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download The Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieAuthor Alan Bradley –

I really wanted to like thisthen I ended up doing The story started off slowly, then picked up steam with a murder to solve and some interesting backstory on stamps What hindered my enjoyment of the book, the story and the murder mystery was, unfortunately, the main character and detective Flavia duLuce.To say that young Flavia is precocious is an understatement She has to be one of the most intelligent, well spoken, criminal minds since Sherlock Holmes Problem is, she s only 11 years old, and she s totally unbelievable to me Hey, I respect intelligent fictional kids as crime solvers I grew up reading Trixie Belden for pete s sake But Flavia s brand of intelligence is far beyond what I can believe or accept in a pint size crime solver As a result, I spent the majority of the book rolling my eyes over the things she said, the deductions she made, and the way she handled the sticky situations she found herself in.Look, I can suspend my belief in unbelievable books when the author creates a world that I can accept Case in point a 100 year old sparkling virgin vampire Flavia, however, resisted all my attempts to reconcile and readjust my mind set to embrace She s obviously got a goodly number of admirers As for me, I side with her sisters in wanting to lock her in a dark closet and keep her there Flavia de Luce is an 11 year old amateur sleuth, a future chemist and poison enthusiast She lives with her widowed father and two older sisters at Buckshaw a decaying English country side mansion Flavia s days are occupied with chemical experiments and schemes of spiking her evil older sister Ophelia s lipstick with poison ivy That is until one fateful day a dead bird with a postage stamp stuck to its beak is found on the doorstep of Buckshaw Even , soon after Flavia finds a dead man in the cucumber patch and witnesses his last breath Flavia is not shocked or upset by the event after all, she doesn t even know the man Quite the opposite, she is energized and excited finally she can apply her genius brain to something useful to solving a crime At the core of the novel is a murder mystery It is not particularly complicated or mind blowing, it is rather easy to solve But the strength of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is not in the mystery It is in the setting, an amusing cast of characters, and mainly in its narrator Flavia is a charming heroine with a very distinct voice that is a perfectly blended combination of childish innocence and book smarts The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a delight to read It is light and has an air of innocence about it The story is set in 1950 although it feels like a decade or two earlier at times , the time when 11 year old girls could still ride their bicycles to the nearby villages without the fear of being snatched by some psycho, and it s a relief to read a book without constantly freaking out about a child s safety I think this book will appeal to a lot of people who enjoy reading mysteries without gore and excessive violence, those who are looking for a comfort read, an English country side mystery sprinkled with humor, poisons, and philately. So I m the outlier I cannot abide Flavia de Luce yes, the same Flavia de Luce that everyone else in the reading universe or at least the subset of those who enjoy mysteries loves, adores, enjoys For months I hid my outlier status by changing the applicable shelf from currently reading to to read , but have decided that today I shall end the deception and own my outlier status I am a grown woman I can handle the blow back from admitting that being forced to read onepage relating to Flavia de Luce would be an effective means of torture for anyone seeking a method to use on me, for future reference I shall not read Bradley s novels in a box, or with a fox So help me, God. A historical mystery, set in England, narrated by a precocious 11 year old girl I feel like I should have loved this, but mostly it just bored me Flavia s narration, designed to show off how brilliant she is, lacked the necessary wit and charm, and her investigation into a couple of murders and some missing stamps was full of weird leaps of logic and sideways step conclusions I never felt involved or like any part of the story was real or mattered. It Is The Summer OfAnd At The Once Grand Mansion Of Buckshaw, Young Flavia De Luce, An Aspiring Chemist With A Passion For Poison, Is Intrigued By A Series Of Inexplicable Events A Dead Bird Is Found On The Doorstep, A Postage Stamp Bizarrely Pinned To Its Beak Then, Hours Later, Flavia Finds A Man Lying In The Cucumber Patch And Watches Him As He Takes His Dying BreathFor Flavia, Who Is Both Appalled And Delighted, Life 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 A clever, witty and perfectly orchestrated young adult crime fun.The rise offemale main protagonists, not just in movies, but also in literature has begun and this masterpiece is a prime example of it I like that the main protagonist idealizes MINT, especially chemistry and is so smart in comparison with her stereotypical, superficial sisters The sarcasm and extremely wise world view of the first person characterization gives a unique and intense insight into the thinkings and feelings of an outstanding intelligent girl In many literary cases, such talents are mixed with deficits in reading others mimic, feelings and intentions, but Flavia is brilliant in each regard.No matter if one likes irony, characters reflecting and overanalyzing anything, a fine crime plot or just a very well written young adult novel with a memorable lead character, this series has something for each group.Tropes show how literature is conceived and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique I absolutely loved Sweetness The narrator protagonist is one of the cleverest, liveliest, most entertaining characters I have had the pleasure to meet in many a year I laughed aloud many times and