The Golden Tresses of the Dead

The Golden Tresses of the Dead

Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,” muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at...

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Title:The Golden Tresses of the Dead
Author:Alan Bradley
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Golden Tresses of the Dead Reviews

  • Beth Cato

    I received this galley via NetGalley. To be clear about my excitement about this 10th book in the Flavia series, let it be known that I stalked NetGalley for the past several weeks, checking every few days to see if this book had shown up yet. When it did appear, I immediately put in my request. When it was approved a few hours later, I squealed with glee.

    So yeah, you might say my expectations were high.

    revives all of the best elements of the Flavia books. I say

    I received this galley via NetGalley. To be clear about my excitement about this 10th book in the Flavia series, let it be known that I stalked NetGalley for the past several weeks, checking every few days to see if this book had shown up yet. When it did appear, I immediately put in my request. When it was approved a few hours later, I squealed with glee.

    So yeah, you might say my expectations were high.

    revives all of the best elements of the Flavia books. I say that, as some of the past books have been somewhat off for me (and my mom, who is also hooked on these books). This series is at its best when Flavia is at home at her family estate of Buckshaw, rolling about the nearby village of Bishop's Lacey on her beloved bicycle/steed, Gladys. This book uses that setting to the fullest, bicycle and all.

    I should add that even an "off" Flavia book is a fantastic read and still better than the average book. As I said a few paragraphs up, my expectations run high for this series.

    This book doesn't begin with a murder, but with a surprise in the wedding cake of Flavia's sister. The action picks up from there as Flavia and her loyal family bat man, Dogger, acquire a client for their new 'discreet' investigations business. There are dark plots, dead bodies, and of course, chemistry work in Flavia's lab. I'm charmed at how Flavia is maturing in such a realistic way. It's especially funny to see her interactions with her cousin Undine, who is essentially Flavia's Mini Me. Flavia gets a taste of her own medicine, there.

    If you've been disillusioned by some of the recent Flavia books, pick up with this one. It will restore your faith. If you're like me, and loyal to Flavia through all, rejoice! This book will deliver fresh-baked delight (courtesy of the Buckshaw Aga) with a dash of murder and justice.

  • Lori

    A great addition to the Flavia series. The detective team of Arthur W. Dogger & Associate (Flavia) brings something wholly new to the franchise. It's conceivable that Father asked Dogger to look after Flavia, and their interests and talents are very much in sync. As with most of the Flavia books, the mystery is less than compelling and in this case the resolution leaves important questions unanswered. But I can overlook that because I have low expectations for Bradley's mysteries and high

    A great addition to the Flavia series. The detective team of Arthur W. Dogger & Associate (Flavia) brings something wholly new to the franchise. It's conceivable that Father asked Dogger to look after Flavia, and their interests and talents are very much in sync. As with most of the Flavia books, the mystery is less than compelling and in this case the resolution leaves important questions unanswered. But I can overlook that because I have low expectations for Bradley's mysteries and high expectations for the pleasure of reading the books. And this one is very enjoyable.

    Dogger and Flavia are a terrific team. And now Undine is demonstrating she's got a lot of Flavia's qualities: she's smart, curious, nervy and impish. Flavia has matured and functions somewhat as a big sister to her. Feely and Dieter's wedding kicks off the mystery and then they're away on their honeymoon. I care about everyone at Buckshaw so I was disappointed Daphne has such a small role. I thought I detected a trail of breadcrumbs leading to a friendship or budding relationship with Carl Pendracka, but no, the few times she appears Daffy is limited to reading or writing. Perhaps that's a quibble, because the relationship between Flavia and Dogger is the central one and it makes for great reading. There was talk the tenth book was to be the last, and I'm so glad Bradley has announced we will have more Flavia. Some books in the series are better than others, but I will never tire of them.

  • JanB

    Despite her recent heartaches and troubles Flavia is still her usual precocious, chemistry-loving self, and she remains one of my very favorite fictional characters. Life is full of changes, and in this installment her sister Feely is getting married. The festivities grinds to a halt when a severed finger is found in the wedding cake. Feely faints dead away but, of course, Flavia is delighted at this turn of events. She surreptitiously whisks the finger away, and she and Dogger have a new case

    Despite her recent heartaches and troubles Flavia is still her usual precocious, chemistry-loving self, and she remains one of my very favorite fictional characters. Life is full of changes, and in this installment her sister Feely is getting married. The festivities grinds to a halt when a severed finger is found in the wedding cake. Feely faints dead away but, of course, Flavia is delighted at this turn of events. She surreptitiously whisks the finger away, and she and Dogger have a new case for their fledging business, Arthur W. Dogger & Associates.

