Read The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches Online

Authors: Alan Bradley

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #British, #Historical, #Genre Fiction, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Canadian Detectives, #Thrillers, #Historical Fiction, #Conspiracies

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

Praise for Alan Bradley and the Flavia de Luce novels

SPEAKING FROM AMONG
the
BONES

“Flavia de Luce can be described very accurately as precocious, irrepressible, incorrigible and so much more. [Her] world is populated with a distinctly quirky cast of characters, which author Alan Bradley obviously takes great pleasure in creating, and which will delight all who enter.”

—Fredericksburg
Free Lance–Star

“Memorable, often funny prose complements the crafty plot.… The precocious and irrepressible Flavia continues to delight. Portraying an eleven-year-old as a plausible sleuth and expert in poisons is no mean feat, but Bradley makes it look easy.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“Bradley’s Flavia cozies, set in the English countryside, have been a hit from the start, and this fifth in the series continues to charm and entertain.”


Booklist

“Bradley’s assured, bemused style never causes the reader to disbelieve the little scamp’s precocious abilities.”


The Seattle Times

“An excellent reminder that crime fiction can sparkle with wit, crackle with spirit and verge on the surreal … Flavia, once more, entertains and delights as she exposes the inner workings of her investigative mind to the reader.”


National Post
(Canada)

I AM HALF-SICK
of
SHADOWS

“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate, but Christmas with Flavia is a holiday wish come true for her fans.”


USA Today
(four stars)

“This is a classic country house mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie, and Poirot himself would approve of Flavia’s skills in snooping and deduction. Flavia is everything a reader wants in a detective—she’s smart, logical, intrepid and curious.… This is a refreshingly engaging read.”


RT Book Reviews

“With its sharply drawn characters, including the hiss-worthy older de Luce sisters, and an agreeable puzzle playing out against the cozy backdrop of a British village at Christmas, this is a most welcome holiday gift for Flavia fans.”


Publishers Weekly

“This is a delightful read through and through. We find in Flavia an incorrigible and wholly lovable detective; from her chemical experiments in her sanctum sanctorum to her outrage at the idiocy of the adult world, she is un-equaled. Charming as a stand-alone novel and a guaranteed smash with series followers.”


Library Journal
(starred review)

“Bradley masterfully weaves a ghoulish Yuletide tale.… The story breathes characters full of charisma, colour and nuance.… Bradley gives a thrilling ride.”


The Globe and Mail

A
RED HERRING
Without
MUSTARD

“Alan Bradley’s third Flavia de Luce mystery,
A Red Herring Without Mustard
, exceeds in every way, if that’s even possible, his first two. Flavia is always feisty, always smart. I adore her. And while it is wonderful to read her as an adult, I wish I’d had Flavia as a role model while growing up. It’s cool to be smart. It’s cool to be Flavia! And it’s great to be among her legion of fans.”

—L
OUISE
P
ENNY
, bestselling author of
The Brutal Telling

“Outstanding … In this marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery, Flavia manages to operate successfully in the adult world of crimes and passions while dodging the childhood pitfalls set by her sisters.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“Bradley’s third book about tween sleuth Flavia de Luce will make readers forget Nancy Drew.”


People

“Oh, to be eleven again and pal around with irresistible wunderkind Flavia de Luce.… A splendid romp through 1950s England led by the world’s smartest and most incorrigible preteen.”


Kirkus Reviews
(starred review)

“As satisfying as the mystery is, the multiple-award winning Bradley offers more.… Beautifully written, with fully fleshed characters … [Bradley] secures his position as a confident, talented writer and storyteller.”


The Globe and Mail

“Think preteen Nancy Drew, only savvier and a lot richer, and you have Flavia de Luce.… Don’t be fooled by Flavia’s age or the 1950s setting:
A Red Herring
isn’t a dainty tea-and-crumpets sort of mystery. It’s shot through with real grit.”


Entertainment Weekly

“Whether battling with her odious sisters or verbally sparring with the long-suffering Inspector Hewitt, our cheeky heroine is a delight. Full of pithy dialog and colorful characters, this series would appeal strongly to fans of Dorothy Sayers, Gladys Mitchell, and Leo Bruce as well as readers who like clever humor mixed in with their mysteries.”


Library Journal
(starred review)

“[Flavia] remains irresistibly appealing as a little girl lost.”


The New York Times Book Review

“Delightful … The book’s forthright and eerily mature narrator is a treasure.”


