17 August 2010

REVIEW: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by A. Bradley

Author:  A. Bradley
Genre / Pages:  Fiction, Humour / 400
Publication: DoubleDay Canada, 2009
Rating:  TOP shelf 
Source:  borrowed from Mom
lj's plot in one pot:  Set in 1950's rural England we meet eleven year old Flavia, a precocious chemistry prodigy; she must solve a murder, one that happened right in her very own cucumber patch.
I love Flavia!  As we speak, Alan Bradley's next adventure featuring Flavia is in transport to my humble abode.  She is one of my favourite protagonists, since, well...I guess Audrey Flowers (from "Come, Thou Tortoise" - ha ha) but before that, I haven't related so whole-heartedly to a character in a long time.  From the name of her steed (a bike called Gladys), to her self-praising exaltation,

I was me.  I was Flavia.  And I loved myself, even if no one else did.  "All hail Flavia!  Flavia forever!"  I shouted, as Gladys and I sped through the Mulford Gates... p.74. 
Isn't she a hoot?  Aside from my blinding love for Flavia, the story was great!  The author seamlessly blends numerous characters' stories together, pulling tales from the past and weaving them brilliantly into the present. 

The observation of the "evil" sisters brought much laughter, and I hope her budding friendship with Inspector Hewitt grows in the series.  

Last, but certainly not least, this fine tale is from a good old Canuck...and recently, I've been trying to maintain a ratio of Canadian books (either in content or author). Any readers have fantastic Canadiana to recommend?

"Seed biscuits and tea and a nice glass of milk for Miss Flavia."
Seed biscuits and milk!  I hated Mrs. Mullet's seed biscuits the way Saint Paul hated sin.  Perhaps even more so.  I wanted to clamber up onto the table, and with a sausage on the end of a fork as my scepter, shout in my best Laurence Olivier voice, "Will no one rid us of this turbulent pastry cook? p.49

Learn more about the fabulous Flavia Sabina de Luce and the author, Alan Bradley, here.


  1. Jo-Anne aka Mom23 August, 2010 19:21

    I am so delighted we share an appreciation for the quirky Flavia. Interested in another quirky 12 year old (not by a Canadian author sorry to say)? Try Reif Larsen's The Selected Works of TS Spivet. Tecumseh Sparrow Spivet is a 12-year-old prodigy with a compulsion to make maps of the world in order to make sense of it all. http://www.tsspivet.com/ For a not-to-miss Canadian Mystery author I suggest the Louise Penny series with the delightful Armand Gamache, his wife Reine-Marie and the inhabitants of the French Canadian Village of Three Pines.

  2. Hey LJ! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Yours is beautiful! And we seem to share a taste in books - although I haven't heard of 'Come, Thou Tortoise'.

    I too love Flavia! She is a hoot - I definitely want to be her in my next life. I'm excited to read the next one (such pretty covers too!).

    I'm off to check out the 'Tortoise'.

    Happy reading to you!