Flavia de Luce and her sisters are mourning their father’s death six months ago which broke all our hearts in the ninth book in this fabulous series. Her aunt is pressuring her to sell their family home and Digger is taking them on a vacation to refresh their spirits. Of course, Flavia being Flavia, the first thing she does is find a corpse. It’s quite a handsome corpse though oddly dressed in silk pantaloons and stockings like an 18th-century courtier, not some 1950’s villager.
He happens to be the son of the infamous vicar who poisoned three parishioners. What could be more fascinating considering Flavia’s love of poison? Her investigation is complicated by an obstructive local policeman who has heard all about Flavia from her friend, Inspector Hewitt. There’s also a circus visiting the town with fascinating characters of their own. Add a famed but aging actress, an innkeeper with hidden talents, and an old acquaintance of Digger’s, a young lad who befriends Flavia and whose father is an undertaker, a profession that entrances our morbid Flavia and we have more than a handful of suspects
The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place made me happy because I got to spend some time with Flavia, one of my favorite characters. However, this is by far the weakest book in the series. There’s this long scene with Flavia imagining the deaths of the Three Graces murdered by the local vicar that actually seemed tedious and pointless. Daffy is actually the one who provides the vital clue, interpreting poetry for Flavia. It is fun, though, to see Flavia begin to see value in poetry and Latin. Nonetheless, I completely enjoyed myself and can’t wait for January when the marvelous Flavia de Luce will grace us again.