    I'm delighted that she and Dogger have joined forces, as they are my two favorite characters. Dogger is able to gently channel Flavia's impulsivity and they make a fabulous team. Honestly, the mysteries interest me less than the interactions between the characters. I did miss the sarcasm and wit between Flavia and her sisters but Flavia has met her match in her cousin Undine, and I hope we will be seeing more of her in future books.

    There has been speculation that this is the final book in the series but I can see quite a future for Flavia and Dogger in their working relationship as private investigators. The series is fun, humorous, and charming and I hope it continues for a long while.

    The narrator of the audiobooks is excellent, and even when reading the print copy the voice of Jayne Entwistle is in my head as I read. She IS Flavia to me and if she hasn't won an Audie award she should. Her narration enhances the story.

    *I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  • Holly

    Its so nice to catch up with Flavia:) After the death of her father and her oldest sister getting married, she and Dogger set up their own investigative agency. Something is up in Bishop's Lacey and Flavia sets out to find out what. Two missionaries from Africa are staying at Buckshaw but Flavia thinks there's something not right about the two ladies. Leave it to Flavia to be curious and want to "snoop". Her and Dogger are quite the team! It's no secret that I love Flavia and I'm always ready

    Its so nice to catch up with Flavia:) After the death of her father and her oldest sister getting married, she and Dogger set up their own investigative agency. Something is up in Bishop's Lacey and Flavia sets out to find out what. Two missionaries from Africa are staying at Buckshaw but Flavia thinks there's something not right about the two ladies. Leave it to Flavia to be curious and want to "snoop". Her and Dogger are quite the team! It's no secret that I love Flavia and I'm always ready for a new adventure with her. I did miss the interactions with her sisters. Feely is on her honeymoon and Daphne stays in the library writing/reading--and we never get a chance of Flavia being with Daphne. We do get to see everyone else though--Mrs. Mullet, Undine, the vicar's wife, and so one. Another cute installment in the series.

    *Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Judy Lesley

    Our little girl is growing up and, frankly, I'm glad to see it. Flavia is still only 12 years old but life hasn't been kind to her so this is the book where she is allowed to grieve for all the heartaches in her young life. Add to that the marriage of her sister Ophelia and Flavia needed this investigation to get her through some tough times. Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations tells us all we need to know about where this book is headed. Dogger has always been one of my

    Our little girl is growing up and, frankly, I'm glad to see it. Flavia is still only 12 years old but life hasn't been kind to her so this is the book where she is allowed to grieve for all the heartaches in her young life. Add to that the marriage of her sister Ophelia and Flavia needed this investigation to get her through some tough times. Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations tells us all we need to know about where this book is headed. Dogger has always been one of my favorite characters in this series but he seemed too often to be held down by his wartime troubles to ever be of prime use as a major character. Luckily Alan Bradley rehabilitated Dogger just enough to make him the perfect partner in investigations with Flavia. Dogger helps to keep things on more of an adult footing but his intimate knowledge of Flavia's personality allows him to gently guide her along a reasonable path of searching for and interpreting the clues they find. They make a brilliant pair.

    My reason for a four star rating instead of five stars is that I found myself slightly confused about some of the clues and information uncovered by Dogger and Flavia. I'm not 100% sure I quite "got" the solution and have a feeling I might need to read the book again. I did go back over several sections while I was reading but that didn't feel like it helped much. There seems to be information that this was always intended to be a ten book series and with this book being the tenth it will mark the end of our time with Flavia and the others. I have to say the ending did not give me the feeling at all that the series was wrapping up. Instead it feels as if Flavia and Dogger have now established their working - detecting - relationship and they are set to carry on for a good long while. I certainly would love to see that happen.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for an eGalley of this novel.

  • Wendi

    So now we do (definitively: see

    ) have the final Flavia.

    And it is quite...

    for me.

    I'm never going to complain about a heavy focus on Dogger, which the tenth and final book in the Flavia series gifts us. Same with Gladys, who acted in the same endearing way she always does.

    But they were the only two characters (other than Flavia herself) who were the most present originals; Flavia is virtually an orphan in this story, which is likely intentional and a pointed gesture to her growing up

    So now we do (definitively: see

    ) have the final Flavia.

    And it is quite...

    for me.

    I'm never going to complain about a heavy focus on Dogger, which the tenth and final book in the Flavia series gifts us. Same with Gladys, who acted in the same endearing way she always does.

