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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by…

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (edition 2009)

by Alan Bradley

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4,903489938 (3.86)1 / 803
Title:The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Authors:Alan Bradley
Info:Doubleday Canada (2009), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:hardcover, mystery

Work details

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

  1. 143
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    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (inbedwithbooks)
    inbedwithbooks: Deze twee boeken vertonen veel gelijkenis, door de hoofdpersonages, nl.jonge rijke betweterige meisjes.
  7. 40
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though Sweetness is more of a traditional mystery, it shares with Where'd You Go, Bernadette an endearing, precocious, and entertaining young narrator who pieces together clues from the adult world to solve a mystery. Character interactions are delightfully, humorously depicted.… (more)
  8. 84
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (lauranav)
    lauranav: Both show relationships and point of view of a young girl.
  9. 30
    The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Flavia de Luce has a similar voice as Enola and both are young, precocious and underestimated detectives.
  10. 41
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (citygirl)
    citygirl: Castle is much darker and Flavia is more adorable than creepy (Merricat is quite creepy), but if you're interested in unusual young protagonists, with a very particular world view, try these.
  11. 41
    The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen (raizel)
    raizel: Both stories about brilliant and quirky children were recommended at the same time by my daughter. T.S. Spivet is the more real character and the book is beautifully written. Yes, T.S. Spivet is a boy, but I'm not sexist enough to let that bother me.
  12. 20
    Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes (y2pk)
    y2pk: Pre-teen girl investigating adult crimes, while putting up with her sometimes-strange family and home life. Emma Graham also appears in two other books, Cold Flat Junction and Belle Ruin. They should be read in order.
  13. 10
    The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (47degreesnorth)
  14. 00
    A Man in Uniform by Kate Taylor (starfishian)
  15. 23
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (dara85)

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English (487)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (499)
Showing 1-5 of 487 (next | show all)
SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, written by Alan Bradley, has so far won 9 writing awards. It’s the first book in a series of six starring the precocious Flavia de Luce. It is a mystery set in 1950s Great Britain and focuses on a murder and a rare postage stamp.
After 11-year-old Flavia finds a body in her family’s garden, she uses her knowledge of science and her wits to solve the crime.
The book is written for a general audience but there isn’t anything in it that would prohibit a younger reader from enjoying it. There are lots of science references and I even learned something about British history. I’d never heard of the Black Hole of Calcutta before (look it up!). Those who like science will love the old laboratory that Flavia uses! Bradley’s descriptions are fabulous and one of the best things about this book. The laboratory and the Pit Shed were so realistic I could smell them.
The book is not perfect; there are instances of things being too convenient and one place where Flavia amazingly does something I believe her high intelligence would normally disallow. I enjoyed SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE not just because it was a good story but because Flavia has a dark side which we are made aware of. I also really appreciated her persnickety spunkiness. Her aloneness made me sad, although she is too preoccupied to acknowledge it, but I’d like to think that when she grows older she will find a soulmate. In the meantime, I will continue to read this series!
( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Aardig, maar een beetje traag en tuttig, deze whodunnit. Pas tegen het einde werd het een beetje spannend. ( )
  Maaike15274 | Nov 16, 2015 |
Good, quirky fun as an unusual heroine (a precocious 11-year old fascinated by chemistry) takes a break from poisoning her sister to solve a crime.
  bfister | Nov 8, 2015 |
Loved this entertaining caper of eleven year old Flavia de Luce, a girl genius who loves all things chemistry. She is one smart brave cookie who solves crimes with her knowledge of chemistry and her fine precocious brain. Highly recommended. ( )
  erinclark | Nov 3, 2015 |

This book started out with such a bang! I couldn't put it down through the first half, and then I couldn't pick it up through the second half.

I know it's fiction and all, but I just couldn't suspend disbelief well enough to really enjoy that last half. It seemed like the author said to himself, "Ok, I've gotten her into a fix and I can't get her out while making any sense at all, so I'll just write something completely stupid." It's a shame, because it started out so promising. ( )
  rosemaryknits | Oct 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 487 (next | show all)
It's a rare pleasure to follow Flavia as she investigates her limited but boundless-feeling world. And it's nice to know she'll be back.
Impressive as a sleuth and enchanting as a mad scientist (“What a jolly poison could be extracted from the jonquil”), Flavia is most endearing as a little girl who has learned how to amuse herself in a big lonely house.

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradley, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Unless some sweetness at the bottom lie, who cares for all the crinkling of the pie?

--William King, The Art of Cookery (1708)
For Shirley
First words
It was as black in the closet as old blood.
That means King George the Sixth, and King George the Sixth is not a frivolous man.
It is not unknown for fathers with a brace of daughters to reel off their names in order of birth when summoning the youngest, and I had long ago become accustomed to being called "Ophelia Daphne Flavia, damn it."
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.
My particular passion was poison.
"I have forgot much, Cynara! Gone with the wind,
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! In my fashion"

It's from his Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae. Perhaps you know of it? I shook my head. It's very beautiful, I said.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
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.

In his wickedly brilliant first novel, 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.

An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told take of deceptions — and a rich literary delight.


For very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the discovery of a dead snipe on the doorstep of Buckshaw, the crumbling de Luce country seat, was a marvellous mystery — especially since this particular snipe had a rather rare stamp neatly impaled on its beak. Even more astonishing was the effect of the dead bird on her stamp-collector father, who appeared to be genuinely frightened. Soon Flavia discovers something even more shocking in the cucumber patch and it's clear that the snipe was a bird of very ill omen indeed.

As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides it is up to her to piece together the clues and solve the puzzle. Who was the man she heard her father arguing with? What was the snipe doing in England at all? Who or what is the Ulster Avenger? And, most peculiar of all, who took a slice of Mrs Mullet's unspeakable custard pie that had been cooling by the window...?

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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 inexplicable events. For Flavia, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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