The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
Author: Alan Bradley
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Description: The summer of 1950 hasn’t offered up anything out of the ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home’s abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.
But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia’s attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer 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.”
Did the stranger die of poisoning? There was a piece missing from Mrs. Mullet’s custard pie, and none of the de Luces would have dared to eat the awful thing. Or could he have been killed by the family’s loyal handyman, Dogger… or by the Colonel himself! At that moment, Flavia commits herself to solving the crime — even if it means keeping information from the village police, in order to protect her family. But then her father confesses to the crime, for the same reason, and it’s up to Flavia to free him of suspicion. 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. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this read and considering that I have been reading some pretty dense books and that this has been on my shelves for almost three and a half years, I was glad for the break. I also listened to the audio as I read the book and felt that the reader who narrated the book did a really good job. I like how Flavia was a pretty typical 11-year old, except that she really isn't a typical 11-year old. I love the quirkiness that is Flavia and how she figures things out and I also like how she interacts with the people in her village. There was something about the book that made me smile as I read the book and also chuckle as I read the book. Its a really enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Bottom line: I would probably recommend the book to most readers that like to have a fairly light read on hand. Its something that one can read in the matter of a few days or less and can delight almost anybody.
Pages for 2012: 21756