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The Grave's a Fine and Private Place
2018
Availability
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Flavia de Luce (Girl), Student, Precocious, Has older sisters who pick on her; being raised by her father; eavesdropper; able to pick locks; has a fully equipped chemistry lab; obsessed with corpses
Genre
Fiction
Mystery
Suspense
Topics
Sisters
Family relationships
Family tragedy
Travel
Boats
Unidentified bodies
Murder
Murder investigations
Setting
England - Europe
Time Period
1950s -- 20th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Set in England in 1952, Agatha-winner Bradley's outstanding ninth Flavia de Luce novel (after 2016's Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd) finds 12-year-old Flavia contemplating suicide in the wake of a family tragedy. To relieve the increased tension between Flavia and her two older sisters, Dogger, the de Luce family's long-serving and devoted servant, proposes an extended boat trip on the river. All is uneventful until the skiff nears the site where a notorious poisoner, Canon Whitbread, discarded the chalice he used in his crimes. Flavia's hand, trailing behind the boat, comes into contact with the corpse of the canon's son, Orlando. Unperturbed, Flavia uses her handkerchief to swab liquid from the dead man's lips, and she and Dogger jury-rig a forensic lab to examine the sample. Though disappointed when the evidence shows Orlando was drowned instead of poisoned, Flavia persists with her amateur detecting, even as she runs afoul of the local constable. As usual, Bradley makes his improbable series conceit work and relieves the plot's inherent darkness with clever humor. Agent: Denise Bukowski, Bukowski Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" ( The Seattle Times ), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty new mystery novel from award-winning author Alan Bradley. <br> <br> In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia's grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia's mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder--although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave.<br> <br> Praise for The Grave's a Fine and Private Place <br> <br> "Outstanding . . . As usual, Bradley makes his improbable series conceit work and relieves the plot's inherent darkness with clever humor." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review) <br> <br> "There's only one Flavia. . . . Series fans will anticipate the details of this investigation, along with one last taste of Flavia's unorthodox family life." -- Library Journal (starred review) <br> <br> "Bradley's unquenchable heroine brings 'the most complicated case I had ever come across' to a highly satisfying conclusion, with the promise of still brighter days ahead." -- Kirkus Reviews
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