Flavia de Luce: amateur sleuth and devoted student of chemistry. Flavia loves murder and poisons and finds herself right in the middle of the action. In Alan Bradley's fifth Flavia mystery, she does not disappoint. Flavia is present to observe the opening of St. Tancred's tomb in the crypt of St. Tancred's church. Her smaller hand makes her the obvious person to shine the torch through the small opening between the rock that won't budge and the wall of the tomb. She is the first to see the body, not of the Saint but of Mr. Cullicut the church organist.
The discovery of the missing Cullicut adds to the strange events in Bishop's Lacey. Eerie lights float through the graveyard at night, a bat invades the church organ, the Archbishop and a botanist arrive. Flavia's miserable sisters act of out character.
Flavia's investigation leads her into tunnels in the cemetery, discussion with her eccentric neighbours and midnight excursions. Danger is ever present and she handles it with aplomb. Her bicycle, Gladys is a personality in her own right.
Alan Bradley (Canadian, by the way) has one more Flavia book planned. He has left us to wonder what will happen to Flavia's ancestral home, Buckshaw. Has it been sold to cover her father's debts? Will her sisters continue to be outlandishly kind to her? The last sentence in the book is a zinger. No spoiler alert here, because the ending won't be spoiled. Just know that Bradley has fans crying, "NO. What happens?" And there'll be no answer until Flavia's next adventure.
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