The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Quote from the book: “If there is a thing I truly despise, it is being addressed as “dearie.” When I write my magnum opus, A Treatise Upon All Poison, and come to “Cyanide,” I am going to put under “Uses” the phrase “Particularly efficacious in the cure of those who call one ‘Dearie.”
Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie    



The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie written by Alan Bradley

Published by Delacorte Press in April 2009

Blurb: 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. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

My take on it: Refreshing! That is the word I would use to describe Flavia de Luce. There are a lot of female characters in literature. They’re brave, romantic, silly, strong, caring etc. What I loved most about this book was that 11 year old Flavia is smart. Sure there many “smart” characters, but what was unique about this one is that she loves Chemistry! A very smart 11 year old girl who wants to be a chemist! Flavia is anything but the nose in her text book, boring kind of smart. She is also a little sassy, very adventurous and funny. Can you tell that I fell in love with her character? With each member of her family being totally different than the next she is finding her place and her passion. Always trying to be one step ahead of the investigator she stays busy trying to save her family and solve the crime that is laid at their door step. I haven’t read many 11-ish year old girl characters (though I have read a handful of young boy characters) so this was fun and new for me.

When I first picked this up as part of a book club read I didn’t realize that there are more novels starring Flavia de Luce. Yay! I can’t wait to see where her life takes her!

P.S. Apparently there is talk of making these Novels about Flavia into a TV series? Hmmm I will keep you posted if I hear any concrete news!


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