds to the blurb, in a nutshell. Better than Sufiq, who has no clue about the English language. But have you nothing more to add?