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by Alan Bradley
Delacorte , February 2013
400 pages
ISBN: 0385344031

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Once again, Flavia De Luce, teen detective (well, almost a teen) is sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong. She is sneaking into the church basement to watch the tomb of Saint Tancred be opened; there is a considerable to-do about this at the last minute, which makes it easier for her to get where she wants to be. First the Bishop said it was fine to open the tomb; he's apparently changed his mind. Perhaps he was prescient. When the tomb is opened, Flavia announces that there is another corpse inside, that of Mr. Collicutt the church organist.

As one might expect, there is no way that Flavia is going to leave this case alone. She is also pursuing other investigations. Her sisters Daffy and Feely have told her numerous times that she is a changeling, not really family. So Flavia is comparing blood samples to be sure that they are lying to her. She is also desperately trying to ignore the fact that Buckshaw, is up for sale; the prospect of leaving the familial home is one of the scariest things Flavia has ever contemplated. Other mysteries crop up as she investigates the original crime.

One of the marvels of Bradley's writing is his ability to keep Flavia and all her eccentricities, her emotional tidal waves, her bizarre notions from toppling over the edge into the domain of totally twee. In AMONG THE BONES, Flavia is beginning to feel the changing emotions that come with adolescence and her sisters are also becoming a bit more mature. Her father, on the other hand, needs a good therapist (among other good things I can think of). There is less focus on Dogger and his funks. Flavia begins to think more outside herself, to see things from a different perspective. It's refreshing, and yet she is still the alternately obnoxious and endearing Flavia.

P.J. Coldren lives in northern lower Michigan where she reads and reviews widely across the mystery genre when she isn't working in her local hospital pharmacy.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, February 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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