    But they were the only two characters (other than Flavia herself) who were the most present originals; Flavia is virtually an orphan in this story, which is likely intentional and a pointed gesture to her growing up and how her life is changing, but it just felt to me like the rest of her family was unceremoniously ushered off the stage too early. Undine flashes in and out but I

    liked her, have mostly chosen to ignore her, and she's a recent addition anyway. It felt like when you watch a television sitcom or drama and while you finish it all out, afterwards you realize that by the end they'd rotated the majority of the original cast out and it all just leaves you feeling bitter and sad and slightly cheated.

    Back when I reviewed #9 (The Grave's a Fine and Private Place), I indicated that that one may have been the final in the series and I remember feeling like I was quite fine with that; I liked where that one ended and it was bittersweet and lovely and finely ended.

    I still feel that way.

    This one, while I acknowledge has much of the same characterizations and lovely writing readers have grown to love, felt like... well, it felt a bit like a contract being fulfilled, without much thought given to it being the last book. It felt like one of the three-stars in the middle of the series that I didn't regret reading, certainly, but was unmemorable and not quite fulfilling everything I've come to love about bright and dark and witty Flavia.

    Random House generously provided an ARC. The book is released on January 22, 2019. Should you read it, particularly if you've read the entire series? Certainly - why not, if you've come this far? And it's not as if there aren't fantastic moments with Flavia and with Dogger and the two of them together. Just, unfortunately, don't expect it to be as good of an ending to the series as #9 was.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    starts off with Flavia's sister Ophelia getting married. Flavia is delighted when Ophelia discovers a severed human finger in the cake and she rushes away to examine it...Whose finger is it to and why has it been placed in the wedding cake?

  • Kristy

    Flavia's sister, Feely, is finally getting married. But at the wedding, as Feely and Dieter cut their cake, Feely slices into a human finger! How very Flavia! It's certainly a case for Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, with Flavia being the main associate, of course. And, not long after, the two are hired by a Mrs. Prill to help track down some missing letters. Flavia and Dogger barely know where to focus first. Then someone else winds up dead--with Flavia and Dogger in the thick of things--and

    Flavia's sister, Feely, is finally getting married. But at the wedding, as Feely and Dieter cut their cake, Feely slices into a human finger! How very Flavia! It's certainly a case for Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, with Flavia being the main associate, of course. And, not long after, the two are hired by a Mrs. Prill to help track down some missing letters. Flavia and Dogger barely know where to focus first. Then someone else winds up dead--with Flavia and Dogger in the thick of things--and things spiral from there..

    So says Flavia of Feely's wedding, in very Flavia fashion. By now,

    . Flavia is

    , and

    . She's up to her usual tricks in her laboratory and busy working away with her beloved Dogger, who

    .

    These books are always

    , and I love seeing the world from Flavia's unique point of view:

    Flavia and Dogger have two cases to solve here--and they intersect quickly. We

    . Unfortunately, Feely is shipped off on her honeymoon, and we barely see any of Daffy.

    There is more of Flavia's cousin, Undine, who I admit is growing on me (and perhaps Flavia?). She will be a good companion Flavia, I think.

    Sadly, though, I've read in several places that this is the last of the Flavia de Luce series.

    for me. The

    ; I was confused about how it all wrapped up in the end. And if this is really the last book, it just didn't seem as if it did our amazing heroine justice.

    . I would have liked to see more finality, more resolution somehow, instead of some partially ended cases and no real conclusion. It just

    .

    Still, I'm

    , and I certainly enjoyed this book and all of Flavia's adventures. She's such a

    , and I can't recommend this lovely series enough. 3.5 stars.

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review (thank you!).

    ~

    ~

    ~

    ~

  • Jeanette

    So Flavia #10 is fun. Much funnier than the last few, for sure. I could have given it a 4 stars for the "growth" aspect of a few pages in which Flavia has the thought that hits her similar to St. Paul being struck off his horse on the road to Damascus for a dawning of "understanding" that she does and will need other people. If not now, eventually.

    Saying that the plot is silly to ridiculous is why I can't go 4 stars after all is said and done though. Funny, filled with spoof type and hidden

    So Flavia #10 is fun. Much funnier than the last few, for sure. I could have given it a 4 stars for the "growth" aspect of a few pages in which Flavia has the thought that hits her similar to St. Paul being struck off his horse on the road to Damascus for a dawning of "understanding" that she does and will need other people. If not now, eventually.

