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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


Item Details

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.
Authors: Bradley, C. Alan, 1938-
Title: The sweetness at the bottom of the pie
Publisher: New York :, Delacorte Press,, 2009.
Characteristics: 373 p. ;,20 cm.
Summary: 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.
Local Note: 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15
Core Title - Book Club
ISBN: 0385343493
9780385343497
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From the critics


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Comment by: JCLJulieT Report This 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 about miscellaneous things (here, chemistry), slang or period language, interesting characters, appealing binding. But it was also trite and cliche, too Deus-ex-machina throughout, violent towards a child, and either hard to follow or not forthcoming with important details. Some sentences made me rolls eyes, and things happened "suddenly" too often. Ramble: Why the title? The saying was referenced a few times, but never tied to the story. And who smuggles birds in pies, anyway? Wouldn't it be easier to hide it in a shoe? Or bring it in to the country live and dispense with it after? I really want to like this series, though, hence 2 stars instead of 1. Also, I think I'll read the next one, because the binding/cover keeps me hopeful.

Comment by: LorieH Report This Oct 26, 2010

one of my favorites


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Report This 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.

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

BRILLIANT AND MASTERFULL

Report This Oct 21, 2013
  • mbssmith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was an amazing book! I loved Flavia's character and the storyline so much! However Flavia and her sisters are so extremely horrible to each other. They make sister's who pull each others hair seem affectionate and kind. The ending was great!

Report This Aug 07, 2013
  • artemishi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you're a fan of mystery, strong female characters, chemistry, and/or Britain in the 1950s, you should read this at once! This book was utterly delightful, with it's intelligent and curious lead, Flavia de Luce, and a host of very real and entertaining folks. I did not figure out the mystery until 3/4 of the way through the book (which is unusual- it really kept me guessing until the author revealed the truth). I kept staying up late to read 'just one more chapter'. I'm now a confirmed fan of Alan Bradley, and can't wait to read his other Flavia de Luce mysteries!

Report This Jul 29, 2013
  • hania4987 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Ok ... I love the terribly precocious Flavia de Luce. Her fascination and expertise with science, esp chemistry, esp poisons blended with her vengeful existence with her older sisters makes for a formidable 11 year old. Her vulnerability in her relationship with her father and Dogger and her wistful longing for her mother (who passed away when she was 1 yr old) make her an unforgettable character. This is a classic Brit detective story set in the countryside with a good dose of dark humor. Thank you Sara A for recommending this book!

Report This May 28, 2013
  • Australia42 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you like quirky sweet stories about strong spirited kids, you will LOVE this book and this girl. There are a lot of big words. I will warn you of that. And I am a very well educated adult. BUT, this is one of my new favorite books and a series I am gobbling up. Precocious Flavia de Luce is the heroine of our story at 10 years old. She is witty, sly, and bloody brilliant. And she details her chemistry experiments and deductions. Quite educational!

More proof that just because "everyone" likes a book it doesn't mean I will. I'm sure there are plenty of people who find Flavia charming, who loved the story, and who can't wait for the next book to come out. I'm not one of them. The only thing I enjoyed was...well...hm. Tough call. By the time I'd reached my 50 page "love it or leave it" test, I was more than ready to leave it.

Report This Apr 12, 2013
  • andreajomartin rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Really fantastic first novel of the series. I loved Flavia and her penchant for finding her way right to the middle of the mystery. What a smart little heroine Alan Bradley has created!

Report This Apr 07, 2013
  • gr8_reader rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

not bad but not as good as the reviews lead me to believe... found it hard to get into and frustrating while reading it... liked the protagonist but not as much as others... but enough to read the second one in the series (which I liked MUCH better)...

Report This Apr 04, 2013
  • EricaReynolds rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very enjoyable. A perfect vacation read. I look forward to reading the other books in the series. The plucky and wry Flavia is a most appealing character.

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Report This Oct 16, 2011
  • nipper rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

very good.....narrator and story teller is 11 years old and a budding chemist....nicely told

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

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

Report This 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.

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Report This May 12, 2010
  • vickiz rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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