In Alan Bradley’s charming tale, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Flavia de Luce is a tween on a mission. At just eleven years old, she’s precocious in the extreme. And when she finds a dead body in the cucumber patch, she feels compelled to investigate. Otherwise known as sticking her nose in everybody’s business.
Funny and presumptuous, Flavia keeps digging because it’s important to her. She’s a chemistry whiz and a logical, scientific thinker. Oh, but did I mention she’s eleven years old and has an attitude she won’t likely lose for many years? And that’s a good thing, because so far Bradley’s written eight Flavia novels. This is the first of the series.
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Jayne Entwistle who did a terrific job as Flavia in Bradley’s first-person perspective. She hits just the right note of proper English and a girl not yet a woman. Of course, much of that is due to the author himself who succeeds in getting inside Flavia’s head, which must be quite different from his own.
The story is fairly complex, has plenty of characters, and a couple of twists. It’s a good palate cleanser series in between or alongside books with heavier topics. Not that solving murders in 1950s England isn’t important, but Bradley does have a lighthearted approach.
I thoroughly enjoyed diving into this story and series, and am glad I have the second book already waiting on my shelf. I definitely recommend this book.