The tenth in the series, I find Flavia de Luce just as delightful now as I did in the beginning. Still precocious, curious, and clever (the way she talks about her bicycle always makes me smile) she’s grown up a bit and experienced real loss, but she is just as vibrant to me as she ever was.
Okay y’all. We are calling this red. It’s not a hard red, more of a pinky/salmon/Ross’s shirt on friends sort of shade, but the powers that be in the Bingo thread said variants are allowed and I’m rolling with it. Plus, I don’t typically post pictures and this gave me a reason to share a delightful Alan Bradley cover: something about his palette’s and the style of them always soothes me.
This novel has significant character development in that one of Flavia’s sisters gets married and thus leaves the home, which shakes things up a bit. But the real movement is that Flavia and Dogger are going into business together, as investigators. Bradley had another novel that was a departure from the formula, wherein Flavia went to boarding school, but then he sent her right back home at the end and never really realized the potential of this shift in locale. The Dogger/Flavia partnership is really just formalizing what has happened in previous books, the young Flavia often goes to Dogger (their butler/handyman hybrid) for help, and now she is old enough, and with her sister gone and father passed, it’s as if Dogger has stepped up to fill a more familial role. Overall, there was a good amount of intrigue and mystery and I enjoyed seeing it unfold. I could do without the shark jumping introduction of the young plucky Undine underfoot in the home (introduced in a previous book, but with a more prominent role in this one), but such is the way with these things it seems, much like sitcoms bring in a wee neighbor kid to studio audience “oohs” and “aahs.”
I read that this might be the final book of the Flavia de Luce, as this is the 10th in the series and Bradley signed a 10 book contract, and I mean, the man is 80. But, if another one comes along, I’d be sure to cozy up and read it.