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The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce, #9)
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The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

(Flavia de Luce #9)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  12,747 ratings  ·  1,932 reviews
Flavia is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. Languishing in boredom, she drags a slack hand in the water, and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse.

Brought to shore, the dead man is found to be dressed in blue silk with ribbons at the knee, and wearing a single red ballet slipper.

Flavia needs to put
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Delacorte Press
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Jason Stenger I think as a mystery novel, it could stand on its own but there is so much of a rich backstory that to really understand the characters and their…moreI think as a mystery novel, it could stand on its own but there is so much of a rich backstory that to really understand the characters and their motivations you really should start at the beginning. Besides there are so many dizzying up and downs and wonderful threads woven in you really must read the whole story from the beginning.(less)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  12,747 ratings  ·  1,932 reviews

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Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-wins
NOTE: I won this book in a GR Giveaway in return for an honest review.

This is a bittersweet story. On the one hand, Flavia is growing up and maturing. It's wonderful to see the person she is becoming emerge. On the other hand, Flavia is changing and that's always a bit sad. Childhood is ending.

I am enjoying how the relationships between the sisters is being exposed in the last couple of books. Also, Flavia's relationship with Dogger is more focused on and it's a delight to see.

The mystery is,
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This series remains delightful. I'm a huge fan of Flavia and this, the 9th in the series, was terrific. I love how smart and precocious she is - her snark and wit, and how she employs her love and knowledge of chemistry to solve the crime. Flavia has had some hard knocks in the last few books and it was nice to see the relationship between Dogger and Flavia develop in this book.

The book's ending is the perfect set-up for where the author will take the series, and makes me excited for the next b
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bayb-2018

This is the ninth addition to the 'Flavia de Luce' series, set in 1950s England. You could read the book as a standalone, but for maximum enjoyment (and minimum spoilers) the series is best read in order.

Flavia de Luce is a supremely self-confident twelve-year-old girl who's deeply interested in two things: chemistry and detective work. In her young life Flavia has frequently used her scientific expertise - and native smarts - to solve murders.


As the book opens, Flavia is on holiday with
Julie  Durnell
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
3.5 Stars. This turned out to be not my favorite Flavia mystery. She seems to be borderline ghoul at times! Don't get me wrong I still love her-she is changing though or maturing maybe. Her knowledge of chemistry and other esoteric information is incredible, a child prodigy in essence. Flavia has a lot of discernment, which coupled with Dogger's, they are a fantastic detective duo. Dogger really shines in this story, his vast knowledge is also incredible. Her relationship with her sisters is mel ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
“possibilities are so much more thrilling than certainties”

Warning: I am going to gush.

I adore Flavia DeLuce!! Honestly this now 14 year old precocious chemist is someone I wish were a friend or maybe I could be her brilliant uncle...maybe my favorite character in all fiction! In a word, delightful!

A couple of my favorite quotes from this series...

"Anyone who knew the word slattern was worth cultivating as a friend."

"Tell them we may not be praying with them," Father told the Vicar, "but we are
Richard Derus
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, returned
Rating: 3.75* of five

The Publisher Says: Flavia is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. Languishing in boredom, she drags a slack hand in the water, and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse.

Brought to shore, the dead man is found to be dressed in blue silk with ribbons at the knee, and wearing a single red ballet slipper.

Flavia needs to put her super-sleuthing skills to the test to investigate the murder of three gossips i
Certainly, for me anyway, more entertaining than the last #8 was. But it lost an entire star by not having the plot make any logical or practical sense whosoever.

If you like snarky thoughts and self-evaluations at a speed of multiples a second per every situation or interaction with/ re Flavia, then you will love this one. It's so long in that category that at page 300, with some of the lengthy departures into poetry and symbolism- the entire became so stretched as to be tedious.

No Gladys at al
2.5 stars. Just above OK. I love Alan Bradley's series, but this one seemed to drag on and on for most of the book. Too many random events and relationships. I couldn't understand how Flavia ever came up with her conclusions, based on what happenined in the story. The only part I enjoyed was the personal side to the story, Dogger's evolution and the family dynamics between the sisters.
Casey Frank
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up

After 9 books centered around this precocious main character, you know exactly what kind of story you'll be getting. But it's the familiar (but not formulaic) style and well-loved characters that make me want to return again and again to the world of Flavia de Luce.

