Back to detective fiction for this week’s BotW which is Alan Bradley’s fifth Flavia de Luce book. Unusually for me these days, I’m reading this series out of order – I read the first book first, but the only others I’ve read in the series are the two which follow this one.
In Book 5 we join our heroine as the village is preparing for the exhumation of their local saint from the church yard to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. But when they open the tomb, instead of a skeleton they find the recently deceased church organist and the pre-teen detective can’t help but start to investigate…
In the first book, Flavia trod a fine line for me – between engagingly and clever and irritatingly precocious. In this book (and the other later ones that I’ve read) she’s smart, with some pretty peculiar interests, but doesn’t ever cross too far over into preternaturally omnipotent! Aside from her sisters, most of her relationships are with adults and I enjoyed watching how the different adults interact with her – and their varying success (in her opinion) in treating her “properly”.
This was a fun page-turner, I had my suspicions about the culprit but couldn’t figure out the hows and whys – but the explanation was ingenious. I’m obviously still enjoying the series despite reading it out of order – you should be able to find Flavia’s adventures (where ever you want to start with them) in all good bookshops and online or, as I did, at your local library.