Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Published: 2009
By: Books on Tape
Series: Flavia de Luce
Source: EPL
Format: Audiobook
ISBN: 9781415964491

Flavia de Luce 11 is an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. In the summer of 1950, a series of inexplicable events strikes her home, Buckshaw, a decaying English mansion. 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, both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.
Excerpt from Goodreads


A mysterious series of events leading up to the murder of a stranger has befallen Buckshaw mansion, the home of our young protagonist, Miss Flavia de Luce. An eleven years-old with a quick wit about her and an adoration for all things chemistry. Between being annoying and playing tricks on her two older sisters, Flavia is always busy concocting schemes, inventing and dreaming of the Periodic Table.

“Not very good with death? Father was a military man, and military men lived with death; lived for death; lived on death. To a professional soldier, oddly enough, death was life.”
Flavia de Luce, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This mystery novel is the first book in the mystery series based in 1950’s England which in context makes the language, quick wit and slang all the more ingenious and will also make you chuckle periodically as you keep up with the little stories Flavia tells the reader as she remembers stories worth telling about her family and how terrible Mrs. Mullet’s custard pies are! Because of the circumstances of the book this little girl, Flavia, seems to get herself in many a pickles and it’s her witticism that gets either deeper into the hole she had dug herself earlier or gets herself out. 

I’d highly recommend a quick peek at this fairly new series of novels.

3 Star signature


About Black ' n Write Reviewer

Library Tech grad who is currently working on a BA in Political Science and filling all her time with books.
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7 Responses to Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

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  2. I’m so happy to hear it’s a great read! I have had it sitting on my shelf for a little while now (too many books, too little time and all that). I’ll have to put it closer to the top of my TBR pile so I get to it sooner. 🙂

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