As in the last book, THE GRAVE’S A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, Flavia is growing up. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) this means that she is not quite the smarty-pants of yore, learning to shut her mouth and acquire a demure shield, behind which she can hide her “wicked” thoughts. Some readers will find this disappointing. They also might find her very evident crush on Dogger irritating and disappointing. But you can’t write about teens without having surging hormones making their appearance.
In this volume, eldest sister Ophelia/Feely is finally getting married. Middle sister Daphne is hiding in a book. So the only one to provide any kind of foil to Flavia (apart from Dogger) is little cousin Undine (Miss de Luce The Younger, as Flavia calls her.) Of course, Undine is exactly like Flavia, or as Flavia was when younger, and provides some of the humor of the book. But somehow the bite of the earlier volumes is gone. Flavia is now only 14 (or 12) and there are many more years to go before she finally reaches her maturity. Does that mean that every volume from now on will include crushes on Dogger, Cynthia Richardson (the vicar’s wife) and Antigone?
I hope not. Four stars. #alanbradley #flaviadeluce #thegoldentressesofthedead