About The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. It was not only unsporting, it was downright rotten. Arlene McKanic picks her poison in Jamaica, New York. • • She was, after all, seventeen, and therefore expected to possess at least a modicum of the maturity she should come into as an adult. "The most original of the bunch, I think, with a deliciously deceptive opening which really sets the tone of macabre fun. Submit your email address to receive Barnes & Noble offers & updates. With her high level of knowledge, her erudition and her self-reliance, Flavia hardly seems your typical eleven-year-old girl. "Old House," as it was called, had gone up in flames, and the new house which had replaced it was now well into its third century.Two later de Luce ancestors, Antony and William de Luce, who had disagreed about the Crimean War, had spoiled the lines of the original structure. Harriet's book had become my secret friend.In it were detailed all the alkali metals: metals with fabulous names like lithium and rubidium; the alkaline earths such as strontium, barium, and radium. And on top of that it is genuinely original….we may well be talking in a few years about one of the great voices and great series of mystery fiction. A precocious 11-year-old chemist confesses to murder. ", ©1997-2021 Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. 33 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003. Set in the English countryside in 1950, it features Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old amateur sleuth who pulls herself away from her beloved chemistry lab in order to clear her father in a murder investigation. "I haven't seen them in ages," I said.It was true. Flavia’s distance from her father, the Colonel, is obvious, yet she loves him all the same. I retorted. The author’s tone is very tongue-in-cheek and offers something quite different in this genre, and the story is cleverly structured and beautifully written. her fingers on the brass clasp. Its quick-witted dialogue, tongue-in-cheek humour and colourful characters will linger long after the book is back on the shelf.”—Discovery Channel, in print“She’s a fictional 11-year-old girl detective living in England in 1950. 1. In rather an odd way, I despised Ophelia's memories of our mother.I looked up slowly from my work so that the round lenses of my spectacles would flash blank white semaphores of light at her. The book had belonged to Harriet.Soon, I found myself poring over its pages in every spare moment. In your view, is her dark matter-of-factness more refreshing or disturbing?5. Did I resent them? The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first in a series about Flavia de Luce as a detective. Their two yellow brick annexes, pustulantly Victorian, folded back like the pinioned wings of a boneyard angel which, to my eyes, gave the tall windows and shutters of Buckshaw's Georgian front the prim and surprised look of an old maid whose bun is too tight.A later de Luce, Tarquin—or Tar, as he was called—in the wake of a sensational mental breakdown, made a shambles of what had promised to be a brilliant career in chemistry, and was sent down from Oxford in the summer of Queen Victoria's Silver Jubilee.Tar's indulgent father, solicitous of the lad's uncertain health, had spared no expense in outfitting a laboratory on the top floor of Buckshaw's east wing: a laboratory replete with German glassware, German microscopes, a German spectroscope, brass chemical balances from Lucerne, and a complexly shaped mouth-blown German Geisler tube to which Tar could attach electrical coils to study the way in which various gases fluoresce.On a desk by the windows was a Leitz microscope, whose brass still shone with the same warm luxury as it had the day it was brought by pony cart from the train at Buckshaw Halt. Flavia de Luce, daughter to a philatelist colonel father and late mother, who dies when she was a baby, finds a body in the cucumber patch. "Father always said it would come as a bit of a shock to you. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the freshest new voice in mystery yet. Two lexicographers employed by the same company and separated by a century are at the heart of ... As challenges go, fatherhood can be beautiful and rewarding. I hadn't seen them—not since they had gagged and blindfolded me, then lugged me hog-tied up the attic stairs and locked me in the closet.Father glared at me over his spectacles for the statutory four seconds before he went back to mumbling over his sticky treasures.I shot him a broad smile, a smile wide enough to present him with a good view of the wire braces that caged my teeth. "Where's my pearl necklace? Find BookPage, About BookPage Only she has the ingenuity to follow the clues that reveal the victim’s identity, and a conspiracy that reaches back into the de Luces’ murky past. Although not classified as “youth” literature, 11-year-old Flavia will appeal to young readers. Can you think of other books that have used a similar protagonist?2. Bravo!” –Louise Penny, author of Still Life“The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the reader the precious gift of a richly imagined and luscious new world–but uniquely so, for this is the world of Flavia Sabina de Luce: an eleven-year-old, utterly winning, and altogether delightfully nasty piece of work. "—Christopher Fowler, author of the Peculiar Crimes Unit series“Sure in its story, pace and voice, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie deliciously mixes all the ingredients of great storytelling. Everybody says so. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie // Book Review. In The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Flavia de Luce brings something completely fresh and new to the mystery scene.Amateur chemist Flavia is all of 11 years old, but when a stranger gets murdered in her family’s garden, she is instantly determined to solve the murder. Through Flavia’s eyes what sort of a picture does Alan Bradley paint of the British aristocracy? Up to 50% Off Select Toys and Collectibles, Knock Knock Gifts, Books & Office Supplies, 25% Off B&N Exclusive Holiday Faux Fur Throws, B&N Exclusive Holiday Totes - $4.99 with Purchase, Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de, Divine Misdemeanors (Meredith Gentry Series #8), The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser Series #1), Lord Foul's Bane (First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold! Entwistle's pacing and inflections added both to the overall charm of the novel and to the tension of the action. The … Amazon Best of the Month, April 2009: It's the beginning of a lazy summer in 1950 at the sleepy English village of Bishop's Lacey.Up at the great house of Buckshaw, aspiring chemist Flavia de Luce passes the time tinkering in the laboratory she's inherited from her deceased mother and an eccentric great uncle. . Or perhaps as I resort to — and it is very, very