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The Grave's a Fine and Private Place: 02/27/18

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley is the ninth of the Flavia de Luce mysteries. Flavia and her sister Daffy, and Dogger are spending summer hols punting along the river. They are under the watchful care of Aunt Felicity who has plans for everyone now that Flavia's father is dead. Death though seems to follow Flavia and even a mundane day of punting ends in the discovery of a body.

I think from the description of where they are relative to London, they are actually south of it, but my mind pictured them north because it's the one place I've been. Regardless, it's a typical English village that has a river running through or around or near it.

The death is believed to be an accidental drowning, or perhaps suicide by drowning by Constable Otter (a great name for a constable with a beat that's along a river, no?). Flavia though, believes it's tied up with an older, notorious poisoning where three women died shortly after taking communion.

After nine books it's fairly easy to discern the patterns of a mystery series. Therefore it's fairly easy to see how has done it and how it was done. The why, though, here, was trickier.

Beyond the mystery itself, there is Flavia's home-life. It's never been exactly great and she's always been at the brink of losing her house. Now with her father dead, it appears her aunt wishes to sell it straightaway regardless of the fact that Flavia owns it per her mother's will. It seems as Flavia ages she becomes more childish, rather than less and here it seems she has neglected to see the obvious first step of find a solicitor. Dogger has always been her confidant, I'm sure he could and would help her if she asked.

At this juncture I don't know if a tenth one is planned. I hope there is just to find out what happens to the house.

Four stars

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