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: 0385343493
Characteristics: 373 p. ;,20 cm.


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List - JoCoLibraryPRL 10143 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Aug 08, 2014

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List - JoCoLibraryPRL 10094 by: JoCoLibraryPRL Apr 28, 2014

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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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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.

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."

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

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

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.


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!

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!

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!

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!

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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.


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