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Speaking from Among the Bones

(Flavia de Luce #5)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  32,563 ratings  ·  3,675 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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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  32,563 ratings  ·  3,675 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 Publisher Says: 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 c
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, ter
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
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I let out a small howl of frustration and pathos upon finishing this one. It may be my favorite Flavia book yet, but it ends on SUCH a series-level cliffhanger. And of course, it's the last book of the series I own, and getting physical books whilst under quarantine is a bit difficult. It's taken over a month and counting to get hand lotion from Amazon (all because I was too scared to go to Rite Aid!), so I'm not thinking my odds of getting books from them are too good either. Barnes and Noble, ...more
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
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The previous Flavia book was disappointing, and Alan Bradley has corrected every shortcoming of that book and produced the finest Flavia yet. (Newcomers, do read them in order or you will miss a great deal.) It is wonderful to be back in Bishop's Lacey, cuddled up with this cozy mystery in which Bradley's talent shines.

The mystery is the tightest and most interesting yet, and has a slightly eerie atmosphere new to the series. I loved that eerieness and hope it reappears in another.

Flavia has gro
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.
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
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Flavia de Luce is one of my favorite juvenile characters in literature, ranking right up there with Scout Finch. Like Scout, Flavia is motherless; however, Flavia has two older sisters who torment her unlike Scout and Jem who are relatively close. Flavia's father is also rather absent, mourning the loss of his wife Harriet and maybe the family mansion Buckshaw. Atticus Finch, though absent for work at times, is as involved in his children's lives as he can be.
Flavia is precocious and wise beyon
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
Alex Cantone
Buckshaw by moonlight was a scene from a dream. As I rode towards it along the avenue of chestnut trees, the house was half illuminated by a pale silvery light, the other half in darkness, its long black shadow crawling away across the Trafalgar Lawn toward the east, as if trying to reach the safety of the distant trees…

Speaking from among the bones opens with the irrepressible (almost) twelve year old Flavia de Luce staring up at the blood-stained head of John the Baptist in the stained glass w
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
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
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.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
You either love these or strongly dislike them. I liked all of them, but this one I LOVED.

Flavia is getting better and the situation is getting dicier.
Asghar Abbas
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

We didn't really, that particular murder of crows was safe from Us, we didn't murder it. But like this war we have been painting by ourselves, for ourselves, together, we could handle it. That particular murder of crows, we can handle it, oh how peculiar, we could murder this, something we can murder together, these crows. But We were so extremely kind to those unkindness of ravens flitting by overhead over our own heads. She and I. So kind to the otherness of Others. But not to each other. That
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
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
First Sentence: Blood dripped from the neck of the severed head and fell in a drizzle of red raindrops, clotting into a ruby pool upon the black and white tiles.

Pre-teen Flavia de Luce is excited about the opening of the 500-year-old tomb of Saint Tancred and is determined to witness the event. However, the first body uncovered, is that of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist—dead, wearing a gas mask. With her skill at chemistry, detection and a little help, Flavia has yet another murder to solve
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 character ...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
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
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
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The Parrot - spoiler, only for those who have finished! 18 251 Apr 27, 2020 11:01AM  
Play Book Tag: Speaking From Among the Bones / Alan Bradley - 3*** 4 15 Oct 31, 2018 07:02AM  
Daffy and Feely's animosity 6 133 Sep 27, 2014 02:07PM  
The Readers: YWTB #5 - Alan Bradley 2 33 Aug 16, 2013 09:03PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: "Speaking from Among the Bones" by Alan Bradley 1 6 Apr 29, 2013 08:27AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Speaking From Among the Bones 2 8 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)

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