The villagers of Bishop’s Lacey are holding their collective breath as St Tancred’s tomb in the local church is about to be opened after five hundred years. Inveterate eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce is first at the scene, but the body she finds lying there is not that of a desiccated saint; it is Mr Collicutt, St Tancred's celebrated organist.
©2013 Alan Furst (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
"The Flavia de Luce novels are now a cult favourite" (Mail on Sunday)
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"Light on story, superb performance"
This episode is rather light on material for the usual epic tale from Alan Bradley but nonetheless enjoyable and provides continuity to the series of young Flavia's detecting and chemistry adventures. I get the sense this book was a filler, laying the groundwork for what is to come.
With this story Alan Bradley is well into his Flavia de Luce series. With royalties flowing in he (and his editors) must have felt no need to maintain the continuity of the background of the de Luce family who despite being Catholic seem to have allowed their youngest to be baptised by an Anglican vicar in this book, then, shortly after, claim to be Catholic again. Make your mind up Alan, you're hardly recreating Brideshead Revisited. Also, why are they still skint despite finding a priceless Folio edition of Romeo and Juliet in their library in the last book? As well as these, there are a variety of historical linguistic incongruities that have, by this stage in the series, started to grate.
There is a weird trait amongst narrators in general, including Sophie Aldred, to portray all lower class characters with a myriad of 'yokel' voices ranging from Northumberland to Penzance despite the fact that most of them would have grown up in the same village. Ignoring this small annoyance, Ms Aldred's jaunty rendering of the novel actually makes it MORE palatable than the printed version.
The stories are lively, what you might call easy listening, but the flaws in the plot, background and historical details are definitely starting to set my teeth on edge.
Sophie Aldred's lively, prim and child-like voice does pay homage to the upper-crust a half century ago and does, I think, make these books more enjoyable and help smooth over the incongruities of the novel.
Providing a proper researcher went through script with a fine tooth comb, then possibly.
I'm surprised these books got through an editor's hawk-like gaze with is many historical clangers still in place.
"Didn't Realise It Was A Children's Book"
Would have been helpful if there were some indication that this book is aimed at the Junior market before buying. However, it was well performed and the plot good. It's just I hated the child detective, Flavia, and found her precocity irritating! Not for me, maybe when I was about 10.
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