Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley Set in 1950’s Flavia de Luce (Flav) is an 11 yr old who loves chemistry, with a passion for poison. Flavia has her own laboratory in the de Luce English mansion. She's the youngest of three sisters. The book opens with Flavia’s sisters Ophelia (Feely) and Daphne (Daffy), tying her up and locking her in a closet. Flavia easily escapes and plots her revenge. Soon Flavia is distracted by the dead body she discovers in their garden. When Flavia is quickly dismissed by the police, she determined to solve the murder.

"I stepped forward eagerly, almost salivating, for a closer look. “I wonder, Flavia,” Inspector Hewitt said, stepping gingerly into the cucumbers, “if you might ask someone to organize some tea?” He must of seen the look on my face. “We’ve had rather an early start this morning. Do you think you could manage to rustle something up?” So that was it. As at birth,so at a death. Without so much as a kiss me quick and mind the marmalade, the only female in sight is enlisted to trot off and see that the water is boiled. Rustle something up, indeed! What did he take me for, some kind of cowboy?" (From Arc)

After Flavia’s father is charged with the murder, she more determined to find the true killer. I loved Flavia she is smart, quick on her feet and resourceful. She gets around of her beloved bicycle Gladys. Flavia reminded me a lot of Gilda Joyce. Bradley has written a wonderful mystery featuring a young adult protagonist. The mystery revolves around two rear stamps that were stolen. The writing's sharp, fun and well thought out. Bradley takes the time to give the history of the de Luce’s and their family dynamic. I truly enjoyed this novel from beginning to end. Every time I had to put it down, I looked forward to when I could pick it up again. Even though Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie will be shelved in mystery, I will put a few on the YA table. I highly recommend it for fans of the Gilda Joyce or Kiki Strike books.


Sarah Rettger said...

I haven't read any of the Gilda Joyce or Kiki Strike books, but if you think they're Flavia-esque, they're definitely going on my list!

And good news - this is the first in a series of six, and Ballantine acquired all of them for the US. We'll be seeing a lot more of Flavia.

Doret said...

That is great news, thank you. I loved Flavia

Ali said...

So glad you liked this--I won it (one of 4 books) from the National Post, I'm really looking forward to delving into it!

Doret said...

Congrat Ali What are the other three titles?

Ali said...

Let's see...The Kindly Ones by Jonathon Littell; Not Yet by Wayson Choy; and Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly. Not sure which I'll read first...but I have to get through my April review pile first.