The Grave's a Fine and Private Place: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

In this final episode of Alan Bradley's award-winning series, Flavia is once again entangled in a murder investigation.  Dogger, the family's longtime servant, has taken Flavia and her sisters for a small boating trip.  While lazily drifting along the river, Flavia lets her hand dangle in the water.  Feeling what she thinks is a fish nibble, she quickly closes her hand and, to her surprise, catches the object.  But it's not a's a human head...attached to the human body.  And so it begins... 

The Flavia de Luce series remains one of the top-selling series at MBTB.  If you've not read these, start with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  The series carries my highest recommendation! - Brenda

— From Brenda's Staff Picks


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

About the Author

Alan Bradley is the New York Times bestselling author of many short stories, children's stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His other Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Speaking from Among the Bones, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, and The Grave's a Fine and Private Place, as well as the ebook short story "The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780345539991
ISBN-10: 0345539990
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Pages: 384
Language: English
Series: Flavia de Luce