Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie"

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley
First published in 2009
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
(image source)

Flavia de Luce is one of the most unusual -- and one of the most likeable -- narrators I've ever encountered. For one thing, she's the most mature 11-year-old on the planet. For another, she's full of spunk, remarkably intelligent, an aspiring chemist, and an amateur sleuth.

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie," the first installment in Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce cozy mystery series, takes place in the English countryside in 1950. It involves a murder in the cucumber patch, stamps, a custard pie and Flavia's trusty bicycle, which she has christened Gladys.

I closed the book with a feeling of satisfaction -- mystery solved, all is well, and Flavia is just as clever as ever -- but I didn't entirely love everything between the covers. The middle in particular dragged for me and at one point I was reading just to get the book finished and not because I was entranced by the plot.

But still, overall it was an enjoyable read. Any lover of cozy mysteries should give Bradley's series a try -- it's got all the charm of the genre but a completely and wonderfully different main character.

Happy reading!

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