Friday, April 6, 2018

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley {Review}

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 
by Alan Bradley
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Delacorte Press 
Source: Borrowed from the library

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.

My Review: 4 Stars

I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book, but it wasn't the fun, quirky story that was delivered. Flavia is only 11 years old, but she is a whiz at chemistry and quite a precocious girl. Her father has pretty much checked out, her older sisters are annoyed with her and torment her, and her mother died when she was very young. She's left to her own devices more often than not, and has quite an imagination.

When a man turns up dead in the cucumber patch, Flavia is on the case, determined to solve it and solve it she does, even if her methods are occasionally unconventional.

I really enjoyed the mystery and the process of the story. It was a lot of fun to watch things unfold and to connect with Flavia. The characters are a riot and I love the way everything fit together--the perfect puzzle.

The imagery, similes, metaphors, and well, the writing style in general is engaging and so much fun. This was a great read for our book club. 

Content: mild violence (murder/death, vague details); mild+ language  


  1. The audiobook narrator is incredible!

    1. That's so good to know! I'll have to check it out--thanks!