The Golden Tresses of the Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I must start this review by fully admitting that I love this series. I get so happy every time a new one is coming out, and The Golden Tresses of the Dead did not disappoint at all.

I really appreciate how Bradley has managed to take the series in a really intriguing new direction while still holding true to the characters he has developed and their unique personalities. This mystery starts with a finger in a wedding cake, and doesn't let up from there. Flavia is such a great, unique character, and I love seeing even more of Dogger.

These are incredibly clever, fun, original mysteries that I cannot recommend highly enough. Definitely start from the first entry in the series and keep going from there!
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Flavia is entertaining as always. This series is so clever and charming. I can't wait to read more adventures with Flavia and Dogger's detective agency,
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Flavia is back with the discovery of an embalmed finger in her sister's wedding cake. She, of course is delighted to discover it and with her faithful partner/valet, Dogger, she undertakes the investigation of just how that finger got there.. 

  At 12, Flavia is even more isolated than ever. At orphan with her eldest sister getting married off, I worry about how she is going to cope with everything. I am frankly perplexed at how she lives alone with just her valet/partner and housekeeper to keep their eyes on her. Why is there not a grown adult to supervise her really and now with Undine in the mix, I am worried.

  This is a fun book but really the plot is somewhat silly and I think the books are growing farther away from reality.
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I've been a Flavia fan since book one was featured in the IndieNext list, so we've really been through a lot. Being the 10th book in the series, it's unlikely to be the one to draw in a lot of new readers, but I particularly liked this installment. Dogger really gets to come in to his own here, which is really heartwarming. And not to give away the mystery, I'll just say that the nature of the murder and what it revolves around makes reading about our young chemist friend's expertise all the more satisfying.
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Flavia is a precocious 12 year old whose interests range from recreating chemical concoctions in her Uncle’s old lab to teaming up with her late father’s valet to solve mysteries.
The uniqueness of her personality along with imaginative story -line makes this a delightful read.. Can’t wait for next in series. Thanks to #NetGalley for early look at this #Golden Tresses of the Dead.
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I absolutely love Flavia de Luce, and this newest novel was no exception!  Our plucky, precocious heroine solves the mystery of a severed finger in her sister’s wedding cake in the most adorable fashion.  I love the language and mood in these books, and they really scratch a particular literary itch.  They’re always so fun to read, and the best cozy mysteries around in my book.
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I wasn't as into this one - there's a lot more Dogger this go-round, which isn't a BAD thing, but it seemed that there was a lot LESS Flavia. It will be interesting to see how their partnership plays out in the next book - though I hope Flavia will be more center again.
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t's autumn in Bishop's Lacey, and Flavia's older sister Ophelia (Feely) is finally wedding her suitor, Dieter, at Buckshaw. Mrs. Mullet, the housekeeper, and the ladies of the parish have gone all out to ensure that the wedding goes well. The event is a great success until Feely cuts into the cake and discovers a severed human finger. What could be a better first investigation for the firm of Arthur W. Dogger and Associates Investigations? The associate, of course, is 12-year-old Flavia. Their quest takes them into murky waters indeed; bogus missionaries, quack cures, and exotic poisons. 

I have been a fan of Flavia de Luce since the beginning, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Flavia is one of the most original and beguiling characters I have ever read, with her chemistry fascination, humor, and adult intellect in a child's body. Arthur Dogger is one of my favorites and much more of a father to Flavia than her own father ever was. It's a pleasure to see Dogger coming out of his shell and becoming a much more central part of Flavia's life. Dogger came home from World War II severely psychologically damaged due to his captivity in Burma and finally appears to be recovering. Therefore, I found The Golden Tresses of the Dead extremely hard to rate and review. If the book is the last of the series then I was left with a lot of questions, primarily who put the finger in the cake, and why? I may have missed that, but I don't think so. Her other sister, Daphne (Daffy) barely makes an appearance, and cousin Undine just whets the appetite for more. Undine is as unique in her own way as Flavia. I have seen conflicting accounts as to whether this is the last book so I can only hope. I will miss the voice of Flavia and the many laughs she has given me over the years.

Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for an advance copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 3 Stars
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Nothing says comfort like Flavia De Luce. She's predictable. Good, clean fun. And oh-so-familiar. This is Book #10 in the series and I haven't missed one. I wrote about #9 here and #8 here and even threw in a little Flavia trivia here. At the end of The Grave's a Fine & Private Place, Flavia inherits Buckshaw and settles on it as the home of Arthur W. Dogger & Associates--Discreet Investigations. And if Golden Tresses is any indication, there's a new Flavia on the horizon.
Which makes some sense. Flavia is inching ever closer to her teens, and she's starting to set aside her impetuous nature in favor of one more focused on attuning her sleuthing skills under the direction of Dogger. (That is Dogger of the Arthur W. Dogger and Flavia of the & Associates.) So while her mind is still sharp--Flavia is first to suspect Miss Truelove, head of St. Tancrid's Altar Guild, has a hand in the matter and sniffs around her cottage for clues--she is quick to watch Dogger question witnesses and dissemble to the police. We even find Dogger lending a hand in Flavia's chemical laboratory and the two share a desk.
But don't be dismayed. Outlandish turn of events still govern Flavia's world: we have a dismembered finger in a wedding cake, a client found poisoned by African beans in her cottage, a dead rat in the bottom of a travel bag, a 'senile' huckster dissembling in a nursing home. And writer Alan Bradley clearly has Flavia's young cousin Undine stepping in to fill the juvenile shoes Flavia is outgrowing--Undine is loud, intelligent, loves a good joke, and fond of fingerprints. (Sound like another little girl we know knew?)
I suppose I could quibble with some blind alleys in the plot and characters that seem unnecessary. But I treat my series like my friends and I can overlook a number of flaws because there's that undying devotion. I'm curious to know where the series is going. When he wrote Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie in 2009, Bradley planned ten Flavia mysteries. And Mr. Bradley is now eighty-one-years-old. So conceivably, this could be the last Flavia book.
But I sure hope it's not.
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THE GOLDEN TRESSES OF THE DEAD 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?

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Yaroo! Fans of Alan Bradley's fun and fabulous Flavia de Luce series will be delighted to see all of the usual characters crossing this stage, from Carl Pendraka to the mint-popping doctor to the much adored Antigone and the beloved Dogger. The trade-off is that the plot, which involves a finger in a wedding cake, an elderly quack who may or may not be incapacitated, and, of course, a murder, feels a bit thin at spots, and even in the final pages I wasn't entirely sure of the who/what/where/why/and when. But you know what? I didn't really care. It's such a treat to spend time with this author and these characters (and Gladys), you'll join me and my daughter in praying that another book in the series is still to come.
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Flavia de Luce #10 by Alan Bradley

This book, as listed above, is the tenth book in the wonderful Flavia de Luce series.  While it is not my favorite in the group (I believe that honor belongs to #1), it is still pretty good.

*For those that haven't read the series, minor spoilers lie ahead.*

At the beginning of the novel, Flavia's sister discovers a finger in her wedding cake.  This event kickstarts not one but two mysteries that Flavia and Dogger, who have now formed a detective agency, need to solve.  I'm usually okay with violence and stuff in books, but for some reason, the severed finger thing felt...not good.  The finger wasn't even the strangest part of the novel to me; the strangest part was how much Dogger spoke throughout the whole story, even more so than the last book.

So, while this may not have been the strongest book in the series, it was enjoyable, and it was as "random" as ever.  If Mr. Bradley ever chooses to write anymore Flavia novels, I'll be ready to read them.

