THE DEAD IN THEIR VAULTED ARCHES
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. This reviewer recommends reading the previous books in the series, not just for the story, but the emotional underpinning. These are astounding, magical books not to be missed.
When Flavia was a baby, her mother disappeared while mountain climbing, and her father never recovered emotionally. Now, shockingly, her mother is coming home. As the family reunites at the train station, a man approaches Flavia and whispers a mysterious message. Then he is pushed onto the train tracks and killed. After the family returns home, a grown cousin of Flavia’s mother, who Flavia has never heard of, arrives with her strange child and an old piece of film that brings Flavia more questions about her family’s past. As she looks for a killer, Flavia is put to the test like never before. (DELACORTE, Jan., 336 pp., $24.00)