Flavia de Luce Books in Order: How to read Alan Bradley’s series?

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The young Flavia de Luce is the main protagonist of the series set in the English countryside in 1950 and written by Canadian author Alan Bradley. She is a smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders.

She lives with her father and two sisters, but not her mother, Harriet, a free spirit who disappeared on a mountaineering adventure in Tibet 10 years earlier and is presumed dead.

How to read the Flavia de Luce Series in Order?

Every entry in the Flavia de Luce book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

  1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – It is the summer of 1950 – and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.
  2. The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Flavia de Luce thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over-until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why?
  3. A Red Herring Without Mustard – In the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia de Luce had asked a Gypsy woman to tell her fortune – never expecting to later stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned almost to death in the wee hours in her own caravan.
  1. I Am Half-sick of Shadows – It’s Christmastime, and Flavia de Luce is tucked away in her laboratory. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film.
  2. Speaking From Among the Bones – Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist.
  3. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches – On a spring morning in 1951, Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead.
  1. The Curious Case of the Copper CorpseMurder! the letter says, Come at once. Anson House, Greyminster, Staircase No. 3. How can Flavia de Luce resist such an urgent plea? After all, examining a dead body sounds like a perfectly splendid way to spend a Sunday. So Flavia hops upon her trusted bicycle and arrives at her father’s mist-shrouded old school. There, sitting in a bathtub is a naked dead man.
  2. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust – When her father and Aunt Felicity ship Flavia off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet: a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney.
  3. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d – Despite being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and Buckshaw now seems both too empty. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar’s wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle to deliver a message to a reclusive woodcarver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man’s body hanging upside down.
  1. The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place – In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia’s grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body.
  2. 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. So Flavia and dependable Dogger set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger.

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