Monday, February 10, 2014

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (A Flavia DeLuce Mystery), by Alan Bradley

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
A Flavia de Luce Mystery
Author: Alan Bradley
Series: Flavia de Luce
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
View on Amazon

Source: NetGalley

I'm not sure if these books are considered YA or not (I don't think so, but I'm not sure) so I wasn't sure whether or not to include this review on The Bookish Elf. But I love this series so much that I like any excuse to talk about it!

There are few things that excite me more than seeing a new Flavia DeLuce mystery by Alan Bradley. With the familiar cover art it's easy to spot them right away, and when I saw The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches on NetGalley I literally squealed. Quite loudly in fact.

I read the entire book in the first twenty-four hours I had it, partly because it's a short book and partly because I couldn't put it down.

This is Book #6 in the series and it--more than any of the previous novels--is not a stand alone story. It picks up where the cliffhanger ending of the last book (Speaking From Among the Bones) left off. In fact it's the last book in the original story arc that Alan Bradley had planned, though apparently there will be at least four more books after it.

I don't know how to talk about this book without giving away too much because nearly everything that happens in it is crucial to the characters' lives. If you haven't read it yet, or if you haven't read the previous books, I don't want to reveal anything that might be better left a secret.

I will say this. The conclusion of this six book story arc was not entirely satisfying to me. There were answers given to things that I didn't realize were even questions. Mysteries about the DeLuce family were solved that I didn't realize needed solving. In some ways it made me feel like the past four years that I have spent at Buckshaw in Bishop's Lacey were all just a dream, and one that I am not happy to have just been woken from. For the first time I'm a little nervous about the next Flavia DeLuce novel because I simply do not know what to expect.

A note about the advance review copies: My review of this book and the previous one, Speaking From Among the Bones, were based on the advanced digital review copies I got from the publisher. I'm not sure, but I suspect these copies may have been abridged. Both are rather short (around 225 pages) even though the finished books are usually around 350. I can't be certain with The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches because the finished edition won't be available for months, but I am currently re-reading Speaking From Among the Bones (a hardcover copy from my local library) to see if I can notice any differences between it and the copy that I originally reviewed.

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