More Flavia! Review: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.

I have been in love with Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series (fine, Buckshaw Chronicles) since I read the first page. I’ve written about my love for these books here and here and here.

Book five, Speaking From Among the Bones, ended on a cliff-hanger and I would like to congratulate myself on being able to wait this long to find out what happened.

Flavia de Luce lives at Buckshaw, a crumbling manor house in 1950s England, with her father who is more interested in stamp collecting and memories of his missing wife than his children; her self-involved musical sister Ophelia; and library haunting book nerd Daphne as well as the loyal Dogger, devoted to her father since the War. Flavia herself is a chemistry afficiando, haunting the east wing which is basically falling down around her but has always had a curiously well stocked chemistry lab.

She also seems to get involved any time a dead body is found in the area. By  the time you get to book six, that’s a lot of dead bodies.


While each of the books that have come before deal with a contained mystery that’s solved in the one book, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches deals with a mystery that’s hovered over all the books before: what happened to Flavia’s mother, Harriet?

She disappeared on a climbing expedition when Flavia was just a year old and since she’s been gone, it’s all the Colonel can do to keep the house afloat and in their possession.

I don’t want to say anymore!

This book ably carries on the series. There are so many answers to questions that have been left unanswered for five books. In the opening pages a man drops dead in front of Flavia and I thought that it had been forgotten as there didn’t seem to even be an investigation but Bradley never puts things in these books that aren’t important later.

This book was much more about Flavia’s emotional state. She is growing up and finding out all kinds of things about herself and her family. Characters that we thought we knew turn out to be completely different people.

I’m not being vague on purpose but if I say too much and you haven’t had the pleasure, it will ruin everything for you and I just can`t be responsible for that. Just read these books already will you?

The series was supposed to have six books in it and but for a few changes I suspect Bradley made along the way, it could have wrapped up nicely with this book. But evidently Bradly wasn’t done with Flavia (neither am I!) and a seventh book has just arrived. I can’t wait to get my hands on As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust – Flavia heads to Canada!

13 thoughts on “More Flavia! Review: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

  1. I love Flavia de Luce, too. She’s such a fun character. I still have this book to look forward to reading. (Aren’t I lucky?) Great review!

  2. All right, all right, I really want to read these books sometime. You make them sound so good! And, I appreciate you not spoiling it for me. Because, I would have read the spoiler- I’m too curious. How old is Flavia? (I know, I really don’t know anything about Flavia. I do own the first book, though. Maybe I should read them all the way through once they’re all written. What do you think?)

  3. This is actually the first time I’ve heard about these, but they sound interesting! I absolutely LOVE series whose early events end up being very significant later on. Also! I know you often post reviews of books that you received . . . how did you go about getting people to give you books to review? Just curious if you have any tips for someone who’d like to start reviewing more current books without breaking the bank.

    • They are wonderful. A complete delight to read.

      To be honest, I don’t know how it happened. I kept posting stuff and then one day I was nominated for one of those blogger awards by someone who happens to work for a publisher. Shortly thereafter I got an email asking if I’d be interested in posting reviews for them. A no brainer if ever there was one!
      My advice would be to just keep posting! And interact with publishers on twitter, comment on different blogs as much as possible. Eventually your content will come to the notice of the right person!

  4. Every time I hear about this series, I tell myself I am going to get myself a copy of the first one and then never do. This sounds like so much fun! Gah. Need to get on it lol.

  5. Pingback: Farewell Flavia? | The Paperback Princess

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