I assume the 9th book is not going to be the first book someone picks up, but if in case you're new to the series, start with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and enjoy the adventure from the start. A spoile
First Sentence: I am on my deathbed.

Flavia de Luce, her two sisters and Dogger, their loyal family servant, go on holiday to the hamlet of Volesthorpe. Drifting in a boat on the river, hand in the water, Flavia becomes snagged on what she imagines is Hemingway’s great marlin from “The Old Man and the Sea.” Even more to Flavia’s style, is the discovery that her hand caught in the mouth of a corpse. The dead man was the son of the local church’s Canon, who was hanged for poisoning three of his par
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Some books just make you happy because characters have become like friends or family to you.....this series is like that for me. I love Flavia and I hope to hear more from her.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Thanks, Petra!

Actual rating: 3.5 stars. Charming as ever, but part of the plot could make more sense.
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
I remember reading my first Flavia De Luce mystery 4 years ago and being instantly hooked. Everything from the disheveled manor house, the horrid sisters, the housekeeper/cook that cannot really cook nor keep house, the general factotum Dogger… to last but not least Flavia herself, 11 year old chemist, lonely and very precocious.

Now, imagine my surprise when I recommended this series to a friend and she did not like it because of Flavia. I nearly took offense, because at times, we do take insult
Flavia de Luce is one of the best characters to come along in mystery fiction. I've been hooked on this precocious eleven, now twelve-year-old, since the first book in the series, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Flavia's brilliant mind in chemistry and solving murders has filled each book with a magical presence. The setting, largely at her rundown family estate Buckshaw outside of the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey in the 1950s adds charm to the quirky stories of murder and deceit ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, audio
I think Alan Bradley has lost me with this one and it will be my last visit with Flavia de Luce. The mystery made no sense and wrapped up without really wrapping up and the entire book just felt rather ridiculous. I am so disappointed. Yes, we have to suspend belief when we are reading, especially a murder mystery, but this one was so haphazard and loosey-goosey that I just could not wrap my mind around it. One of the problems was that there were too many characters and yet zero development on t ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Alan Bradley is a master storyteller. This book is the 9th book in the Flavia de Luce series. I think I like Flavia more and more with each new installment. What I love the most, is how the characters evolve in each book. I'm glad the the author propels them all forward and that the reader is getting to know them more and more with each book. The different stories also seem new with each book and aren't falling into the "formulaic" trap that is often prevalent in other books/series.

This book wa
Cindy Rollins
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, mysteries
I literally love these books. I love how Flavia has one set of skills in chemistry, but she is surrounded by poets, too. The matter-0f-fact COE worldview and the nonchalant quoting of scripture always make me smile. I love the pathos and the humor. I love Dogger and I love how this book recognizes that a family has bloomed out of the bitter seeds of the past and now something new is happening.

Perhaps the mystery was a bit weak...but spending time with Flavia made up for it.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of this series, I was underwhelmed by book 8. This book could very well be the best yet and sets up the story line for new adventures to come!
Sigh. When is the right time to give up a long-running series? Last I heard there were only going to be nine books in the series, but this is book nine, and no end in sight*? I'm just not enjoying them like I used to. Which is weird, because I still love Flavia, her family and friends and assorted hangers-on. But the mysteries and plots just don't do it for me anymore. I find myself having a really hard time keeping my attention on them. Even in this one, where Flavia actually has help from Dogg ...more
Sheila Beaumont
This is the ninth entry in Alan Bradley's delightful Flavia de Luce series. As usual, there's a puzzling mystery to be solved, lots of interesting and quirky characters, plenty of suspense, and just the right amount of dark humor. It's 1952 and King George VI has just died, Flavia is now 12 years old and growing up, she and her older sisters are getting along better with one another, and more is revealed about the wise and mysterious Dogger. This is one of my favorites in the series, and I'm eag ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the latest offering in Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series, the mystery is a bit of a slow affair, but the characters are as interesting as ever.
After the events of the previous book, Flavia and family required a bit of a break (no spoilers, of course!). The main strength of this book is to reaffirm the relationships that are important to Flavia, particularly with her father's old best friend Dogger and her sisters.
When the family is out for a row along the river, they get entangled with...a
Judy Lesley
I received an ARC of this novel through the Amazon Vine Voices program and Delacorte Press. Thank you.

