The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Bradley, C. Alan

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.

Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 2009.
ISBN: 9780385343497
Characteristics: 373 p. ;,20 cm.


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List - JoCoLibrary PRL 10423 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Feb 23, 2015


List - JoCoLibraryPRL 10143 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Aug 08, 2014

added by JCLGreggW

Comment by: JCLStaff_Erica Apr 02, 2013

A terrific, quick, amusing read. A great vacation read. Very enjoyable. Loved Flavia, the main character. She's young, bright, brave and curious. And her love of chemistry and in particular, poisons, is oddly endearing. Recommended.

Comment by: JCLJulieT Mar 29, 2013

I don't know if I didn't like this book because it took me so long to read (started it 3 times over more than a year), or if it took me a long time to read because I didn't like it. Regardless, I was disappointed.

This book seemed to offer many of the trappings I enjoy: crime, weird details a... Read More »

Comment by: LorieH Oct 26, 2010

one of my favorites

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Mar 21, 2015
  • khill11 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really liked this book. Couldn't put it down. Good story and mystery. Flavia is a very likeable character. Will definitely read more in the series. Don't know if they will be as good as this one but enjoyed the writing.

Jan 28, 2015
  • julia_sedai rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I finally read this book after many recommendations and I am glad I read it. That being said, it's not my favourite. Although most people really like Flavia, I just found I couldn't. I guess I just feel that she is a brat. Also, I was distracted by how many similes and metaphors there are. I couldn't even follow most of them. However, all in all I did like it and I do recommend it for teenagers, young adults, and adults! I probably will eventually read the whole series.

Jan 22, 2015
  • greenjellyfish rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I have to say, when I began Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, I found myself falling into some fairly large plot holes. I couldn't shrug off the feeling of disconnect between our narrator (Miss de Luce) and some of the characters closest to her. It felt as if the author himself was at a loss about their relationship, as if he was feeling his way. This was, of course, almost a deal breaker for me, but I persevered and oh how glad I am I did.

I simply adore this book. I love the language, the setting, the plot -- everything. But, of course, I especially love Flavia de Luce. Who wouldn't. Precocious is an understatement in any attempt to describe our protagonist and a polite one at that (for those who have finished the book, there are several words beginning with the letter P that could be brought to bear by a certain character).

Anyway, leaving the bumpy beginning aside, this story swept me up, had me enthralled, laughing, puzzled, and even saddened. Thinking about it now, Bradley seems to address the short comings found at the beginning by the end of the book.

I am sure I will be grabbing the next in the series and the one after that.

Jan 05, 2015
  • AuntJane rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I'll admit I had a hard time getting into this story - I picked it up and put it down several times. I finally forced myself to read it and actually grew to appreciate Flavia and her quirkiness. Will try the next one in the series.

Aug 01, 2014

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Great little mystery novel with the wonderful character of young Flavia. I was happy to discover there are more Flavia tales and look forward to reading them."

Jun 13, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Through the dry and age-authentic narration of an 11 year old aspiring detective and precocious poison-ophile, we follow her inquiry into what was a behind the murder (possibly by her father) of an apparent stranger in a 1950's British country town. Involves stamp collecting, prestidigitation, a look in to her father's teenage years, and some interesting chemical asides.
- Jill Rothstein

May 12, 2014

from Rocky 5/2014. This is the first of the Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley.

Apr 30, 2014
  • Amie rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Flavia is a great heroine - gutsy, smart, always getting into and out of scrapes. So happy to have found her and I love the rest of the titles by this author.

Feb 15, 2014
  • BobScott36 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I absolutely love Flavia de Luce. She is everything an investigator should be. Curious, intelligent, persistent, and smart. Also driven by loyalty to her father & family. Of course she is only 11 years old, but her fascination with chemistry stands her in good stead in her quest.

Jan 04, 2014
  • emmadragons rated this: 5 stars out of 5.


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May 28, 2013
  • mlabreche11 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

mlabreche11 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

May 03, 2011
  • cino1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

cino1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Dec 21, 2010
  • hil_elrick rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

hil_elrick thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jun 10, 2009
  • Amie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Amie thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Apr 30, 2011
  • ladnerlass rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

11 yr old Flavia de Luce murder mystery. 1st in a series

Aug 07, 2010
  • ampie rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Flavia de Luce is an 11 yr. old chemistry whiz. She has two older sisters with whom she is at odds. Her father, a philatelist, is distant and unavailable and she is largely parented by the housekeeper and the gardener. She helps solve the murder of one of her father's school friends who is found dead in the garden.

Jul 06, 2010

An adult book but can be read by advanced younger readers. Main character is a young, strong female who finds herself in danger while investigating a mystery that arrived at her doorstep.


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Feb 02, 2010

"I was me. I was Flavia. And I loved myself, even if no one else did." - p 59

Oct 29, 2009
  • michael12 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.


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