The Seattle Times

“Bradley has created a marvelous character in Flavia—very adult in some ways, very childish in others, full of energy and curiosity. His story should appeal to readers of all ages looking to escape into a thoroughly entertaining world.”


Tulsa World

“Bradley’s characters, wonderful dialogue and plot twists are a most winning combination.”


USA Today

The
WEED
That
STRINGS
the
HANGMAN’S BAG

“Flavia is incisive, cutting and hilarious … one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”


USA Today

“Bradley takes everything you expect and subverts it, delivering a smart, irreverent, unsappy mystery.”


Entertainment Weekly

“The real delight here is her droll voice and the eccentric cast.… Utterly beguiling.”


People
(four stars)

“Brisk, funny and irrepressible, Flavia is distinctly uncute, and the cozy village setting has enough edges to keep suspicions sharp.… Bradley gives a pitch-perfect performance that surpasses an already worthy debut.”


Houston Chronicle

“Her sleuthing skills both amaze and amuse.”


Mystery Scene

“Endlessly entertaining … The author deftly evokes the period, but Flavia’s sparkling narration is the mystery’s chief delight. Comic and irreverent, this entry is sure to build further momentum for the series.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“Smart, funny … His second novel confirms the promise of the first.… Bradley is a writer of great charm and insight, and he infuses even minor characters with indelible personality.… Flavia de Luce, both eleven and ageless, is a marvel and a delight.”


Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

The
SWEETNESS
at the
BOTTOM
of the
PIE

“Sophisticated, series-launching … It’s a rare pleasure to follow Flavia as she investigates her limited but boundless-feeling world.”

—Entertainment Weekly
(A–)

THE MOST AWARD-WINNING BOOK OF ANY YEAR!

WINNER:
Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel
Barry Award for Best First Novel
Agatha Award for Best First Novel
Dilys Award
Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel
Spotted Owl Award for Best Novel
CWA Debut Dagger Award

“If ever there was a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and, yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce.”


USA Today

“A wickedly clever story, a dead-true and original voice, and an English country house in the summer: Alexander McCall Smith meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Please, please, Mr. Bradley, tell me we’ll be seeing Flavia again soon?”

—L
AURIE
R. K
ING
, bestselling author of
Garment of Shadows

“Impressive as a sleuth and enchanting as a mad scientist … Flavia is most endearing as a little girl who has learned how to amuse herself in a big lonely house.”

—M
ARILYN
S
TASIO
,
The New York Times Book Review

“A delightful new sleuth. A combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes … fearless, cheeky, wildly precocious.”


The Boston Globe

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2014 by Alan Bradley

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

D
ELACORTE
P
RESS
and the H
OUSE
colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Bradley, C. Alan
The dead in their vaulted arches : a Flavia de Luce novel / Alan Bradley.
pages cm
ISBN 978-0-385-34405-0 (hardback) —
ISBN 978-0-345-53969-4 (eBook) 1. De Luce, Flavia (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Girls—England—Fiction. 3. Murder—Investigation—Fiction. 4. Family secrets—Fiction. I. Title.
II. Title: Flavia de Luce novel.
PR9199.4.B7324D43 2014
813′.6—dc23
2013027898

www.bantamdell.com

Font used as art on
this page
and
this page
courtesy of Bonez Designz.

Case design: Joe Montgomery
Case images: Suksakon Soponpatumruk/
Depositphotos (keyhole and ladder);
Sirylok/Yay Images (tree branches)

v3.1

 

The Marble Tombs that rise on high,

Whose Dead in vaulted Arches lye,

Whose Pillars swell with sculptur’d Stones,

Arms, Angels, Epitaphs and Bones,

These (all the poor Remains of State)

Adorn the Rich, or praise the Great;

Who while on Earth in Fame they live,

Are senseless of the Fame they give.

Thomas Parnell,
A Night-Piece on Death
(1721)

PROLOGUE

“Your mother has been found.”

Nearly a week after he had made it, Father’s shocking announcement was still ringing in my ears
.

Harriet! Harriet found! Who could believe it?

Harriet, who had been lost in a mountaineering accident when I was barely a year old; Harriet, whom I can’t remember seeing, ever, with my own eyes
.

My reaction?

Numbness, I’m afraid
.

Sheer stupid silent numbness
.

Not joy—not relief—not even gratitude to those who had found her more than ten years after her disappearance in the Himalayas
.

No, I felt only a cold numbness: a cold, shameful sort of numbness that made me need desperately to be alone
.

ONE

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