I am so very pleased to see that book #10 in the Flavia de Luce series is back to 5 star status for me! Alan Bradley has given readers a twelve year old girl and a mystery situation we can fully accept and enjoy. This story picks up six months after the sad ending of the previous story and Flavia, Ophelia, Daphne, Dogger and Mrs. Mullet are suffering under their grief and the rigid decrees from
Kaethe Douglas
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Received a copy courtesy of Goodreads: I love this STEM girl.


I didn't read and/or finish any books for a month. This is the book that broke my draught. For that reason alone or will probably be the new book I read all year.
Pam Baddeley
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
In this ninth outing for Flavia, she and her sisters and Dogger, the family factotum, are on holiday to help the three sisters recover from the tragic occurrence at the end of the previous book, about six months previously. Being a Flavia story it isn't long before she turns up another dead body and then launches into her own investigation, this time ably assisted by the very talented Dogger. I especially liked the scene where they set up their own chemisty lab in Flavia's room at the pub where ...more
Jess (Primrose)
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gosh. Alan Bradley consistently knocks it out of the park with each addition to his Flavia de Luce series. He writes so eloquently and fills each book with tidbits on chemistry, forensics, music, literature, and then there is the amazing story! I was struck at the end of this one by the constant character evolution we see from book 1 to this most recent book 9. This was amazing.

I enjoyed the countryside descriptions of the summer holiday Flavia is taking. It is a holiday from also the decision
In the ninth (! - how is that possible?) Flavia de Luce mystery, we see Flavia away from her home turf, as she and her sisters have been sent away from Buckshaw on a holiday to try to help them recover from the death of their father. But instead (of course) Flavia discovers a dead body. As the gang is boating, she drags her hand along the water, it snags on something and boom - she catches her fingers on a corpse. Only our Flavia! Of course, Flavia isn't content to leave things to the local Cons ...more
Susan Johnson
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Flavia and her two sisters are trying to deal with the loss of their beloved father. Their busy body aunt tries to take over and redo their lives so they flee with their faithful helper, Dogger, on a short river trip to catch their breath.

Almost immediately they discover a dead body and are involved in solving the crime along with a famous murder that happened years ago. The three sisters actually work together and help each other out. They mystery was OK but it is the sweetness of t
NetGalley ARC.

A 3.5 but I rounded to 4 because Flavia! I'e been fortunate enough to get ARCs of books 6-9 through NetGalley but I fully intend to buy this series in paperback when it's complete. I can't believe we're up to #9! I heard Bradley plans on a 10-book series. So this is the penultimate book! :O Nooooo!!

Book 8 ended on an extremely shocking, sad note but this book is surprisingly not as sad. The de Luces and Dogger find ways to occupy themselves. I loved the relationship between Flavia
I’d kind of stalled out with Flavia when she was sent to boarding school in Canada, but now that she is again back with the second book in England, I’m avidly following her misadventures delightedly.

The precocious, demanding 12 year old Flavia is a bit of an acquired taste, and author Alan Bradley challenges his readers almost with a degree of perversity, digging up antiquated poisoning methods and dropping archaic vocabulary suitable to the era which adds a degree of puzzlement in the plot. Fla
Michael Fitzgerald
Not the best of the series, but it was very nice to rejoin old friends.

The "Flavia imagines the crime as it happened two years ago" bit was bizarre and didn't work for me. I understand that the author wanted to present an image of it, but I found it unconvincing. The later climactic bit was also a bit overblown.

Don't know how I feel about Dogger and the way the ending points for the future - it's quite different - but we'll see.

Enjoyed the narration by Jayne Entwistle as usual.
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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)
  • Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5)
  • 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 Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce, #10)
“Gorging on sweets together creates as strong a bond between two people as being in love.” 5 likes
“possibilities are so much more thrilling than certainties” 4 likes
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