Book Read: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
February 2, 2016 4 Comments
This is my sixth book of the year (2016). It was on my to-read shelves for several years, but as I was (and still am) reading books of which the title starts with an S, this book finally landed on my to-imminently-read pile!
The book is a detective story, set in the 1950s in a village in England. Imagine a village in England where crimes take place, well, that kind of village. The sleuth is an eleven-year-old girl, Flavia, who lives in a manor house with her two older sisters and her father, her mother having died when Flavia was a baby.
Flavia is very precocious, if one can say so of an eleven-year-old. She doesn’t seem to go to school (or is it the holidays? I wasn’t sure), and has a laboratory in the attic, set up by an ancestor. In the lab, she makes up chemical concoctions to tease her sisters, and uses it to help solve a crime.
The crime? She finds a body in the garden of the manor house, early one morning. Her father is arrested, and Flavia is left to her own devices (her sisters not being very useful). With her knowledge of the village and its people, she knows where to enquire and investigate and soon knows a lot more about the dead man and his recent activities than the police do.
This is such a quirky, fun read! It’s easy enough for an adult to engage with Flavia and wish her all the best in finding the murderer (and so, getting her father out of prison). It’s all olde English, funny characters, gentlemen and a librarian. I’m looking forward to another Flavia de Luce read. There are seven in the series; however, I can’t imagine the quirkiness will work past the second or third book. We’ll see!