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Speaking from Among the Bones

(Flavia de Luce #5)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  30,147 ratings  ·  3,485 reviews
Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily pr ...more
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Delacorte Press (first published January 29th 2013)
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Sara Yes you should read the other books first. It gives away a great deal of information from those books.

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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  30,147 ratings  ·  3,485 reviews

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Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow! I admit I wasn't expecting much with this latest installment of my very favorite mystery series. Not because it hasn't alway been wonderful, but because I've never read a series that kept on being wonderful so long. This one was most excellent. I have just closed the book and must tell you that the last sentence caused me to leap off the couch, throw off my snuggy in the most unladylike fashion and shriek and hoop and holler. What a surprise! I had been wondering about "it" since the first ...more
Richard Derus
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.9* of five

The Book Description: Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the
Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
”Now from yon black and fun’ral yew,
That bathes the charnel-house with dew,
Methinks I hear a voice begin;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din;
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O’er the long lake and midnight ground)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones.”

Thomas Parnell
A night-Piece on Death (1721)

When they decide to open the crypt of St. Tancred on the 500th anniversary of his death no one is more excited than Flavia de Luce. She is hoping for something gross, terri
Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Really?!?! How long do we have to wait to find out what that means?

That was my first reaction to the last line of the book. The Flavia books are quickly becoming some of my favorites of all time, and the series is definitely at the top of my list. The tangle of mystery, murder, and normal family life make these a great read for all ages.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love Flavia de Luce! Such a plucky, fearless eleven-nearly twelve year old who loves nothing better than reading criminology texts and brewing up poisons in the chemistry laboratory inherited from her Uncle Tar. Living in the early 1950s, Flavia is mostly left to her own devices by her eccentric family of mean older sisters and disengaged father, who has never got over his wife's death ten years earlier, Flavia has the run of their dilapidated stately home and the local countryside on her b ...more
It has been over a year since reading the previous Flavia book, so I thought that my reactions would be less likely to be tainted by prior annoyance. I think that was the case but, frankly, this book did not rise above the others.

The book seemed even more disjointed than the previous books, as best as I could recall. The plot had many little episodes which didn't seem to fit together, even Flavia's thoughts were distracted and less focused (the ribbon situation, for example). Characters were int
Near the end of Speaking From Among the Bones, Inspector Hewitt visits Flavia in the Buckshaw drawing room after she’s nosy-parkered her way, again, into solving the latest murder:

“Right, then,” Inspector Hewitt was saying. “Let’s have it.”

I couldn’t help thinking how much progress he had made since we had first met nine months ago, upon which occasion he had sent me to fetch the tea.

There was hope for the man yet.

What follows is my favorite part of the book, where Flavia gleefully does the wra
Flavia de Luce continues to be one of my favorite characters in all my reading. She is a genius in her chemical meanderings and in her skill of detection, but we are often reminded that she is still indeed a child, not yet twelve. This latest entertaining tale centers around the disinterment of a saint's bones, St. Tancred, who was laid to rest in Bishop's Lacey in the church bearing his name. Hidden passages, a powerful diamond, and a dead choir master all become a part of the mystery which Fla ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this one as much as I did the previous four. Flavia's up to it again and she's a force to be reckoned with in this novel. Can't wait to read the next.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Stacey, Sara, Michelle, Stephanie, Cassidy, Haley, Gabrielle, Dale, Bryan
The best! A couple of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Was sorrow, in the end, a private thing? A closed container? Something that, like a bucket of water, could be borne only on a single pair of shoulders?"

“I was learning that the best conversations consisted of keeping quiet and listening, and speaking, when one spoke at all, in words of a single syllable.”

"I was the eighth dwarf. Sneaky."

“Could it be that goodness waxes and wanes like the moon, and that only evil is constant?”

