Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley, is a very good book. I wasn't sure what to expect but I'd read some good reviews so I was hopeful.

The story is about a young girl named Flavia. She is eleven-years-old and lives with her father and two sisters in an old estate home in England during the 1950's. She has a passion for chemistry and a fondness for torturing her sisters with her experiments. When she happens upon a dying man in her garden, she sets out to solve the mystery of who he was and how he died. She and her trusty bike, Gladys, set off to gather clues and put the pieces together, always one step ahead of the police.

Flavia is a unique character. She's a child who thinks like an adult and yet is still a little girl, seeking a relationship with her father and grieving for a mother she never knew. I found the character to be more interesting than the mystery in some ways. I also love that she named her bike. It gives her a bit of quirkiness which I enjoy.

The mystery is intriguing and the author nicely weaves in backstory to make it more complex. I've heard rumors that there may be more books about Flavia and I look forward to reading them. This is not a young adult novel but teens could easily read the book. There isn't anything to take offense to. It should appeal to all mystery fans, especially those who like clues coming together to form facts.

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