Tuesday, November 12

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Alan Bradley
(Flavia De Luce Mysteries #1)

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 9780385343497
Publisher: Bantam
Date of publication: April 28, 2008
Age: Grade 10 and up
Genre: Mystery

Themes: Murder, stamp collecting, chemistry, post-war Britain

Awards: Barry Award for Best First Novel (2010), Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel (2010), Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2010), Dilys Award (2010), Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel (2010), Agatha Award for Best First Novel (2009), The Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger (2007), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction & Mystery/Thriller (2009), Spotted Owl Award

Flavia de Luce, a precocious, curious, and nosy 11-year-old, enjoys spending time in her chemistry lab developing poisons. But one early morning, a sound draws Flavia to the garden where she discovers a dying man. She's too late to save him, so Flavia sets out to discover what happened to this apparent stranger, who clearly had the smell of poison on his breath. With the arrival of the police, however, her father is arrested, and Flavia's mission becomes all the more driven. It seems that the two men were school mates, and the crux of the murder are two very valuable postage stamps. Can Flavia find the stamps and determine the murderer without getting killed herself?

This thoroughly British mystery is delightful and exciting. While at times wordy (complex vocabulary, too) the literary elements were very well formed and really creative. It was simply enjoyable to read. The climax, while not unpredictable, was gripping. This book is one to be recommended.

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