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

by Alan Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,116576987 (3.84)1 / 870
Member:noramunro
Title:The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Authors:Alan Bradley
Info:Delacorte Press (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
Rating:
Tags:fiction, mystery, christmas 2009

Work details

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Recently added byHinoki, ryanleigh, rena75, loraleew, TBrasher, lemontreelane, Radrat70, J-Heg, private library
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    lauranav: Both show relationships and point of view of a young girl.
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    We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) 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.
  8. 61
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    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)
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    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.
  10. 73
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (inbedwithbooks)
    inbedwithbooks: Deze twee boeken vertonen veel gelijkenis, door de hoofdpersonages, nl.jonge rijke betweterige meisjes.
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    LongDogMom: Flavia de Luce has a similar voice as Enola and both are young, precocious and underestimated detectives.
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    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.
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English (579)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (592)
Showing 1-5 of 579 (next | show all)
between 2.5 and 3. this is kind of charming and fun, and i enjoyed it, but not as much as the author would have hoped. i was taken out of the story a few times by some awkwardness and unbelievability of the story. i mean, you have to put aside immediately that the 11 year old protagonist is just a miniature adult; he tries to throw in a few things that reminds us that she's a child, but she doesn't read as a precocious kid, she reads as a very intelligent adult. that said, i did just set that aside and enjoyed her quite a bit, for the most part. she does make some leaps in her solving of the mystery, which i found over the top (as i always do) but at least in this book some of those leaps were incorrect.

i loved chemistry myself when i was younger and really liked that aspect of the book. it would be one of the things, i think, that would bring me back to the series. flavia and chemistry are enough, i suspect, to hold this series together for a number of books.

this was fun. i liked it but wish it flowed better all around. i expect that later books in the series are more polished and do what i feel this one is lacking. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Dec 14, 2018 |
I was intrigued by the fact that the main character in this adult mystery is a young girl. I did enjoy the inquiring mind of 11-year-old Flavia de Luce but kept wondering about the compatibility between her age and her superb investigative abilities. After following several wrong leads, Flavia, of course, discovered the identity of the perpetrator who was responsible for a death and some stolen stamps. With her discoveries, she cleared her father of guilt and saved him from a life in prison. The book set in a small town in England in the 1950's is a nice read that doesn't use explicit violence or sex for a selling point. ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
This was an absolutely delightful read/listen from start to finish! I started off reading and then switched to listening about half-way through. The main character, Flavia de Luce, is a clever little thing and I really enjoyed her inner dialogue. I also loved the setting and felt I, myself, could have been in 1950's Britain right alongside the characters. I would highly recommend this to mystery readers and those hesitant to try the genre as there is so much else going on here- great characters, intriguing plot, fabulous setting. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
I see now where everyone loves Flavia. What a character. This was a fun, light read. I will definitely be going back for more in the future. 4🌟 ( )
  karenvg3 | Oct 12, 2018 |
Flavia de Luce is 11 years old and loves chemistry. She has a lab in her home where she lives with her two sisters and her father. The sisters are very cruel to each other. The novel beings with Flavia tied, gagged and locked in a dark closet- by her sisters. And the novel ends with her once again tied and gagged in a dark basement, not by her sisters.
A man has been kiiled in Flavia's front garden and her father is charged with the murder. Flavia works to find the real murderer.
The trail of clues leads to her father's college days and stamps.
This mystery, set in England, was the first of a proposed series of ten books.
The series has been very popular with those who enjoy mysteries, perhaps partly due to the protagonist. She is rather interesting.
I do not have a mind for mystery, so didn't enjoy the book, but read it for the book club, where others found it enjoyable. ( )
  bettyroche | Aug 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 579 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

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

--William King, The Art of Cookery (1708)
Dedication
For Shirley
First words
It was as black in the closet as old blood.
Quotations
That means King George the Sixth, and King George the Sixth is not a frivolous man. (chapter four)
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." (chapter 16)
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. (chapter 5)
My particular passion was poison. (chapter 1)
'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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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)

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