“There's an
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley is the fifth book in the Flavia de Luce series. This book was released January 2013. The publisher is Delacorte Press.
The bones of St. Tancred are set to be exhumed on the 500th anniversary of his death. Instead, they find the body of the missing organist.
Twelve year old Flavia is on the case.
Flavia is a prodigy with a vast knowledge of chemistry and a knack for crime solving.
Flavia has a troubled home life. Her mother is missing, her father is in de
I do like this series — and tear through the books — when I get round to reading it, but I don’t particularly feel a pressure to keep up. There’s just something too precious about Flavia, and indeed the whole portrayal of idyllic British country life after the Second World War. My usual pet peeves with this series are firmly in place, in that sense.

But it is nice to just relax into it and enjoy the family’s weirdnesses, the unusual set up for the mystery, the intrepid Famous Five feel you get fr
Jaline - (on partial hiatus)
This is another terrific book in this series. Flavia de Luce is an endearing character – mentally and emotionally precocious, yet still with many little-girl flaws. She pretty much has no fear, doesn’t care if she gets herself (or her bike, or the house) dirty; to her, life is all one big experiment. It is one of the things that is so charming about her – she can outwit and out-think many of the adults in her life, yet her strong curiosity, the need to know things and to figure them out (along w ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just wow! The best of the series so far.
This episode features fun, lots of new info on the villagers and more insight into the De Luce family.
The ending packs a punch as well.
Throughout, this has been a fun, feel-good series with each episode delving deeper into the lives of the De Luce family and Bishop Lacey's inhabitants. What an interesting and caring bunch of people.
Ann Sloan
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love Flavia de Luce. I would adopt her, but I’m afraid she’s too smart for me. For an eleven-year-old, Flavia is too clever, too resourceful, and too head-strong. As her own father says, she is a genius. And Alan Bradley is a genius for creating her.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to get this from NetGalley. I have a terrible confession to make – I couldn’t put my Kindle down, so I took it with me to a Texas Camerata concert of Italian Baroque music. I love the music and have the highes
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Like most of the reviewers here, I adore the Flavia de Luce books. This is such a quirky series that nothing really compares to it. Speaking From Among the Bones is the latest and, I'm afraid, weakest addition to the series.

Much of the charm of the de Luce series comes from its odd humor. Flavia's unwavering acceptance of bizarre situations and lack of understanding about adult issues make her one of the best unreliable narrators in history. But this book leaves much of the fun behind to focus
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, canlit, mystery
Flavia's back, and there's another murder at Bishop's Lacey. For what should be a sleepy, little village/town, this place has outrageously high murder statistics! This particular murder, like the ones before it, didn't really interest me. Flavia's family dynamics did, however, with little changes happening with all the relationships. Though Daffy and Feely have been pretty beastly to Flavia since we first met them, there were a few tiny moments that pointed to the beginning of more mature dealin ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Flavia is back! And to her (and our) delight she stumbles over another murder in her home village Bishop-Lacey. The dead body of the church organist is found on top of the crypt of the village saint when his crypt is about to be opened for the 500th anniversary of his death. To her utter delight Flavia is present and can start investigating right away.
The financial situation of the family is worse than ever and Flavia is happy to be able to spend her energy and attention on solving her latest mu
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 5 in the Flavia de Luce series. Speaking from Among the Bones takes place only a few months after the first book I think, and Flavia is already into her fifth murder mystery. It’s nearly Easter (the last book I’m Half Sick of Shadows was close to Christmas), and St Tancred’s bones are to be exhumed. When the tomb is being opened, instead of St Tancred, they find Mr Collicut, the church organist there, and with a gas mask covering his face. Why was he killed so strangely and why was his body ...more
Julie Wilhoit
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I could find NOTHING bad to say about the Flavia DeLuce series. Flavia is spunky, smart, secretive and did I say smart? I LOVE LOVE LOVE the series, I devoured this book in a matter of days and am already counting down to the release of the next book in early 2014. This book ended with a cliffhanger, my favorite kind of story.
Although I have heard that these books will be made into a series on tv, I may not get to see it since it will debut on the BBC. But...that's okay because I have Flavia, Do
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this series ... this book was highly anticipated & it was worth the wait! The problems with the rushed Christmas book seem to be corrected in this novel - this book felt planned and not crassly commercialized. The odd family dynamics were still present, but were punctuated by moments of family love & concern that were lacking in earlier books. Tenderness and connections between characters formed. This book was softer and more pleasant somehow. We also got a ton of backstory and ch ...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
Great audiobook, love the narration by Flavia, one of my favorite heroines. The story was a good one although not the best I've read in the series. Still enjoyed it very much!
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of "Speaking from Among the Bones", A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley, through the Goodreads Giveaway Contest.This is the fifth book in the Flavia de Luce series and I couldn't put it down.This mystery book was so well written and a joy to read.I have to admit, I have been meaning to purchase the previous four novels in the series, but never got around to it.Now I will definately go back and read the whole series to get a full appreciation of the series.But this novel can also ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Flavia de Luce. I want to adopt this almost 12-year-old girl and fill her days with love, validation, good food, and encouragement. They are the elements missing from her life although some of the non-family characters do make an effort..
As in all the books, I found myself mesmerized being in Flavia’s mind in 1951 England. These books are unique and very special.
In SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES, book five of the wonderful series, Flavia helps find a corpse buried under the church. Usi
Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)
Flavia is my inner child.


