The Golden Tresses of the Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Despite her recent heartaches and troubles Flavia remains her usual precocious self. She is one of my very favorite fictional characters. Life is changing for her, 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. Of course, Flavia is delighted at this turn of events 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. I hope we will be seeing more of Undine in future books. 

There has been conflicting information on whether this is the final book in the series and I hope it isn't. I can see quite a future for Flavia and Dogger in their working relationship as private investigators. The series is fun, humorous,  and charming.
Was this review helpful?
After years of trouble and sorrow, the de Luce family is ready for some joy as Ophelia marries Dieter. But the festivities take a turn when the bride cuts into her cake and discovers a severed finger. Her younger sister Flavia is thrilled to have another mystery to solve and takes the finger to her laboratory. Since she has recently joined the detective business with the family's devoted valet Dogger, figuring out whose finger it is and how it got into the cake seems like an excellent first case.

Ophelia and Dieter's wedding is the perfect occasion for our characters to take stock of their shared history and the possibilities of their future. While Flavia is brilliant, she is still a twelve year-old girl whose parents have died and whose sister is leaving the family home. One of the highlights of this book in particular is seeing how relationships have grown throughout the series, as Flavia works alongside Dogger, interacts with her neighbors in the village of Bishop's Lacey, and discovers the new dynamics of the de Luce estate with some family members gone and a new addition there to stay.

In some of the later books, I haven't found the mysteries themselves to be that compelling and I'm hard-pressed to tell you a few weeks later who committed the crime or why. But following Flavia and her family on a new adventure is always a good use of a few hours. Author Alan Bradley stated that this might be the last book in the series, so we shall see if this is Flavia's swan song or if she insists on coming back for a few more mysteries on our bookshelves.

For my thoughts on earlier Flavia de Luce stories, hop over here.

The Golden Tresses of the Dead
Flavia de Luce #10
By Alan Bradley
Bantam January 2019
352 pages
Read via Netgalley
Was this review helpful?
What a delightful addition to the Flavia de Luce series.  This is book 10 and I love watching Flavia grow both physically and mentally.  Now 12 years old, Flavia is happy her sister Ophelia is getting married.  When they find a finger in the cake at the wedding she and Dogger have their first official case for their detection business.  You could read this as a stand alone book but you will enjoy it more as you watch Flavia grow over the course of the series.  This series is slightly historic, set in the 1950's English countryside it's a fun read. It's amazing how women and children were treated in society.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Flavia de Luce is back!  Alan Bradley has successfully entertained us again with his latest novel. A great cast of characters, some who are old friends for those who have been following the series.  For those readers who are new to Flavia, no fear, Bradley does a wonderful job of introducing just enough information so you will not be lost. 
Such a joy to join Flavia and Dogger on another marvelous mystery adventure!  What fun!

Thank you to NetGalley, Alan Bradley, and Delacorte Press for granting me the opportunity to read and review this delightful novel!
Was this review helpful?
Flavia is just the best companion! I have enjoyed this series for a long time and this installment was just as fun. Fans of this series will be happy and delighted by this new adventure.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

This was another wonderful chapter in the Flavia de Luce series! The novel starts with Ophelia finally marrying and the family is in a bustle getting things ready for the wedding with exotic flowers even in the autumn. As the wedding continues on and Flavia is trying to ensure her cousin Undine does not cause any problems, a problem pops up on it's own as Feely cuts into her wedding cake....and sees a human finger! Flavia immediately jumps in and she and Dogger decide to begin to investigate! 

I absolutely love these novels and I appreciate how intelligent Flavia is and how she figures things out, with no formal bit of schooling. It is funny to look at the times of this novel and how Flavia is an orphan and yet no one has tried to figure out who the adult is for this 12-year old, nor her younger cousin Undine. However, Mrs. Mullet and Dogger, and really the whole village, have picked up the parental slack. The only thing that I am concerned about this novel is that it seemed to have a very final feeling with the ending....are we not to enjoy anymore adventures of Flavia?!?! I sure hope there is most mysteries for her to solve!
Was this review helpful?
Bradley's intriguing mystery serves up surprises in nearly every chapter; I was over halfway through this startling whodunit and enjoying every last detail (and Bradley pulls readers into this suspenseful framed story with his flair for the most intricate details), when I began reading the latest Eve Dallas detective story by Nora Roberts, aka JD Robb which promises to be an amazing reading experience. I dare say the two are provocative readings! 
     Flavia de Luca, the teenage protagonist whose a burgeoning ace detective in Golden Tresses is determined to solve this key mystery: whose female finger is it enfolded in the iceing of Flavia's beloved older sister's 3-tiered wedding cake baked on the premises? Could it be a dancer's or a concert musician's finger? A relative's that held a grudge?
    Flavia is like a fledgling Eve Dallas because she, alongside her fond friend and veteran business partner in their PI agency Dogger, is fearlessly determined, despite the mounting tension and growing number of corpses, to solve this very personal case for the benefit of the newlyweds and for the invitees--to the most grandest wedding for this surrounding closeknit English village in a long while! 
     Bradley deftly weaves this Flavia de Luca mystery together and this is shown early on; stick your heels in and get ready for a highly enjoyable ride, because you just don't know what lies ahead, chapter to chapter, Flavia is about to say something peculiar, but listen closely because she is a bright star with a unique brand of humor!
     This reminds me of another bright character, a female from the NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas. She has one might say a Flavian brand of humor...or is it the other way around?
     Readers you decide for yourself, both novels are proving to be provocative, and entertaining!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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,
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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?

Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.)
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?