Title: Speaking From Among the Bones
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Author: Alan Bradley
Publisher: Random House, January 29, 2013 (available for pre-order)
Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program
Sexy Rating: N/A
Description from amazon.com:
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.
You cannot read the Flavia deLuce novels and not become totally enthralled with the heroine. Flavia is a genius, she dabbles dangerously with chemicals in her deceased uncle’s laboratory. Her mother is presumed dead on a mountain climbing expedition. Her father is totally preoccupied with holding the family estate together and her sisters are so self-involved they give little attention to Flavia. Flavia’s comrade is butler/servant of all tasks, Dogger, who always has time to lend her a hand or answer a question. It is easy to see how such a young precocious Miss can gallivant around the village without too much accounting to anyone.
Bradley writes beautifully and often with profundity, for example:
“How odd, I thought: Here were these four great grievers, Father, Dogger, the Vicar, and Cynthia Richardson, each locked in his or her own past and unwilling to share a morsel of their anguish, not even with one another. Was sorrow, in the end, a private thing? A closed container? Something that, like a bucket of water, could be borne only on a single pair of shoulders?”
There is a certain amount of distraction in Flavia’s Chemistry experiments and the ending, although it ties up the mystery as only Flavia could, leaves us with a surprise wondering what will happen next . I will be waiting to read the next Flavia mystery. I’m totally invested in Flavia’s detecting career .