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Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

May 28, 2010

Budding chemist Flavia de Luce lives in an old English manor, Buckshaw, with her widowed father and her two older sisters.  One day, they discover a bird with an old postage stamp impaled on its beak laying on their front steps.  Later that same day, Flavia discovers a man dying in their garden.

When Flavia’s father is arrested for the murder, she takes it upon herself to solve the case.  When she visits her father in jail he tells her a secret from his past that she thinks is tied to the current mystery.  She investigates and finds herself in the middle of quite a mess.

After seeing Candace of Beth Fish Reads tweet about it, I decided to listen to the audio version of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, and I am so glad I did!  The audio version is read by Jayne Entwistle and her voice is absolutely perfect for Flavia!  She also narrates this trailer:

I’m sure everyone’s read at least a dozen reviews of this book by now and I really don’t have much to add, but I just loved Flavia!  She’s such an endearing character with her passion for chemistry and her bicycle named Gladys.  I loved her independence, her curiosity and her saucy ways.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first book in a series and I look forward to continuing it.  I found the book to be charming and delightful and enjoyed the setting (both time and place) as well as the characters.  This is a book you won’t want to miss!

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. May 28, 2010 6:02 am

    It was a good book, that I enjoyed when I read it, but it is not a book that stayed with me since. Not sure why…

  2. May 28, 2010 6:26 am

    I loved this as well, and can understand why listening to the audio version would be a treat.

  3. May 28, 2010 6:31 am

    I loved this one too; #2 is very good as well.

  4. drbethnolan permalink
    May 28, 2010 6:33 am

    I loved this book, too! However, I was a bit disappointed in the second one. I just love the character of Flavia, though! 🙂 -Beth

  5. May 28, 2010 7:10 am

    I haven’t read it yet but now I think I should track down the audiobook. Thanks for posting the video!

  6. May 28, 2010 7:36 am

    Really need to get to this one. I know I’ll love it!

  7. May 28, 2010 8:01 am

    I just picked this book up from the library yesterday. I think Flavia sounds like a characater I will like very much. Now I’m wishing I checked out the audio version.

  8. May 28, 2010 8:10 am

    Thanks for the trailer! You are right – her voice is the perfect Flavia.

    While I did not ‘love’ this book, I did enjoy it enough to want to read the second in the series. Perhaps I will look into “reading” the audio version.

  9. May 28, 2010 8:24 am

    Sounds awesome. I’m going to suggest it to the ladies in my book club. Thanks!

  10. May 28, 2010 8:33 am

    I’ve got this one on my shelves, in my “to be read sooner rather than later but not too soon” pile. I’ve been reading “Love Walked In” and the sequel “Belong to Me”, which features some pretty charming kids. I am not often swayed by kid characters in books, but after my encounter with these ones recently, I know I’d probably have the same impression of Flavia. Everyone seems to love her!

  11. May 28, 2010 8:59 am

    I have this one and hope to read it soon. It has been so popular.

  12. May 28, 2010 9:12 am

    I just picked up this book whilst looking for another Alan Bradley book which came with very good reviews. Am looking forward to reading this one.

  13. May 28, 2010 9:22 am

    Oh, this sounds great.

  14. May 28, 2010 10:07 am

    Oh, I would love to read or listen to this book! I love her accent. 🙂

  15. May 28, 2010 10:58 am

    So many people have liked this book and I keep thinking I should read it but when I read the description it just doesn’t sound like it’s for me. Glad you liked it. Hope you’re having fun!

  16. May 28, 2010 11:17 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I loved it. The second one was really good, but I think the first one was just a wee bit better. Anyway, I’d recommend it.

    Thanks for including the trailer. I hadn’t seen it yet.

  17. May 28, 2010 11:48 am

    i really want to read this book! i need to get started on the series before i fall too far behind on it.

  18. May 28, 2010 12:09 pm

    I envy you for having read it. It’s on my wish list! Great review!

  19. May 28, 2010 1:24 pm

    This one came in the mail just this week, it is on my list for the year.

  20. boardinginmyforties permalink
    May 28, 2010 2:26 pm

    This sounds great. Thanks for sharing the book trailer too. I’m just starting to look at these and notice them. In this case the book trailer and your review make me want to read this one.

  21. May 28, 2010 3:07 pm

    I am going to my local independent book store this weekend with a list and I will put this on it. Thank you. Love your suggestions.

  22. May 28, 2010 4:08 pm

    Ugh, Flavia. Sorry! But somebody had to not like it.

  23. May 28, 2010 4:46 pm

    I can’t wait to read this one, I think I’ll love it. Terrific review, Kathy!

  24. May 28, 2010 9:10 pm

    This book was such a wonderful escape.

  25. May 28, 2010 11:06 pm

    I love Flavia. I’ve been reading the second one and it is just as good!

  26. May 29, 2010 12:23 am

    According to my 11-year-old granddaughter, I have to read this one. I’m glad it’s good. She and I are going to read it this summer.

  27. May 29, 2010 2:23 am

    Ooh. I’ve heard really good things about this book. After your review, maybe I’ll try and get it on audio. Thanks for the review!

  28. May 29, 2010 3:20 am

    With a glowing review by you, I don’t think I should miss it. I will include this in my wish list. Thanks, Kathy!

  29. May 29, 2010 7:31 am

    I’m so happy that you enjoyed this one and equally happy that the narrator was great on the audio version!!

  30. May 29, 2010 5:15 pm

    This is one of those times when I feel like a reader failure. I have not heard of this book until now – even though I read Amy’s blog too! So, thank you for reviewing it. Sweetness may be old to some, but new to me, and it’s on my ever-growing TBR list now.

  31. May 29, 2010 9:35 pm

    Isn’t Flavia a kick? I imagine this might work well on audio with the right narrator!

  32. May 30, 2010 12:27 am

    The second book is even better. You’ll love it.

  33. May 30, 2010 3:44 am

    I’m really looking forward to reading this one. I’m glad you liked it, Kathy.

  34. May 30, 2010 9:21 am

    I’m so glad I didn’t steer you wrong! Flavia is one of my favorite characters.

  35. May 30, 2010 1:05 pm

    I love that she named her bike Gladys! I have been hearing some great things about this book, and really want to read it. It sounds like it would make a perfect light read to sandwich in between some heavier works. Great review, Kathy!

  36. May 31, 2010 12:26 pm

    I definitely want to get this one–if only to find out why everyone loves Flavia so much!

  37. May 31, 2010 12:55 pm

    I’m probably the only one that didn’t care for Flavia/The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I’m so glad you did though. 🙂

  38. May 31, 2010 9:03 pm

    I loved this book and will have to listen to the audio version sometime in the coming months. I’m anxious to read/listen to the second in the series, too.

  39. stacybuckeye permalink
    June 2, 2010 10:19 am

    I’ve got this on my list because I’m looking forward to saucy Flavia 🙂

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