The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Book - 2009
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Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780385342308
0385342306
Branch Call Number: FICTION Bra
Description: 373 pages ; 20 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Young Flavia de Luce, an inspiring chemist with a passion for poison, becomes intrigued by a series of inexplicable events involving a dead bird, a postage stamp, and a dying man lying in a cucumber patch. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t," she explains. "Quite the contrar... Read More »

List - A Killer Plot
CRRL_JohnGaines Feb 02, 2019

It is the summer of 1950, and 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. For Flavia, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. (catalog description)

It is the summer of 1950, and 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. For Flavia, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

Precocious 11-year old fascinated with chemistry and death bicycles around Bishop's Lacey from ancient country house Buckshaw in 1950s England.

Picture a girl who lives there with her most unusual family. Her name is Flavia de Luce—and she’s almost eleven.

Picture a long-abandoned Victorian... Read More »

I am late getting on the Flavia de Luce bandwagon, and I don’t know why! But I am looking forward to binge-reading all seven (so far!) titles in this charming series. Flavia is 11, and is a student of chemistry, especially poison. She is alternately ignored or teased by her two older sisters. ... Read More »


From the critics


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k
kvanmooresma
Oct 23, 2019

I thoroughly enjoy Flavia. All of the book in this series make me happy.

a
awyss23
Jul 31, 2019

Once I suspended my disbelief about Flavia's age because that was just ridiculous it was a fun mystery.

l
lyndasclater
Jul 28, 2019

Bookclub: Apr/19

PawsFurBooks Jun 20, 2019

Funny story - I've tried reading this book, I think, 3 times before both in audio and print and could never finish it. But now I have finished it! *jazz hands* And it was really enjoyable.

I had been reading a lot of non-fiction that dealt with some heavy topics that were hitting me right in the feels and wanted something that was light but still witty and smart. This fit the bill! Flavia is such a wonderful main character to live through and she makes me wish I liked/was good at chemistry (alas, I am not, nor shall I ever be). For whatever reason, the narrator's voice didn't get on my nerves as it did before and I actually was impressed with it this time around. The narrator does a perfect voice for Flavia. And though this is classified at my library as adult mystery, I think a middle schooler who is of strong mental disposition (interpret as you will) would enjoy this and be appropriate.

k
KarenBeenken
Jun 07, 2019

5 stars!

r
ryner
Jun 05, 2019

Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce is understandably surprised to discover a dying man late one night in the garden of her family's English estate. When the investigators' suspicions come to rest on her own father as murderer, she resolves to solve the mystery first. Our heroine, a wunderkind in the field of chemistry, is also charmingly plucky and exceedingly entertaining. I'll definitely read further into this series.

b
Brontina66
May 03, 2019

I had heard about this book and had to wait a little before I could check it out, but it was definitely worth it. Flavia de Luce is an adorable character (well, her sisters would not agree, but still): she is (occasionally) compassionate, very smart, an expert chemist, curious and brave. Did I mention she is also a would-be poisoner? I don't think there are many 11-year-old sleuth in literature, but if there are, they cannot hold a candle to Flavia! The story is very original and rather complex. You need a background in the history of Victorian stamps, but the author, Alan Bradley, provides it in a relaxing and interesting way, so that you learn while enjoying yourself, and those are the best kind of books, if you ask me! There are also some serious themes, such as the war or the loss of a parent, and you feel that they are part of the world where Flavia lives and she knows how to deal with them. Well, I cannot wait to read the other adventures of my new favorite detective. I have actually already got the second novel on my Kindle!

e
ellenmargaret1953
Feb 13, 2019

Flavia is at it again, solving a number of mysteries from the past and two murders. She is an ingenue, sometimes a pest and always as curious as a cat paddling her bike around her village gathering clues and besting inspector Hewitt to the solution. Love it.

Hillsboro_JennyFl Jan 30, 2019

Meet 11-year-old Flavia De Luce; master poisoner and amateur sleuth. This is a delightful series with solid mysteries and characters you will love. A total comfort read for me!

c
captbligh
Jan 22, 2019

Beyond belief and way too cute; no 11 year old is like Flavia.

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Summary

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e
estherpatricia
Aug 20, 2015

Like murder mysteries? Can you compete with an amateur chemistry student who is 11 years old? Funny, unexpected murder mystery with a likeable, young heroine! Watch out - her specialty is poisons!

m
maggielo
Aug 19, 2015

mystery fiction, yng girl interested in chemistry, mystery of father's trial

l
ladnerlass
Apr 30, 2011

11 yr old Flavia de Luce murder mystery. 1st in a series

a
ampie
Jul 28, 2010

Flavia de Luce is an 11 yr. old chemistry whiz. She has two older sisters with whom she is at odds. Her father, a philatelist, is distant and unavailable and she is largely parented by the housekeeper and the gardener. She helps solve the murder of one of her father's school friends who is found dead in the garden.

black_cat Jul 05, 2010

An adult book but can be read by advanced younger readers. Main character is a young, strong female who finds herself in danger while investigating a mystery that arrived at her doorstep.

Quotes

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g
Geraldine9
May 24, 2018

"As I stood outside Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No....eight days a week."

deborahg99 Aug 04, 2016

"As I stood outside Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No....eight days a week."

e
estherpatricia
Aug 20, 2015

“I remembered a piece of sisterly advice, which Feely once gave Daffy and me:
"If ever you're accosted by a man," she'd said, "kick him in the Casanovas and run like blue blazes!"
Although it had sounded at the time like a useful bit of intelligence, the only problem was that I didn't know where the Casanovas were located.
I'd have to think of something else.”

m
mking
Feb 02, 2010

"I was me. I was Flavia. And I loved myself, even if no one else did." - p 59

m
michael12
Oct 29, 2009

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.

Age

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mlabreche11 May 28, 2013

mlabreche11 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

cino1 May 03, 2011

cino1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

h
hil_elrick
Dec 21, 2010

hil_elrick thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Amie Jun 10, 2009

Amie thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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