A tale of the unexpected



My friend Jane insisted that I promote this to the top of my reading pile after she devoured it on a trip to Cornwall this summer. And so I did. It didn’t take a lot of persuading as we are both such ardent fans of Flavia de luce and the Buckshaw clan.

The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches is the sixth book (and please not the last!) of this tremendously entertaining series. We pick up where Speaking From Among The Bones left off, waiting for Flavia’s mother to return after being presumed dead in Tibet for the last decade.

A specially commisioned train brings Harriett back to Buckshaw setting off a number of gruesome events and incredible revelations that unlock the sercrets of her past and unravels the details of young Flavia’s destiny.

I had really geared myself up for another hilarious, gripping adventure with one of my favourite fictional characters. But I got more than I bargained for with all that plus a darker, more extraordinary tale of lies, betrayal and espionage.

Things had certainly taken an unexpecting turn here. I’m not even sure I liked how it all panned out, although of course I still adore the protagonist and the sublime writing. Given a choice I would’ve liked more of the same. This feels like Alan Bradley is either kicking things up a notch for a new chapter in Flavia’s life or he’s bringing the curtain down on these fantastic adventures. I sincerely hope it’s not the latter.

Viva Flavia!


Notes on the author – Alan Bradley:

  • Award- winning and best-selling author
  • Writer of short stories, children’s books, newspaper columns and the memoir “The Shoebox Bible”



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