Book review by Aarene Storms: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Aarene Storms, Youth Services Librarian
Richmond Beach Library, KCLS

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by C. Alan Bradley

11-year-old Flavia deLuce is the youngest daughter of a fine old English family fallen onto hard times in the early 1950's. Fascinated by chemistry--and obsessed with poisons--Flavia is delighted rather than terrified when she finds a dead body in the cucumber garden. The murder (of course it is murder!) is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to Flavia, and soon she is hot on the trail of the murderer.

Eccentric stamp collectors, incompetent police detectives, a loony local librarian, an overly-motherly housekeeper who is a terrible cook, and some high-class sleight-of-hand are all part of a who-dunnit adventure that Agatha Christie would envy.

Although the protagonist is a precocious young girl, the book is written for an adult audience with cultural and historical references that younger readers would miss. The audiobook narrated by Jayne Entwistle is a delight. This book is the first in a series of "Flavia deLuce" mysteries.
The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

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