    Saying that the plot is silly to ridiculous is why I can't go 4 stars after all is said and done though. Funny, filled with spoof type and hidden cavity enclaves (boot of a car, behind a bed or bench, scrunched up behind a potting shed shelf etc.) galore. Undine and Flavia almost continually seeking a bolt hole or two. And for another reason, as well. Because regardless of all the church association/ going to "volunteer"/ events- Flavia is virtually an orphan and everyone of relationship by blood is obscured, more than secondary. Dropped out of the picture for all intents and purposes. And that made me feel cheated. Entirely. Because they helped "make" the best of this series.

    And it actually IS. All said and done that is. Finito. This is the last Flavia he says he'll write. Although after expanding upon that intent, it was also denied. But IMHO, Alan Bradley painted himself into a corner about 3 books ago. In more than one way this and the other last few books, but especially this one is cored both in "eyes" and in lyrical prose upon the event of universal death. How we all die and all else dies and that nature or chemistry/ physics continue to what directions it will and may. Dark humor always as alteration of life forms (and are there changed forms of "after" body?) is a relentless truth.

    And therefore the following is what I think about the finale itself in its particulars.

    Enjoyable. Great fun (often hilarity) with language and especially metaphor delights (she was an "elderly sparrow" etc. etc. etc.) abound. Flavia becomes full blown as the owner and the director diva of Buckshaw itself. Dogger is free to release at least half of his more than considerable skills and "past" exploits. And the resulting team association business they have deployed is mighty. It becomes not at all cartoon like but more of a "universal" them such as in graphics works of classics comics. Relentless purpose thrives!

    Of course it dwells within experiments of great chemistry (some quite complex) in Uncle's lab and also within and between the folks of Bishop's Lacey.

    Also Flavia comes eye to eyeball against another who is as directive and intrepid as she.

    Daffy gets all the reading she wants (90% out of sight and "not taking company") and Feely is off on her honeymoon and for foreseeable futures. Both of which make Flavia giddy.

    But best of all, Gladys has core use, gets a true rehabilitation and restore- and escorts both Flavia and Undine to what and where and why.

    Some of the paragraphs of metaphor, reaction, description are pure 5 stars. I hope Alan Bradley can continue his flip within some other series, or even better yet and probably much more compatible to some future superior situation comedy on the telly. That's if comic reaction or comedy outside of condescending ridicule and scorn can survive in our future "correctness" at all. And no less than in our media or entertainment of public view.

    4 full stars for all the laughs and reread pages in this one. And a full 1/2 star for the rat. But overall just a 3.5 stars and certainly not as good as Flavia in the first 3 to 5 books. Never innocent, but still always literal.

  • Marni Port

    Perhaps Alan Bradley has tired of his ingenue, Flavia. Those of us who fell in love with Flavia in the earlier books have come to expect her effervescent personality, her deep curiosity, and the childish awkwardness that comes from having a brain much more advanced than her social/emotional skills.

    Flavia expressed her usual love of all things science, but missing was the precociousness that made her so endearing in earlier books Frankly, she's mature compared to cousin Undine, who exhibits much

    Perhaps Alan Bradley has tired of his ingenue, Flavia. Those of us who fell in love with Flavia in the earlier books have come to expect her effervescent personality, her deep curiosity, and the childish awkwardness that comes from having a brain much more advanced than her social/emotional skills.

    Flavia expressed her usual love of all things science, but missing was the precociousness that made her so endearing in earlier books Frankly, she's mature compared to cousin Undine, who exhibits much of the vim and vigor Flavia is missing.

    The mystery was underwhelming. Plot points barely make sense, and we get no real feel for any of the suspects or victims. The appearance of the finger in the wedding cake, the badly burned Reggie, the boys from the Vicar's Vestry...all appearing for no real purpose, not red herrings, not furthering the plot in any way.

    The newly formed investigative agency of Dogger and Associates (Flavia!) is an interesting way to continue a series now that Flavia is getting older. And I enjoyed getting to see more of Dogger. But at still just 12 years old, I would have expected more info about Flavia's domestic life. She clearly shares a house (that she now owns) with her sister Daffy (who barely makes an appearance), cousin Undine and Dogger, but missing entirely is her Aunt. What is happening with all the secret spy work alluded to in earlier novels? Sister Feely is quickly married off and moved out of the story in the very beginning. Undine gets a few brief moments to display how annoying she is, but Flavia's domestic and familial situation is barely given a glance. Even Gladys, Flavia's beloved bike, barely gets a chance to fly!

    Whereas Flavia's ungainly charm may have carried previous entries in the series, this one has neither decent plotting or the unbridled joy that we've come to expect in Flavia story.

    Want to see more of my reviews, or reviews from the Seattle Mystery Lovers Book Group?

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