Golden Tresses of the Dead
by Bradley, Alan






"Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop's Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce's sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. "A church is a wonderful place for a wedding," muses Flavia, "surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar." Flavia is not your normal twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, which has sharpened her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger, estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve-not so simple an endeavor with her odious, little moon-faced cousin, Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcomediscovery in Ophelia's wedding cake: a human finger"-





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 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 MustardI Am Half-Sick of ShadowsSpeaking 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.”





*Starred Review* Prepare for Arthur Dogger and Associates' first official case, in which 12-year-old Flavia de Luce finally becomes a professional sleuth, with the able help of family gardener and all-around problem solver Dogger. The roller-coaster ride that transpires begins with tears at the wedding of Flavia's sister, Ophelia, prompted by a severed finger in the wedding cake, and extends to death by poisoning (Flavia's special area of expertise), even drawing in some sweet lady missionaries from Africa. Ever self-evaluating, Flavia notes her preteen mood swings, which cleverly mirror the puzzling tangles she and Dogger set out to unravel. The 1950s frame is aptly set with a wealth of period details, including the quaint village of Bishop's Lacey, with its vicarage and altar guild, and ?Flavia's old-fashioned bicycle named Gladys. Despite the novel's patently improbable plot, Flavia's over-the-top use of alliteration ("ghastly goings-on at the graveside) and proudly precocious, sesquipedalian vocabulary ("I delight in deliquescence"), along with the thoroughly endearing cast of characters, make this series' tenth installment a laugh-out-loud winner. Fans of the brainy Flavia, who "dotes on death, will also enjoy the precocious child narrators and mysterious, twisty plots that abound in Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake (2017) and Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2012). Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





Flavia de Luce hasn't lost a sister, she's gained a case—and what a case. Whatever tears the preteen chemist/sleuth might have shed over her dislikable sister Ophelia's wedding to Dieter Schrantz, whose career in the Luftwaffe was ended when his plane was shot down by Reggie Mould, the Royal Air Force pilot who's now his best man, are squelched by two more momentous events: the appearance of Anastasia Prill, the very first client of Flavia's professional partnership with Arthur W. Dogger, her late father's valet, and Flavia's discovery of a severed finger stuck into Ophelia's wedding cake. The shared abilities of Flavia and Dogger (The Grave's a Fine and Private Place, 2018, etc.) quickly identify the finger as that of recently deceased guitarist Mme. Adriana Castelnuovo, but the investigation of Arthur W. Dogger & Associates into the theft of the threatening letters focusing on the work of Miss Prill's father, distinguished homeopathic practitioner Dr. Augustus Bro cken, hits an unfortunate snag when someone feeds the client a fatal dose of physostigmine. Since Dr. Brocken, whose age-related infirmities have confined him to Gollingford Abbey, can offer no evidence as useful as a complete spoken sentence, Flavia and Dogger are very much on their own—except of course for Flavia's cousin Undine, who's even younger and snarkier than she is, and Doris Pursemaker and Ardella Stonebrook, two missionaries Flavia, now the Chatelaine of Buckshaw, agrees through gritted teeth to accept as guests under pressure from Cynthia Richardson, the vicar's beleaguered wife. Luckily, Flavia's inquiries also lead her to a kindred spirit: Colin Collier, the late guitarist's son, who also turns out to be the late client's nephew. Perhaps the most consistently hilarious adventure of the alarmingly precocious heroine, who's capable of confiding in her readers with a perfectly straight face: "I don't know if you've ever dissected a rat, but to me, there was only one word for it: exhilarating." Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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