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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

by Alan Bradley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Flavia de Luce (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,9896211,039 (3.83)1 / 927
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.
Recently added byreadingjag, jdalen, Fesel, balajiv20398, wood2wn, glowboat, private library, Rennie90
  1. 183
    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (lorin77)
  2. 122
    The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (clif_hiker, 47degreesnorth)
  3. 188
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (nysmith)
  4. 111
    The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (foggidawn)
  5. 101
    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (chinquapin)
  6. 71
    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)
  7. 93
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (inbedwithbooks)
    inbedwithbooks: Deze twee boeken vertonen veel gelijkenis, door de hoofdpersonages, nl.jonge rijke betweterige meisjes.
  8. 115
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (lauranav)
    lauranav: Both show relationships and point of view of a young girl.
  9. 71
    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.
  10. 51
    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.
  11. 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.
  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. 43
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (dara85)
  14. 10
    The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (47degreesnorth)
  15. 00
    A Man in Uniform by Kate Taylor (starfishian)
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» See also 927 mentions

English (612)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (624)
Showing 1-5 of 612 (next | show all)
I picked this book because of it's beautiful cover (I love birds!). The story itself was entertaining and although nothing in it particularly irritated or bothered me, the characters were ok and the plot was logical with some nice twists, it was honestly quite dull. I didn't feel captured or motivated to finish it, but because it was ok enough, I did. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | Nov 12, 2021 |
really good audiobook reader ( )
  -Pia- | Sep 3, 2021 |
I'd give this 2.5 stars if I could ( )
  knittinkitties | Aug 23, 2021 |
odd girl solves murder of mysterious man in family garden and recovers King's lost stamp
  ritaer | Aug 10, 2021 |
Quite a good romp. I'm glad I finally got this one, braving the fierce library demand. There is a unified vision to Flavia's world. A few small anachronisms in the next two books in the series made me think American? But now I've paid attention to the afterword and understand that it's *Canadianisms* that are pricking my ears. (She calls herself Flave at times. Would a Brit do that -- with a long a?) I certainly loved zooming along on Gladys with Flavia. And who could resist her pure passion for chemistry? ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 612 (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
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.

No library descriptions found.

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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