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The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley Review

Title: The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place

Author: Alan Bradley

First published January 30, 2018

365 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781409172888 (ISBN10: 1409172880)

Rating: 3.98


Flavia de Luce is back in action, and this time she’s taking on a new case. When a tragic accident occurs during a family outing, Flavia stumbles upon a shocking discovery that leads her to pursue an investigation of her own.

With her keen sense of observation and quick wit, Flavia must navigate the complex web of deception surrounding the suspicious death, all while keeping her sisters safe from harm. But as she delves deeper into the case, she realizes that the clues may lead her to an even more sinister plot than she ever could have imagined.

Join Flavia on her latest thrilling adventure as she uncovers the secrets hidden within the idyllic English countryside.

About the Author

Alan Bradley has had an interesting career path. He began by working at a variety of radio and television stations in Ontario, and then moved on to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto.

After that, he became Director of Television Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he worked for 25 years before retiring early to pursue his passion for writing.

Alan’s writing career began with children’s stories, which were published in The Canadian Children’s Annual. He then went on to win the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature with his short story, Meet Miss Mullen.

Alan also taught Script Writing and Television Production courses at the University of Saskatchewan for many years.

Alan’s fiction has been published in literary journals and he has given many public readings in schools and galleries. His short stories have even been broadcast on CBC Radio.

One of Alan’s most famous works is Ms Holmes of Baker Street, which he co-wrote with Dr. William A.S. Sarjeant. The book put forth the theory that Sherlock Holmes was actually a woman, which caused quite a bit of controversy when it was first released.

The book received national media coverage and the authors went on an extensive series of interviews, radio and television appearances, and even a public debate in Toronto.

Alan is also the author of The Shoebox Bible, which has been compared to Tuesdays With Morrie and Mr. God, This is Anna. In 2007, he won the Debut Dagger Award of the Crimewriter’s Association for his novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

The book is the first in a series featuring eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce and has won several awards, including the Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

Alan currently lives in Malta with his wife Shirley and their two cats.

Editoral Review

Alan Bradley has done it again with his latest novel “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place.” Published on January 30, 2018, Bradley brings back his beloved protagonist Flavia de Luce, who we met in his earlier novels, in a thrilling and captivating mystery. Bradley is a Canadian author best known for his Flavia de Luce series, which follows the precocious and curious young girl as she solves various mysteries in her small English village.

The series has been praised for its sharp wit, clever writing, and engaging characters. “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” is a classic whodunit mystery novel set in the 1950s in the English countryside.

Flavia is on a boating trip with her family when she stumbles upon a dead body floating in the water. This discovery sets Flavia and her loyal friend, Dogger, on a mission to solve the murder mystery.

Bradley’s writing style is charmingly quaint and witty, which beautifully captures the essence of the quaint English countryside. The story is sprinkled with clever wordplay, delightful descriptions, and quirky characters that will leave readers highly entertained.

Additionally, the author’s attention to detail in describing the setting and characters adds a layer of depth to the narrative. Flavia is undoubtedly the star of the novel.

Her wit, intelligence, and determination make her a fascinating protagonist. Bradley’s expert characterization shines through in the development of each character, and their unique personalities are fleshed out expertly.

However, for all its strengths, the novel struggles with pacing issues. The slow start may be off-putting for readers expecting a quick dash into the mystery, and the story feels stretched thin at times.

Additionally, the lack of significant character development for Flavia, a mainstay throughout the series, leaves readers wanting more growth, especially in the wake of recent events. Overall, “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” is a delightful installment in the series that should appeal to fans of classic mystery novels.

While the pacing issues and lack of character development may be shortcomings, the book’s strengths are significant enough to override these minor flaws. The book’s historical and cultural significance is evident in its depiction of life in the English countryside in the 1950s.

It’s also a timely reminder that good literature can indeed transport us to a different time and place, allowing us to escape our present-day woes. In conclusion, we highly recommend “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” to fans of the series and anyone looking for a well-crafted mystery novel that will keep them entertained from start to finish.

While not the strongest in the series, it’s still an enjoyable and solidly written novel that earns a rating of three and a half stars out of five.

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