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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery (edition 2010)
by Alan Bradley
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
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I really liked Flavia and would like to see more of her, but I thought the plot dragged at times, especially when filling in the backstory of her father and his school days. I'd also like to learn more about Dogger! ( )
Cheeky 11 year old British girl chemist solves intricate mysteries through clever deduction and serendipitous clues.
The audio book reader was engaging, slipping smoothly between Flavia's girl character and chemist savant. The audio book reader deserves a 4/5.
I really enjoyed the first in the Flavia de Luce novels. It was interesting to read the authors afterward which describes Flavia as precocious and perhaps that was what I was feeling whilst reading. She is 11 but comes across as significantly older in my opinion. I look forward to continuing with this series.
I am so excited to have discovered another great mystery series! What made this book stand out to me was the main character, Flavia. She is a smart, confident, 11 year old girl. When asked about the choice to have Flavia be the main character Alan Bradley responded,"I think the reason she manifested herself as a young girl is that I realized that it would really be a lot of fun to have somebody who was virtually invisible in a village. And, of course, we don't listen to what children say--they're always asking questions, and nobody pays the slightest attention or thinks for a minute that children are going to do anything with the information that adults let slip."
I think Bradley made the right decision as Flavia's character really adds a lot of humor to a story about murder. It makes for a perfect cozy mystery comfort read. Now I will say that although the main character is a child there are still horrific events in the series that is not suitable for children.
Along with the novelty of a unique sleuth there is also a strong pull of nostalgia to these books. Now while I have never lived through the 1950's it did reminded me of my own pre-internet childhood. Flavia travels through her town on a bicycle and goes to the library to do research, and fights with her older sister. All things that my 11 year old self can easily connect with.
I liked this book much more than I thought I would at the beginning. I am so glad that I stayed with it. At first I thought it would be about a dysfunctional family seen through the eyes of a bratty 11-year-old. But it's not really like that. True, the family has some issues, and I'm curious to see how they might be resolved or developed in future books. But Flavia as a narrator really grows on you. Her humor is wickedly funny sometimes, and she is a real original.
This is a clean, pleasant read, pretty well suitable for anyone who reads murder mysteries.
For some bizarre reason, a couple of local libraries have this shelved with juvenile fiction. I don't think it is. True, it may be about an 11-year-old, and a young person may well be able to read it and enjoy it, but I don't think it should be categorized as a children's mystery. That would keep some people away. It's really a worthwhile read, with a number of satisfying literary and historical references. It's set in England of 1950, so a tiny bit of knowledge about British history at that time helps. Loved the plot line about stamps. It's one of the things that made this book intellectually fun.
Looking forward to more in the series!
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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.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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