couldn t wait to get back to reading this gem Flavia is the 11 year old daughter of a widower in England in the 50s She loves science and mystery, despises her haughty clueless sisters, and is plotting to poison them and get away with it When mysterious crimes happen at the family home, she thrusts herself into solving them.I have a definite soft spot for wit and humor in fiction and this book hit it out of the park on that score Add to the mix a good mystery and the prospect of manystories to come featuring this spunky scientist pre teen and I am really excited All time favorite and beginning of my love with the Flavia books Flavia de Luce is one of the most unique young heroines I ve ever encountered in literature Story takes place in England in the 1950 s Flavia is the youngest of 3 sisters and unlike many girls her age She is IN LOVE with everything chemistry She spends most of her time in her own company reading complicated college and beyond chemistry books and has a well stocked lab which she uses to conjure up all manner of things, including a bacteria stocked tube of lipstick to make her sister s lips blister The story starts with the discovery of a dead bird on the doorstep with a stamp through it s beak, then a man who shows up at their doorstep who argues with her father, she isn t able to see the man s face In the morning Flavia discovers a man drawing his last breath in the garden.The story is wonderfully told in her intelligent, impish British accent, at times just a touch annoying This story just got better and better from beginning to end She was way ahead of the police in solving the crime, at the end informing the police chief of all of the details, how it was accomplished, how she figured it all out, etc, to the chief s amazement.Very, very good story Great writing, wonderful heroine, descriptive prose well describing the British countryside, sounds and smells I thoroughly enjoyed it. When young Flavia de Luce, aspiring chemist, finds a body in the cucumber patch outside her father s house, she finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and murderI m not really sure how my love of detective fiction led me to this tale of an eleven year old girl in 1950s England solving a mystery involving stamps but I m glad it did.Flavia de Luce is a precocious English girl with a passion for chemistry in general and poisons in particular She lives in an English country house with her father and two sisters, Ophelia and Daphne The mystery component of the book is secondary to the delightful antics of Flavia She s funny as hell and wise beyond her years.Bradley s writing takes what probably would have been a two star mystery and kicks things up several notches The writing style reminds me of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers with a pinch of P.G Wodehouse and was a delight to read The mystery itself isn t that great, although Bradley red herring ed my ass about a fourth of the way through Parts of it reminded me of Nancy Drew and others reminded me of the cozy mysteries of yore I was less than 100 pages in when I resolved to read the entire series.Four out of five stars I m looking forward to readingadventures of Flavia de Luce. A mystery about a precocious child, whom I would like to like, but suspect that she would not be enjoyable to be around Flavia, when not tormenting her eldest sister, attempts to solve a murder in 1950 in Great Britain I wanted to like this book, as much as the title appealed to me, but only finished out of a sense of duty, having bought the book based on the reviews rather than borrowing it A good lesson, to remind me of the perils of random purchasing.My quibbles, if anyone is so interested 1 Eleven Really Hard to bite on that premise, as her being little older would have been less of a strain on the imagination, not a lot, but it would have helped.2 Perhaps the first person narrative added to the believability challenge her descriptions observations were not in keeping with her age or experience e.g in Ch 5 Now, a quarter century after the last Lagonda had rolled out of its doors, the building had fallen, like old crockery in the servant s quarters, into a kind of chipped and broken decrepitude Or this little beauty from Ch.12 as if some sour old chamberlain were looking on dyspeptically as his mistress unfurled silk stockings over her long, youthful legs I had no problems with the observations themselves, just that their source was an eleven year old, genius or not A third person narrative might have been less jarring, though still rather over written if not purple prose then at least mauve.3 Perhaps her knowledge of so many topics, not just having taught herself chemistry, but books, movies and music was just a little too much to swallow Specific references include The Third Man 1949, Cinderella 1950 if it played in GB as it was only in limited release in the US in 1950 although perhaps besides the gramophone she also had a record player and a copy of the one of the 1949 78 rpm recordings , We Dive at Dawn 1943 , Modern Times 1936 the last Little Tramp film , A Matter of Life and Death 1946 various titled classical music pieces with some rather strong opinions and composer preferences And apparently she also was conversant with her history and Olivier, picturing him as Henry II, in a quote which sounds Shakespearean, but isn t Also Poe, du Maurier, Stephen Leacock, Gilbert and Sullivan, netsuke, lock picking and the prison system Wormwood Scrubs Quite impressive, since in 1950 she wasn t attending school good thing she was self motivated.Maybe the author was trying to anchor the book into the time and place, but the references had the opposite effect of reassuring me, drawing my attention and distracting me from the story itself as should be obvious by the fact I looked up some of the info stated above.Since this is the author s first book, I might be inclined to borrow the second book and see if there are any stylistic improvements, but suspect that, with all the accolades for book one, there would be little incentive to do so.