Sunday, February 17, 2013

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

Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Flavia de Luce #5)Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been borrowing these from the library to read, but I decided to pick this one up outright. I'm enjoying them far too much to not give the author some of my money for them.

This is the fifth Flavia de Luce mystery, and one would think the fifth murder in a year in a small town in the English countryside might be implausible. Not so. One gets the notion this is only the fifth time Flavia has heard about local murders, now that she's looking for them.

The victim this time is the organist, Mr. Collicut, who disappeared some weeks before and who is found during the exhuming of St. Tancred's tomb, the saint for whom the church is named. Mr. Collicut is found wearing a gas mask and clutching a piece of the internal workings of the organ, inside the sealed inner chamber of the tomb under the church. Flavia has to do some digging, literally and figuratively, to figure out how the body got in there, who did it, and why.

Meanwhile, the family is in real danger of losing Buckshaw, the family estate. Debts have mounted and the legalities are a mess. Flavia finds herself at the receiving end of some affection from her family, for a change, as they all wonder what they're going to do. The matter isn't settled by the end of the book, but it is thrown into disarray from a startling revelation, declared in the last sentence of the book.

Flavia remains a delightful narrator, and her growth in this book is fun to watch. She uncovers some of her mother, Harriet's, past, obtains a pet chicken, and proves scientifically that she doesn't have bat's blood, as her sister asserts.

Some of the transitions in this book are odd. It seems like Flavia spends the first half of the novel dashing about, forgetting to do what she came to each place to do. I often felt like I'd missed the part where she left one place to go to another. Considering the excruciating detail put into how she cleans the mud off her bike, I felt the transitions could've spared a few words.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I strongly recommend it to mystery fans and those who love a dynamic narrator.

I listened to the book on audio, which is still narrated by Jayne Entwhistle. She continues to do an excellent job with narration, injecting a lot of heart and soul into Flavia's telling.

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