“Mother,” I whispered. “It’s me—Flavia.”
And thus starts the sixth instalment of the acclaimed Flavia De Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley. As Flavia and her family awaits the return of her mother on the platform of Bishop’s Lacey, a train carrying her mother arrives. Along with the train a man comes and speaks a few words into the ears of Flavia, and then falls under the train to his death. Flavia caught in between her grief, her family and the man’s words, sets about in a dangerous and ground braking task, only to unmask the person responsible for her mother, Harriet’s death.
This is a sad, sad book. The indication was there that this might be Flavia’s last year at Buckshaw. And this turned every line of humor into sadness, as every such line made us reader realise that this is the last time the girl will say such words in Buckshaw. The mention of Gladys made me wonder how the thing will cope without Flavia, or for that matter Dogger, Mrs. Mullet and Esmeralda. But, this is also a novel of retribution, of revenge, of coming face to face with one’s destiny. Flavia gets to know why she is hated by her sisters. She comes to know how she got her Christmas wishes for new glassware, every year without hitch. She flies on Blithe Spirit just like her mother. She finds out what her father thinks about her. Most of all, she finds out who The Gamekeeper is. She finds out what her destiny has in store for us as the youngest girl of a De Luce family. This novel makes a little woman of Flavia out of the girl.
The original book deal for Mr. Bradley was a 6 book deal. So, in a way there was a sense of fear that this might be the last Flavia. But thanks to the brilliant talent of Mr. Bradley the book deal has been extended into a 10 book deal, and in a recent interview the author stated that he is well into the seventh book. The seventh book will be something every Flavia fan should and will look forward too. With different settings, and a grown up and more matured Flavia entrusted with the secrets of her family, will be a different ballgame altogether. But, whatever it may be, but keeping faith in Alan Bradley and Flavia Sabina De Luce, one can place a safe bet, that the seventh book wont disappoint, and if anything would surpass the previous six.
Though a hugely enjoyable book, but for reader who are new to Flavia De Luce series, for them I would suggest that they take up the series from the first book to get the true flavour of Flavia.