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Review: The sweetness at the bottom of the pie / Alan Bradley

July 24, 2013

This book is not exactly new, but it’s the first in a series featuring the precocious eleven-year old ‘detective’ Flavia de Luce. She lives is a shabby English country mansion, with her two older sisters and her widowed father. Largely left to her own devices, she inherited her mothers passion for chemistry, bolstered by self-taught experiments in an ancestor’s old laboratory. She has a special interest in poisons (very useful in getting revenge on her awful big sisters).

It sounds like a children’s book, right? But it’s actually one of those cross-over novels – young adult or adult fiction.  Some of the chemistry quoted is far above the heads of children, such as the formula for Potassium Cyanide!

In this, the first novel of the series, Flavia finds a mysterious corpse in the garden, and is dismayed when her father is arrested as the main suspect.  Flavia devotes her considerable intellect to discovering the real murderer, and spends many Click for cataloguehours bicycling around the country, and interacting with all sorts of interesting characters, who were well portrayed and easily imaginable on the small screen actually.

I couldn’t guess the ending –  the mark of a good mystery I think – and found it good fun and a satisfying read. And yes, there is a suspicous pie involved…

-Natalie

Read a Sample here

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