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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: 09/14/11

cover art

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley is another gem that was making the rounds of our local BookCrossing group. I'm glad I waited my turn to read it.

Flavia de Luce lives with her father and sisters in the once-grand Buckshaw mansion. She's obsessed by poisons and other unpleasantries. Her unusual hobbies come in handy when a man is found murdered in their garden. Her father is accused and Flavia takes it on her own to solve the mystery, knowing full well that her father couldn't have done it.

One of the only clues is an orange penny stamp stuck to the bill of a dead bird. It seems like such a strange detail but it's enough to send a message to anyone who knows how to decode it.

Flavia's research and investigation takes her to all sorts of interesting, old and sometimes crumbling locations, much like her own home. I loved the descriptions of these places especially the library with the barely standing shack which works as storage for the periodicals.

Flavia herself is of a similar personality to Theodosia Throckmorton. When describing the book to my husband (who loves to read over my shoulders), I said Flavia was like Theodosia's granddaughter.

Five stars.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Saturday, September, 17, 2011 at 07:01:00

Sarah Reads Too Much

I have not heard of this book before, but you make it sound really intriguing. I cannot for the life of me fathom what the stamp on the beak could possibly mean!

Comment #2: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 13:13:13


The stamp on the beak is thoroughly and clearly explained over the course of the book. You will know what it means by the time you're done reading it.

Comment #3: Saturday, September, 17, 2011 at 14:22:20


I love the Flavia de Luce series - and I've just happened on the Amelia Peabody series - she is just like a grown up Flavia! I hope you read and enjoy the other 2 Flavia books.

Comment #4: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 13:14:15


If you like the Amelia Peabody series, I recommend trying the Vicky Bliss series by the same author. The two are sort of connected, although Vicky Bliss is a detective in present day.

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