(A short version of this review is available on Goodreads and Litsy.)
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By now, on this still-so-satisfying 10th outing with Flavia de Luce, one knows that the mysteries in these mystery novels are not the reason one reads Alan Bradley’s books. The mysteries would be standard fare without the magic ingredient of precocious British tween Miss Flavia de Luce, the irresistible and clever chemistry-lover who is drawn to death like flies to a corpse. Now, she is fatherless as well as motherless, and she’s the official owner of the de Luce estate Buckshaw. What matters most is that she still has a chemistry lab. She still has her two sisters, Ophelia (or Feely) and Daphne (Daffy), but at the beginning of this new story, Feely and Dieter Schrantz are getting married. And Flavia has become a partner in investigative work with her father’s friend and devoted family butler/gardener/driver/all-round handyman, Arthur Dogger.

A couple of mysteries present themselves at the beginning of this book: first, Feely finds a severed human finger in her wedding cake. Second, a local woman comes to Arthur W. Dogger and Associates for help in finding some lost letters. Eventually, there’s a murder. And naturally Flavia, this time aided by Dogger, gets to do some investigating.

Dogger had played a smaller part in books up until the ninth of the series, and it’s been sweet to see him come more to the forefront, to watch his character take on new roles through the eyes of the narrator, Flavia. She loves him and is protective of him because she has seen over the years the terrors he relives regularly because of his experiences in World War II. She is amazed in several places in this book to watch him talk more than she’s ever seen him talk and interact with others, and she is reminded how much she doesn’t know about him but is enjoying finding out some of those things as they spend more time together. Readers get to observe him as well through Flavia’s still limited point of view as a young person, precocious though she may be in certain aspects of life, and draw conclusions about him based on what they know about life as older people (much of the audience likely are not tweens or teens). This brings a certain extra depth to the story and is just as endearing and sweet as other similar points have come up over the series.

As always, this book didn’t disappoint and, as always, I’m already eager for a new installment.
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Flavia de Luce’s sister almost had her dream wedding day. Everything was going swimmingly until the bride cut the cake and revealed a delicate finger still smelling slightly of formaldehyde. After soothing the bride’s hysterics by claiming it was only a cocktail sausage and sending the happy couple on their honey, Flavia and her partner Dogger set out to identify the owner of the singular digit. It should technically be the first investigative case for Arthur W .Dogger and Associates, but it has to be set aside when the duo are asked to solve the mystery of the purloined letters by the president of the Altar Guild. For a fee….

When Flavia and Dogger start pulling on the threads of the clues for the missing letters they find even more problems which lead them to, among other things, dodgy missionaries, patent medicine cures, mental institutions, more body parts, and even a special train that delivers caskets to cemeteries. Twelve-year -old Flavia’s genius with chemical analysis, Dogger’s life experience in so many fields, and even a precocious statement from the demon child nine-year-old Undine, eventually lead to a solution which includes the severed finger which started it all.

This tenth book in the series can be read as a standalone but the mystery would be more enjoyable if the reader is familiar with the backstory. Flavia’s relationship with her family, Dogger’s relationship with Flavia’s deceased father, the vicar and his wife, the
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Flavia de Luce is back! In The Golden Tresses of the Dead, Flavia has returned to solve more mysteries. This time around Flavia has teamed up with her late father’s valet, Arthur Dogger, to form a detective agency so her sleuthing can be done officially. 

The action begins at her sister Ophelia’s wedding where an unpleasant surprise is found in the wedding cake. Then Arthur Dogger and Associates are hired by Anastasia Prill to recover sensitive letters relating to her father’s homeopathic practice. Flavia and Dogger and soon caught up in an hilarious adventure that includes a dead guitarist, two female missionaries who have just returned from Africa, a retiree who may or may not be faking his own mental deficiencies and the village regulars who pepper this snarky and witty series. 

Fans old and new of these delightful books will rejoice in Flavia’s return and relish this new adventure.
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"The Golden Tresses of the Dead," by Alan Bradley, Delacorte Press, 352 pages, Jan. 22, 2019.

This is the tenth book in the series featuring Flavia DeLuce, 12-year old amateur detective and chemist.

It is now 1952, the long-awaited wedding day for Flavia's sister, Ophelia, and her fiancé, Dieter Schrantz. Dieter was a pilot in the Luftwaffe, who was shot down in England and became a prisoner of war. He and Ophelia met while he was on a work detail.

