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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pieby Alan Bradley
Synopses & Reviews
In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. 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. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”
To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story—of a schoolboy friendship turned ugly, of a priceless object that vanished in a bizarre and brazen act of thievery, of a Latin teacher who flung himself to his death from the school’s tower thirty years before. Now Flavia is armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together, to examine new suspects, and begin a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder—but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse….
An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptions—and a rich literary delight.
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is propelled into a mystery when a man is found murdered on the grounds of her family's decaying English mansion and Flavia's father becomes the main suspect.
BONUS: This edition contains a The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie discussion guide and an excerpt from Alan Bradley's The Weed That Strings the Hangman'sBag.
It is the summer of 1950-and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicableevents: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dyingbreath.
For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. Thiswas by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.
About the Author
Alan Bradley has published many children’s stories as well as lifestyle and arts columns in Canadian newspapers. His adult stories have been broadcast on CBC radio and published in various literary journals. He won the first Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children’s Literature as well as the Debut Dagger Award from the Crime Writers’ Association for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. He lives in British Columbia. Bantam Dell will publish the next in Bradley’s delirious new series, The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, in 2010.
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