Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

I have been reading such glowing reviews of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie all year long, so when I saw this book in my library's catalog of downloadable audio books, I put my name on the list.  I was a bit skeptical, because I often find books that are so wildly popular to be disappointing after so much build-up (I simply could not get through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for example).  But oh my goodness!  Who could not fail to adore the brilliant eleven-year-old chemistry prodigy Flavia de Luce?  She narrates the story beautifully, with turns of phrase that had me alternately grinning and shaking my head.  She lives in a ramshackle old house with her father and two older sisters, and they certainly have interesting relationships with each other.  As the book opens, Flavia overhears an argument at night between her father and a total stranger, and in the morning the she discovers that man in the garden and witnesses his dying breath.  The man has been murdered, and her father is naturally a suspect, so Flavia is determined to discover the identity of the killer.  Fasten your seat belts, mystery lovers - it's going to be a delightfully bumpy ride!  I loved this one, loved the characters, the setting, the back story, the mystery.  I loved the way the dialogue between characters conveys so much more than the words themselves.  And I love that the author was willing to take a risk and allow a book for adults to be narrated by a child - it works wonderfully well, and I cannot wait to read the next Flavia de Luce book.  I hear it's just as good, if not better, than the first.

Books in the Flavia de Luce Mystery series:
1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
2. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
3. A Red Herring without Mustard

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (#1in the Flavia de Luce mystery series) by Alan C. Bradley (Books on Tape, 2009)

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