Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Bradley, Alan.  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  NY: Bantam Books, c2009.

I now have a new favorite series.  I ran across this book by accident at the book store and asked the clerk why it was filed with the adult books since the main character is an 11-year-old girl.  But Flavia de Luce is no ordinary girl and her spirited intelligence and insightful detective work will attract readers of any age.  Set in England in the 1950's, the book is full of charming and funny depictions of life at that time in England.  Flavia's mother died in a mountaineering accident and her father is often shut away with his stamp collection.  He is not uncaring, but visual displays of affection are certainly not his style.  Flavia's two older sisters have nothing in common with her and they are constantly at odds with each other, scheming to get revenge for the latest offense.  Things become intensely interesting for Flavia when one early morning she finds a soon-to-be-dead body in the cucumber patch.  Using her passion for chemistry and her quick thinking, Flavia begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder.  Her investigation becomes critical and dangerous when her family falls under suspicion.  At times you will laugh and at times you will be on the edge of your seat, wondering what twists and turns are about to occur.  There are a total of seven Flavia de Luce novels in print at this time and they don't need to be read in order to enjoy.  If you like Jackaby you should like this series too. 

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