secretlysam, September 11, 2011 (view all comments by secretlysam)
An amazing series about a twelve year old master chemist who just happens to be the perfect sleuth. BAttling her teen sisters and finding her way to a better relationship with her distant father, the clever but senstive Flavia De Luce is one of my favorite characters in any book, of all time.
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LyndaT, January 14, 2010 (view all comments by LyndaT)
"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" covered a lot of my favorite themes and genres -- a love of plucky young heroines, historical novels (even those as recent as the 1950s), English country house stories, mysteries, quirky characters, and humor. This book has all that, and more, rolled into one satisfying read.
I look forward to more novels from Alan Bradley starring the funny and interesting Flavia de Luce.
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carolinbisbee, January 6, 2010 (view all comments by carolinbisbee)
An old-fashioned good mystery with all the elements of a good story too; clever, strong characters, twists in the plot, satisfying ending. It is also first in a series to be published by this Canadian author so we have more to look forward to. I always enjoy a story with a smart young hero or heroine. "Sweetness" just reinforces that for me.
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emmejo, August 25, 2009 (view all comments by emmejo)
Eleven year old Flavia de Luce is beginning chemist with a particular fondness for poisons. Her family seems pretty normal: two older sisters, one book obsessed and other obsessed with herself, one dead mother and a kind if absent-minded father. But when a dead bird turns up on their doorstep with a postage stamp attached to its beak and shortly later Flavia discovers a dead man in her garden, it becomes clear that her family has dark secrets Flavia had no idea existed.
This mystery completely sucked me in. The protagonist is clever and yet still seems like a child, not an adult in a child's body which is what seems to happen a lot in mystery's where the investigator is a young person. I liked the writing style and the voice of Flavia rang very true to a intelligent child's way of seeing the world as neither an adult sees it or a child who doesn't pay as close attention to their world.
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Kristin T., July 16, 2009 (view all comments by Kristin T.)
My sweetie preordered this book for me for my birthday because this is the kind of story I loved as a child, and Flavia is the kind of kid that I so wanted to be. It's still the kind of book and character I love.
Though I considered staying up all night reading the book after it arrived, I ended up carrying it around a while because I didn't want it to end. This hardcover edition even looks and and feels like the mysteries of my youth. Good thing the story and writing lived up to my expectations--this book is a complete gift.
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This beguiling debut from 70-year-old Alan Bradley has been worth the wait, an enchanting and masterfully told mystery that reveals itself at a perfect pace. Clever and delightfully devilish, Flavia de Luce is an intriguing young heroine that you'll be sad to part with.
by Tracey T.,
If Nancy Mitford wrote I Capture the Castle or Cold Comfort Farm and starred in them Harriet the Spy you'd have something close to the quirky charm of Bradley's Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Even if you figure out the probable culprit before it's unveiled in the book, the joy is in following the sleuthing of the intrepid Flavia. Reading this book is especially delightful when paired with a cup of tea and a slice of sweet, sweet pie.
by Tracey T.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Fans of Louise Fitzhugh's iconic Harriet the Spy will welcome 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, the heroine of Canadian journalist Bradley's rollicking debut. In an early 1950s English village, Flavia is preoccupied with retaliating against her lofty older sisters when a rude, redheaded stranger arrives to confront her eccentric father, a philatelic devotee. Equally adept at quoting 18th-century works, listening at keyholes and picking locks, Flavia learns that her father, Colonel de Luce, may be involved in the suicide of his long-ago schoolmaster and the theft of a priceless stamp. The sudden expiration of the stranger in a cucumber bed, wacky village characters with ties to the schoolmaster, and a sharp inspector with doubts about the colonel and his enterprising young detective daughter mean complications for Flavia and enormous fun for the reader. Tantalizing hints about a gardener with a shady past and the mysterious death of Flavia's adventurous mother promise further intrigues ahead." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
"Bradley won a Dagger award and multi-book deal when one of the judges was captivated by Flavia's character. Her charm continues to mesmerize, the book is now sold in 19 countries and, since its release in the U.S. this spring, has launched onto indie best-seller lists. Locally, it's a staff favorite at Broadway Books and Powell's, and has close to 200 folks signed up waiting for a copy from the Multnomah County Library." Peggy McMullen, The Oregonian (read the entire Oregonian review
by Charles Todd, author of The Ian Rutledge series,
"While Flavia De Luce is winning your heart, she may also be poisoning your tea. She's the most wickedly funny sleuth in years, brilliant, unpredictable, unflappable — and only eleven. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the freshest new voice in mystery yet."
by Laurie R. King, author of the Mary Russell,
"A wickedly clever story, a dead true and original voice, and an English country house in the summer: Alexander McCall Smith meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Please, please, Mr. Bradley, tell me we'll be seeing Flavia again soon?"
by Louise Penny, author of Still Life,
"Alan Bradley's marvelous book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, is a fantastic read, a winner. Flavia walks right off the page and follows me through my day. I can hardly wait for the next book. Bravo!"
by Gordon Dahlquist, author of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters,
"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the reader the precious gift of a richly imagined and luscious new world — but uniquely so, for this is the world of Flavia Sabina de Luce: an eleven-year-old, utterly winning, and altogether delightfully nasty piece of work. An outright pleasure from beginning to end."
by Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand series,
"Alan Bradley brews a bubbly beaker of fun in his devilishly clever, wickedly amusing debut mystery, launching an eleven-year-old heroine with a passion for chemistry — and revenge! What a delightful, original book!"
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