A finger in a wedding cake is only the beginning in this deliciously shocking mystery featuring Flavia de Luce, “the world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth” (The Seattle Times).
Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,” muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.” Flavia is not your normal twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger, estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve—not so simple an endeavor with her odious little moon-faced cousin, Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth” (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty mystery novel from award-winning author Alan Bradley.
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.
Praise for The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place
“Flavia [is] irrepressible, precocious and indefatigable. . . . A whole new chapter of Flavia’s life opens as she approaches adolescence. Will she become the Madame Curie of crime?”—Bookreporter
“Outstanding . . . As usual, Bradley makes his improbable series conceit work and relieves the plot’s inherent darkness with clever humor.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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)
“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
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Hailed as “a combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes” by The Boston Globe, Flavia de Luce returns in a Christmas mystery from award-winning author Alan Bradley.
In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia’s blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar’s wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man’s body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It’s amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one’s spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.
Praise for Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d
“Mystery fans seeking novels of wit, an immersive English countryside setting, and rich characterizations will be rewarded with this newest entry in the award-winning series.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“There is such a thing as willing suspension of disbelief brought on by sheer outlandish charm, and that’s what [Alan] Bradley and some delicious writing have tapped.”—London Free Press
“Flavia’s first-person narration reveals her precocious intellect as well as her youthful vulnerability.”—Shelf Awareness
“Flavia is once again a fun, science-loving protagonist. . . . This series entry ends on a note that begs for the next story.”—Library Reads
“An eleven-year-old prodigy with an astonishing mind for chemistry and a particular interest in poisons.”—The Strand Magazine (Five of the Best Historical Heroines)
“Bradley’s preteen heroine comes through in the end with a series of deductions so clever she wants to hug herself. So will you.”—Kirkus Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Flavia de Luce—“part Harriet the Spy, part Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (The New York Times Book Review)—takes her remarkable sleuthing prowess to the unexpectedly unsavory world of Canadian boarding schools in this captivating mystery.
BONUS: This edition includes “The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse: A Flavia de Luce Story.”
Banished! is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed.
Praise for As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
“Flavia de Luce [is] perhaps contemporary crime fiction’s most original character—to say she is Pippi Longstocking with a Ph.D. in chemistry (speciality: poisons) barely begins to describe her.”—Maclean’s
“Another treat for readers of all ages . . . [As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust] maintains the high standards Bradley set from the start.”—Booklist
“Exceptional . . . [The] intriguing setup only gets better, and Bradley makes Miss Bodycote’s a suitably Gothic setting for Flavia’s sleuthing. Through it all, her morbid narrative voice continues to charm.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Even after all these years, Flavia de Luce is still the world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth.”—The Seattle Times
“Plot twists come faster than Canadian snowfall. . . . Bradley’s sense of observation is as keen as gung-ho scientist Flavia’s. . . . The results so far are seven sparkling Flavia de Luce mysteries.”—Library Journal
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.
Praise for The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
“Part Harriet the Spy, part Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Flavia is a pert and macabre pragmatist.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Alan] Bradley’s award winning Flavia de Luce series . . . has enchanted readers with the outrageous sleuthing career of its precocious leading lady. . . . This latest adventure contains all the winning elements of the previous books.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Bradley’s latest Flavia de Luce novel reaches a new level of perfection as it shows the emotional turmoil and growth of a girl who has always been older than her years and yet is still a child. The mystery is complex and very personal this time, reaching into the past Flavia never knew about. . . . These are astounding, magical books not to be missed.”—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“Excellent . . . Flavia retains her droll wit. . . . The solution to a murder is typically neat, and the conclusion sets up future books nicely.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“It’s hard to resist either the genre’s pre-eminent preteen sleuth or the hushed revelations about her family.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Flavia . . . is as fetching as ever; her chatty musings and her combination of childish vulnerability and seemingly boundless self-confidence haven’t changed a bit.”—Booklist
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as “one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”
Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.
Acclaim for Speaking from Among the Bones
“[Alan] Bradley scores another success. . . . This series is a grown-up version of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and all those mysteries you fell in love with as a child.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“The precocious and irrepressible Flavia . . . continues to delight.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fiendishly brilliant . . . Bradley has created an utterly charming cast of characters . . . as quirky as any British mystery fan could hope for.”—Bookreporter
“Delightful and entertaining.”—San Jose Mercury News
Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today
“Delightful.”—The Boston Globe, on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
“Utterly beguiling.”—People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag
“Irresistibly appealing.”—The New York Times Book Review, on A Red Herring Without Mustard
“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today
ALAN BRADLEY, AUTHOR OF THE MOST AWARD-WINNING SERIES DEBUT OF ANY YEAR, RETURNS WITH ANOTHER IRRESISTIBLE FLAVIA DE LUCE NOVEL.
“[Alan] Bradley has created one of the most original, charming, devilishly creative and hilarious detectives of any age or any time.”—Bookreporter
It’s Christmastime, and Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.
“[Flavia is] the most intrepid and charming adolescent chemist/detective/busybody in all of rural, post–World War II England.”—The Seattle Times
“Quirky and delightful . . . Flavia is a classic literary character who manages to appeal to both young and old readers equally.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“Bradley’s plot twists and turns delightfully.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – Alan Bradley, author of the most award-winning series debut of any year, returns with another irresistible Flavia de Luce novel.
In the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey, the insidiously clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce had asked a Gypsy woman to tell her fortune—never expecting to later stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned almost to death in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER – “Flavia is incisive, cutting and hilarious… one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.” – USA Today
Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?
Winner of the CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION DEBUT DAGGER AWARD and the AGATHA AND DILYS AWARD – “A wickedly clever story, a dead-true and original voice” – Laurie R. King
It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.
For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”