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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie ~ Alan Bradley

September 21, 2011

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Genre: Adult Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: Bantam
416 pages
ISBN: 9780385343497
Source: Book store

I have put off reading this since before it was published. I think it came out right around the time I started blogging and I found out about it via IndieNext or something of the sort. I loved the cover, loved the genre but was, I hate to say it, a little bit turned off by such a young narrator. I thought, for some reason, even though it’s billed as an adult mystery,m that it would be a little bit childish.

Silly me, as usual, of course.

I was so very wrong.

I feel like this has been the case, a lot, lately. And really, how could I not enjoy such a fun story?

Flavia de Luce is anything but your typical eleven year old. She’s obsessed with chemistry, primarily poison. Until the events in the book, she’s mostly concerned with using her talents against her evil older sisters in the form of fabulous things like rash-inducing lipstick.

Vengeful cosmetics take a backseat to true crime investigations though, the day a dead bird shows up on the door step of the de Luce household. Of course, things become dark fast when later on, that night, a corpse is found in their yard. Flavia, in all of her young brilliance throws herself into solving the case of both occurrences, no matter the obstacles in her path.

Written in the voice of a very precocious eleven year old, the story has the advantages of both being able to tap into the mature prose of gifted kids and also the occasional campy, melodrama of plain old eleven year olds.

The story itself is nothing short of fabulous, well written and very intricate. It gets a little slow in the middle but it picks up quickly after, getting seriously thrilly for the big ending.

This is the first of my R.I.P. challenge offerings and what a wonderful place to start! I’m on to the next in the series, now, and hopefully it will be as delightful as this was.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2011 11:15 pm

    I’ve heard really good things about this book! (I love the cover too!) So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the booK!

  2. September 21, 2011 11:47 pm

    I need to read this book! I have been meaning to for the longest time!

  3. September 22, 2011 8:59 am

    I’ve heard nothing but good about this book and the sequel.. ! glad you enjoyed it so much!

  4. September 22, 2011 9:26 am

    I have not read this, but have heard a lot of good things, especially about the protagonist. I can imagine that I would really like it, and I have to say that I am sort of taken with the idea of rash-inducing lipstick!

  5. September 22, 2011 9:34 am

    I’m really glad you liked this! I have this book sitting on my shelf waiting for me to start it for this challenge. Your review makes me want to read it even faster! 🙂

  6. September 22, 2011 1:13 pm

    I really enjoyed this book! I am hoping to get to the sequels, or at least one of them, very soon!

  7. September 22, 2011 3:57 pm

    Don’t you just love Flavia? I don’t think she is a realistic child but who cares? She is a kick to have as a narrator!

  8. September 22, 2011 10:21 pm

    I listened to this on audio and just adored Flavia! I must get to reading the other two in the series …

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