Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ARC Book Review: The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6)Author: Alan Bradley
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Flavia de Luce # 6

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 Gipsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit—Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.

To begin with, it was a perfect English morning: one of those dazzling days in early April when a new sun makes it seem suddenly like full-blown summer.

I could cheerfully have strangled Ibu – and her daughter – with the nearest pair of nutcrackers, but I controlled myself.

The initially welcoming coffee aroma was now changing – the stench increasing by the second. To be honest, it now smelt as if a coffeehouse in the slums of hell had been struck by lightning.

Perhaps in time I shall learn the antidote to grief.

This was the best book to start my year off with! It was also my first time reading a Flavia de Luce mystery. I know, I know I spoiled a lot for myself in this book by not reading the others first, but I don’t really care because I am still dying to go back and read the first five books in this series. I follow a lot of Booktubers on YouTube, and a few of my favorites always talk about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I trust their opinions so I did some research about the book and discovered this quaint little series that follows an eleven-year-old sleuth. Flavia has just the imagination that I had at her age, and I completely connected with her because of it. She has a passion for chemistry and lives isolated with her father and two sisters. Her mother vanished some time ago, but that mystery comes to the service in this installment!

We all know the feeling of snuggling in with a cup of cocoa by a fire and feeling cozy, right? Well this is exactly how this book felt to me. It was so alluring and the characters just drew me in completely, but at the same time there was enough drama and suspense to keep me on my feet. I am sure all the other books feel this way as well. I was able to see and hear the thoughts and actions of some of the more important characters. This was a personable touch that I felt added to the coziness of the novel.

Flavia is everything that an eleven-year-old should be, and may be one of the best characters I have read in a long time. She is highly intelligent and extremely clever, while still holding this precious innocence and naivety. In fact, please don’t mind the Harry Potter references, she reminds me so much of Hermione! She is inquisitive and lets absolutely nothing keep her from a mission or mystery! I cannot wait for more of this series!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Delacorte Press in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I have not read any Flavia de Luce books- but I do love a good mystery and will definitely have to pick this series up. I am very intrigued about this book based on your review and it sound awesome. Thanks for sharing!