It’s the summer of 1950 and twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is tinkering away in her chemical lab inside the once great house of Buckshaw, in a sleepy English village. The lab is an inheritance from her passed on mother and eccentric uncle. And Flavia loves it, after all she has a gifted mind for mixing chemicals and the study of poisons.
One morning Flavia left the comforts of the lab for a stroll around the acreage she calls home and after finding a dead bird on the doorstep with a postage stamp stuck on its beak,, to her surprise (and delight) she discovers a body among the cucumber patch. While the police seem to be taking their own sweet time making error after error in trying to solve the crime, Flavia decided to solve the crime herself.
Welcome to Flavia de Luce’s world.
For Flavia, 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.”
Finally I find myself exploring Alan Bradleys books. I knew nothing going in. I did not know that The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie was the first in a series of Flavia De Luce novels… see…. out of loop….
I went into this one on audio and my first initial thought was I thought it sounded a bit like the Bloody Jack audio books (stories of a wild and smart tom boyish young girl), and the narration of Jayne Entwistle gave it that feel, which excited me as the Bloody Jack audio are fantastic!
The story line of our young detective Flavia, is fun. She it witty. She is smart beyond her years. She has siblings that do not play strong enough parts (at least in this book) for me to even remember their names, but she being the youngest, and seemingly the smartest, has a bit of fun with them that makes their back seat roles in this read favorable and “smile worthy”.
While I found the writing rich, the narration with the strong accent delightful, I can not say I loved it. I think for starters I could not wrap my head around Flavia being twelve and working in a chemical lab and being as smart and as able to get around the way she did …
it just didn’t mesh for me – and yeah, I know I am in the minority on this one.
So my thoughts are if you enjoy well written (and well read) books that may be a bit far-fetched but certainly fun… you will want to give the Flavia de Luce mysteries a try. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first of the books. #2 – The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag,#3- A Red Herring Without Mustard and #4, I am Half-Sick of Shadows.
See some other reviews from bloggers that I trust:
I borrowed this audio from our awesome library