Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce is an eleven year old amateur sleuth and chemistry whiz living in 1950's England. She is the youngest of three girls with a widower father who is quite often inattentive. When a murder occurs in her backyard and her father is arrested for the crime, Flavia goes all out to solve the crime.
This may seem like a children's book because of Flavia's age but it really isn't. Teens may like this book but it would be too advanced for most children.
Flavia and her family, including the housekeeper and gardner, are interesting and flawed characters. Her father is still grieving for his wife, who disappeared while on a mountaineering expedition. Her older sisters can be cruel to Flavia and are obsessed with music and literature. Dogger, the gardner, suffered terribly in the war and has "episodes". He teaches Flavia interesting things like picking locks. Flavia seems much older than 11. She knows too much about chemistry and Shakespeare to be really believable, but if you can set belief aside she is a fun character that I look forward to reading more about as this is just the first of a series.
There was very little profanity, no sex, and just a little violence. Rated PG.

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