The wedding was delayed because their father, Colonel de Luce, died. Their mother died when Flavia was a baby. Arthur Dogger, the estate manager, and Mrs. Mullet, the cook and housekeeper, keep the house, Buckshaw, running. Aunt Felicity dropped in and brought a young cousin, Undine, to live there.

Flavia and Dogger founded the Arthur W. Dogger and Associates detective agency. Their agency gets its first case when a human finger is found in the wedding cake. Then Anastasia Brocken Prill, the daughter of a renowned homeopathic doctor, hires them to recover some stolen letters. The search soon leads them to a body. 

This can be read as a stand alone novel, although the earlier books are very enjoyable. The reasoning behind the murder is fascinating. Flavia is one of my favorite detectives, but I am glad that her sarcasm has been toned down. While originally it was said that there would only 10 books in this series, there's no official word that the series is over.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, the advance reader's edition of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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the latest flavia de luce story, the golden tresses of the dead, begins with a wedding instead of a dead body. except maybe there's a piece of a dead body? and maybe flavia's newfound detective agency with her trusty comrade in arms, dogger will soon find itself inundated with mysteries and dead bodies galore?

obviously, the answer to those questions is yes. and it's just such a delight to be back at buckshaw with the irrepressible flavia. she's growing up, and has more overall empathy and a sense of propriety that wasn't always there before. but she's still hella precocious and uber intelligent and just good fun. 

her new partnership with dogger gives the series some direction, and instead of this being the end, it feels like a real new beginning. that unfortunate chapter at miss boodicoot's school notwithstanding, i mean, i didn't hate it, but i love flavia best when she's at home surrounded by her kooky cast of characters who we've come to love and anticipate. 

mysteries are no fun when spoiled, so i'll just say if you enjoyed all the books that came before, you will also enjoy this one. if you've never picked up dear flavia, then don't start here. look for the sweetness at the bottom of the pie and you won't be disappointed. 

**the golden tresses of the dead will publish on january 22, 2019. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/ random house publishing group (delacorte press) in exchange for my honest review.
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Alan Bradley has created a one-of-a-kind detective duo: Precocious prodigy Flavia de Luce has teamed up with family retainer Arthur Dogger to solve mysteries.

The first puzzle is how a human finger wound up in Flavia's sister's wedding cake,  The second is who murdered the daughter of a man who made millions selling homeopathic remedies. 

"The Golden Tresses of the Dead" is book 10 in the Flavia series but it's just the beginning of the Flavia-Dogger partnership. Flavia is growing up and Bradley is paring down his cast of characters. As Flavia's mentor and substitute father, Dogger is coping with his PTSD. Mrs. Mullet, the housekeeper, provides comic relief with her malapropisms. Cousin Undine takes the place of the younger Flavia and exhibits her own kind of de Luce brilliance.

There's lots of life left in this series.
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Flavia De Luce is at it professionally with her partner Dogger.  They even have a client who is willing to pay, that is until she turns up dead before their official meeting. Undeterred Dogger and Flavia are going to solve this case even though they have only sketchy information.  Undine, Flavia's younger, orphaned cousin, is another brilliant, precocious child who is a thorn in Flavia's side and a mischievous imp. Ophelia is now married and sister Daphne is keeping to herself, as usual.

I always enjoy a Flavia mystery. I like that she is rather bloodthirsty and brilliant; she does not disappoint here in this 11th installment in the series.  In fact we tend to see glimpses of a more thoughtful, kind and tender Flavia. This book had me a bit confused with the Dogger-Flavia duo solving two mysteries at once. I kept thinking that there would be a stronger connection between the two. But that was probably just me.

I still highly recommend this book and the series if you want to enjoy a truly wonderful, unique character and very intriguing mysteries.
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I continue to enjoy this series very much.  The relationship between Flavia and Dogger is wonderful, and I thought it was great to have a book that focused on it.
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