The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley
Penguin Random House: 1/22/19
eBook review copy; 352 pages
Flavia de Luce Series #10
The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley is the very highly recommended 10th Flavia de Luce novel. Twelve-year-old Flavia has formed a
private detective agency with Dogger and the two take on their first case and client.
Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations,
is now in business at Buckshaw. Flavia and Dogger discover their first
case at her sister Ophelia's wedding in the chapel at Bishop’s Lacey.
How did a severed finger end up in the wedding cake and who does it
belong to? Then they take on their first client when Anastasia Prill
asks them to find some stolen letters belonging to her father. The case
deepens when something happens to Miss Prill and two missionaries, Doris
Pursemaker and Ardella Stonebrook, end up staying at Buckshaw. While
Flavia and Dogger are applying their detective skills to the cases,
Flavia's cousin, Undine, seems intent to be in the way.
Flavia is well established as a chemistry prodigy in the series set in 1950s England. It's always nice to see a strong female character with a gift for science featured in a novel.
At this point she is a well-developed character and it is entertaining
to follow along the plot as she deduces clues, works in her lab, and
follows leads to solve the case. Flavia and Dogger work great together
and it's nice to see him gently helping Flavia. I would predict that
Undine is going to begin to play a much larger role in the books and
will take over Flavia's former bratty persona, as in this outing Flavia
is definitely maturing and growing up. It almost seems that she is older
now and might need another birthday soon.
These are all well-written novels and are Bradley inserts a fair
amount of humor in the narrative that makes these novels even more
enjoyable than simply a who-done-it. While not YA, all of the Flavia
novels are suitable for teens to adults. They should be read in order so
you have Flavia's whole backstory and family history. The word is the
Bradley will be continuing the series, so expect more cases for Arthur W.
Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations in the future.
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.