rarely that I use this — that old cliché, a must-read.” –Reviewing the Evidence“A wonderfully written, engaging novel….It’s rare that a book of which I feel quite passionately enraptured crosses my desk, and this is one of those special books that fully deserves five stars. I did enjoy it but wonder about the age of the protagonist. Her wry, dry humour and resigned frustration with the adult world are seriously entertaining….I loved her to bits.” –Oh Baby Magazine, NZ“Delightfully entertaining.” –The Guardian, UK“The first page…is so delicious, that I actually had to stop in the middle of The Girl Who Played with Fire to read the rest of it. Or does she? That we had been ardent Catholics for four hundred years, and remained so, meant nothing to the inflamed citizenry of Bishop's Lacey. It was rumored that he had been studying the first-order decomposition of nitrogen pentoxide. "—Charles Todd, author of The Ian Rutledge series"A wickedly clever story, a dead true and original voice, and an English country house in the summer: Alexander McCall Smith meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Flavia walks right off the page and follows me through my day. Buckshaw, the de Luce ancestral home, is in a bit of an uproar. An 11-year old chemist with a passion for poisons delves into the world of philately (stamp collecting) to solve a murder.But what I discovered was an engaging and entertaining tale of intrigue, conspiracies, personal, and chemical interactions. Ophelia was not, as I was, a long-range planner who believed in letting the soup of revenge simmer to perfection.Quite suddenly after dinner, with Father safely retired to his study to gloat over his collection of paper heads, Ophelia had too quietly put down the silver butter knife in which, like a budgerigar, she had been regarding her own reflection for the last quarter of an hour. he dared not believe in this strange alternate world on which he suddenly found himself.Yet the Land tempted him. Flavia reminds us often about Harriet, the mother she never knew, and has many keepsakes that help her imagine what she was like. Book reviews. "Because you reminded her of her own baby pictures. Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley September 18, 2010 September 18, 2010 After hearing so many good things about Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mysteries, I had high hopes for this book – and I wasn’t disappointed. ), Bradley brilliantly weaves a web of murder, privilege, and PTSD around the protagonist and sleuth, eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce. Her long manicured fingernail tapped at the glass. "—Charles Todd, author of The Ian Rutledge series Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce proves to be one of the most precocious, resourceful, and well, just plain dangerous, heroines around. The title of the book was taken from the quote "Unless some sweetness at the bottom lie, who cares for all the crinkling of the pie?" What twists in the plot surprised you the most?10. But no, save getting mild revenge on a tormentor, 11-year-old Flavia uses her knowledge of poisons for good. His fresh and innovative Flavia de Luce…is a new voice that’s brilliant and fierce, funny and vulnerable….I couldn’t read the book fast enough…Another serving, please!” –Marie Ary, Seattle Mystery Bookshop; Seattle, Washington“Amazingly entertaining…The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie introduces a charming and engaging sleuth.”—Booklist, starred review“A fresh, engaging first novel.”—Library JournalPraise from the Debut Dagger Award Judges of the UK Crime Writers’ Association:"Really adored the voice of the characters in this- especially Flavia, the spirited main protagonist- and the sense of place is beautifully described, particularly when telling the history of the house and its inhabitants. "I shrugged. Thank heavens they had taken the key away with them. The coast was clear.Reaching above my head at the back of the closet, I unscrewed one of the wire coat hooks from its mounting board. . Would make very good Sunday night telly, I think. the sweetness at the bottom of the pie by Alan Bradley ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2009 A precocious 11-year-old chemist confesses to murder. 384 pages. "Ophelia and Daphne not down yet, Flavia?" The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: Review November 13, 2012 4 Comments I have waited entirely too long to write this review– almost over a year. Privacy Policy Talk about how Bradley brings the setting to life in this novel – not only Buckshaw itself, but Bishop’s Lacey and the surrounding area.11. Library Flavia is a wonderful creation, along with the rest of her eccentric family, and makes for a highly engaging sleuth. I breathed heavily through my nose, fighting desperately to remain calm. any year, returns with another irresistible Flavia de Luce novel. I tried counting to ten on every intake of breath, and to eight as I released each one slowly into the darkness. Alan Bradley discusses his first novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - the first of six planned books set in England in the 1950s, starring 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. Delacorte Press April 2009. First the cook finds a dead snipe with a stamp jammed on its beak on the doorstep. series“The toughest, funniest, wisest, private eye in the field these days.”—Houston ChronicleSpenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready ... “Covenant is [Stephen R.] Donaldson's genius!”—The Village VoiceHe called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, because ... “Covenant is [Stephen R.] Donaldson's genius!”—The Village VoiceHe called himself Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, because Discuss Flavia and her personality, and how her character drives this novel. Caught in one of those tight spots, Flavia believes no one in her Britishly undemonstrative family loves her. Get your copy of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie from: Amazon Bookshop Book Depository Kobobooks Booktopia OR listen to the audiobook FREE with Audible’s Trial (check eligibility) This book counts towards my participation in the Cozy Mystery Challenge. “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the reader the precious gift of a richly imagined and luscious new world–but uniquely so, for this is the world of Flavia Sabina de Luce: an eleven-year-old, utterly winning, and altogether delightfully nasty piece of work. "I leapt up from the table and fled the room in tears. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie falls within the tradition of English country house mysteries, but with the devilishly intelligent Flavia racing around Bishop’s Lacey on her bike instead of the expected older woman ferreting out the truth by chatting with her fellow villagers. ""A green Gladstone bag," Ophelia said. 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