The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place
Flavia de Luce: Book 9
Delacourt Press, 2018
From the back of the book, “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.”
Well, I’m glad the author has allowed Flavia to get back to what she does best – being a busybody and solving murders. For a couple of books, he’s sent her off on tangents that had me wondering if the original Flavia I fell for so long ago would ever return – and she did! This mystery is a good one – one that has so many potential suspects, I couldn’t figure it out.
There is much to love about this story and a few not-so-good points – love the new environs, lots of quirky new characters and Dogger plays an important role in solving the mystery (and, we get a closer look at who Dogger is and what makes him tick!). There’s only a couple of negative things that really aren’t worth mentioning; however, – **SPOILER ALERT**- I can’t believe the author killed off Flavia’s father and then just brushed over it in the first chapter. He should have written a whole book on that alone!
But, all in all, I enjoyed the book and the mystery. Flavia is a star in my books!
Rating 4 out of 5 for an outstanding mystery series!!