Thursday, April 21, 2011
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley *Review*
Flavia de Luce is quite the little busybody. 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 events: A dead bird 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 makes his dying breath... Immediately enthralled with the mystery of murder Flavia decides to go about solving it. This eleven-year-old is a precocious chemist in the making who uses her scientific mind to follow the clues...and it sometimes gets her in trouble. Disparagingly looking down her nose at her two older sisters, for which she has no love, she sets out on her bike (which she has named Gladys) to begin her investigation at the library. Upon finding it closed "CLOSED? Oh Scissors!" she exclaims before coming up with this perfect thought that each book lover here will agree upon: "As I stood outside on Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. No- eight days a week." And that's where I fell in love with Flavia. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was a fun, fun book. I loved the way Flavia gets into trouble no matter what she sets out to do. In fact at one point in the story Inspector Hewitt remarks: "There are times Miss de Luce, when you deserve a brass medal. And there are other times when you deserve to be sent to your room with bread and water." There is not much I can say without giving away the mystery of the murder that is the center of the book. What I can say is if you read this book you will like it and you will absolutely adore wicked little Flavia! Author Alan Bradley shines as he pins down her scheming mind and sarcastic tongue and wraps the whole book up with a whole lot of humor that had me laughing out loud at her hijinks and predicaments. I would definitely read another Flavia de Luce mystery! My rating 4/5 stars!