Book Review: “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” by Alan Bradley

image14 out of 5 Stars

Every year I wait patiently for the latest Flavia de Luce Novel. I was so excited this year I somehow forgot I had already ordered it once and ended up with 2 copies. Oops! The series is one of my absolute favorites and I just love her sense of humor and personality. The latest addition to the series is “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” by Alan Bradley.

If you haven’t read the other books in the series there might be some spoilers for you here but I won’t give anything away from this book.

In this book the de Luce family is coming to terms with the death of their father and how they go on without him. Dogger suggests he take them on a boating trip to change the scene for all of them. Daffy has retreated into her books. Feeley is completely devastated not just by the loss of their father, but her relationship with Dieter has been on the rocks. Flavia is trying to work out what is going to happen with her, their property, and the people that have been constants in their lives up to this point. Buckshaw belongs solely to her and the family’s money troubles are behind them.

As they are floating along they decide to do some fishing. Flavia is dragging her hand along in the water and it catches on something. Thinking she has just hooked a big fish she pulls her hand out of the water and her finger is hooked into a human head. They find that head is attached to a body and Flavia senses there is foul play. They beach the punt and the adventure takes off with a whole new cast of characters. We have a couple of characters make small appearances, but Flavia can’t rely on her usual support system.

This was a fun read but it was not my favorite book in the series. There were others I felt had stronger plots and more of that “Flavia” feel. Maybe I was missing her quirky townsfolk, which she thought of a lot throughout the book. I missed Gladys. I like the play with her and I missed her play with Mrs. Mullet and Inspector Hewitt. She may be maturing now with the loss of her father and that fun snarkiness and sarcasm I am used to seeing from her. I did love the relationship between her and Dogger and that we got to learn more about that. She has always had an affection for him, but we really get to see that in action here.

I recommend the book for sure, but feel like things are starting to change with Flavia. I am excited to see the next phase of the story and where she heads. I will be pre-ordering the next book when it comes available too!

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