Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: Mini Book Review

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (The Buckshaw Chronicles #1)
by Alan Bradley
Doubleday Canada (Random House)
ISBN: 9780385665834
Buy from Indigo

Description: The summer of 1950 hasn't offered up anything out of the ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home's abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.

But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia's attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer 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."

Did the stranger die of poisoning? There was a piece missing from Mrs. Mullet's custard pie, and none of the de Luces would have dared to eat the awful thing. Or could he have been killed by the family's loyal handyman, Dogger… or by the Colonel himself! At that moment, Flavia commits herself to solving the crime - even if it means keeping information from the village police, in order to protect her family. But then her father confesses to the crime, for the same reason, and it's up to Flavia to free him of suspicion. Only she has the ingenuity to follow the clues that reveal the victim's identity, and a conspiracy that reaches back into the de Luces' murky past.

A thoroughly entertaining romp of a novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is inventive and quick-witted, with tongue-in-cheek humour that transcends the macabre seriousness of its subject

 Mini Book Review: As usual when I love a book I struggle with reviewing it.  My jumbled way of writing (not to mention my way of speaking) cannot due justice to the brilliance of this story.  Flavia is a delightfully wicked little imp. She is charming yet devilishly naughty and positively brilliant.  I fell in love with her within 5 paragraphs of this wonderfully charming, yet fast paced story. Bradly is a gifted storyteller and it was the kind of book you just don't want to put down. The opening paragraph hooks you in and it just keeps getting better and better. It is full of dark twisted humour,  fascinating secondary characters and an enchanting setting. I need to move in to Buckshaw just to spend time in my dream library. I am a little disappointed that I have to read 4 or 5 other books before I can get to the next story in this wonderful series. I look forward to learning more about Flavia and her truly unique world.  I think fans of The Spellman Files will enjoy as well.

Favorite Quote

 "I made the Girl Guide three-eared bunny salute with my fingers. I did not tell him that I was technically no longer a member of that organization, and hadn't been since I was chucked out for manufacturing ferric hydroxide to earn my Domestic Service badge. No one had seemed to care that it was the antidote for arsenic poisoning."

5 Dewey's

I purchased this after my coworker and Fellow Jen recommended it to me - Thanks Jen, you were bang on


  1. It's always difficult to read the books you really love! And I agree this is a fabulous one. Flavia is one of my favourite literary characters.

  2. I love Flavia as a character, I've only read one of the books but it was completely awesome! These are definitely great books, and you don't have to read them in order is also a good thing.

    1. I have the next two in the series and can't wait to read them. Have to read about 10 other books before I get to them but still can't wait. Thanks for coming by and commenting. With a blog you never know if people are actually reading