The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley (2014)
Series: Flavia de Luce #6
Goodreads Summary: 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.
I absolutely love the Flavia de Luce series and couldn’t wait until this book came out. I think this might be my favorite of all the series. The previous book ended on a cliffhanger with Flavia’s father saying they’d found her mother. I wasn’t sure if she was still alive or if that meant they’d found her body.
That question is answered in this book and I won’t go into details so as to avoid spoilers. In fact I thought I’d seen one review that said it went one way and I went into it totally prepared for that outcome, but there was a totally different one. Still, I liked this book because it focused more on the family and personal lives of the characters. I’ve always found the entire family and their relationships fascinating but the previous books mostly focused on the murder mystery aspect.
In this book there is a murder at the beginning but the majority of the novel doesn’t really center around it. I also like the new direction the series is taking and can’t wait to read about Flavia’s continued adventures and where things are taking her. She’s such a great character and no matter what she gets up to, I look forward to reading all the details!
If you haven’t read this series yet and you enjoy mysteries and unique characters, definitely give it a try. I can’t wait for the next book in the series and I hope they just keep getting better and better!
My Rating: 4 Stars