When I just can't choose my next read (or can't find fantasy book with enough dragons), I will probably pick Flavia novel or something from Hitchhiker's Guide series. This time it was Flavia.

I like all about it - the setting, the suspense, the characters, the murder, the approach, the finale, the humor. It's written effortlessly (duhhh, it's a book for children). I like how Bradley manages to include a murder into every book but still keep the overall plot line interesti
Susan (aka Just My Op)
I've read four of the books in this series, and while I liked them, I was getting a little bored. This one made me a fan again. Flavia is growing up a bit, but still precocious and still getting into trouble. And, of course, still solving murders.

A mystery, some endearing characters, and facts that I never knew, or long ago forgot, about science, especially chemistry – what more could I ask for in a light read? Put it all together and I found this book quite charming. Is Flavia realistic? No. Is
Zahra Husain
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it
For any one who has been reading the Flavia series, this is the book where the plot line for the De Luce family thickens, but sometimes also leading to the mystery being compromised. The book almost entirely becomes about the family, it's history and the various relationship dynamics. The murder in this book takes a back seat to the family drama.

While I liked it, it's definitely not my favourite from the series.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
As an audiobook, I typically love these silly mysteries. But this is the first one that I wasn't drawn into. The plot felt jumbled and all over the place - possibly because this one is not good as an audio and better as a physical book.

either way, I had a tough time paying attention and following along.

BUT....that last line?!?!? OMG. Time to read the next one!
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic installment in the series. This one takes more time to develop the "mythology" surrounding Flavia and her family, something I think was needed after the secrets revealed in book 4.

Rolling on to book 6 now...
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another 5-star read from Alan Bradley. (To be published in February 2013) As the De Luce family ponders the gloomy prospects of losing their beloved home, Flavia embarks on another scientific sleuthing and learns even more about the mysterious Harriet. Tally Ho!
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Play Book Tag: Speaking From Among the Bones / Alan Bradley - 3*** 4 12 Oct 31, 2018 07:02AM  
Daffy and Feely's animosity 6 131 Sep 27, 2014 02:07PM  
The Parrot - spoiler, only for those who have finished! 17 240 Dec 10, 2013 02:51AM  
The Readers: YWTB #5 - Alan Bradley 2 32 Aug 16, 2013 09:03PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: "Speaking from Among the Bones" by Alan Bradley 1 5 Apr 29, 2013 08:27AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Speaking From Among the Bones 2 7 Mar 18, 2013 10:33AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where

Other books in the series

Flavia de Luce (10 books)
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)
  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2)
  • A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3)
  • I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce, #4)
  • The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6)
  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7)
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce, #8)
  • The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce, #9)
  • The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce, #10)
“No point in wasting time with false vanity when you possess the real thing.” 25 likes
“I wanted to cry.

I also wanted to go to my laboratory and prepare an enormous batch of nitrogen triiodide with which to blow up, in a spectacular mushroom cloud of purple vapor, the world and everyone in it.”
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