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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Audiobook
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Written by: 
Alan Bradley
Narrated by: 
Jayne Entwistle
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Audiobook

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

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Publisher's Summary

In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison.

It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story, that of a schoolboy friendship turned ugly, of a priceless object that vanished in a bizarre and brazen act of thievery, of a Latin teacher who flung himself to his death from the school's tower 30 years before. Now Flavia is armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together, to examine new suspects, and begin a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder, but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse.

An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptions and a rich literary delight.

©2009 Alan Bradley; (P)2009 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Brilliant, irresistible and incorrigible, Flavia has a long future ahead of her...Bradley's mystery debut is a standout." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Fun for the reader.... Fans of Louise Fitzhugh's iconic Harriet the Spy will welcome 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, the heroine of ... Bradley's rollicking debut." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2654 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.1 (2008 )
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (2018 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 08-16-14
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 08-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I think this was meant for a Young Adult audience."
    Would you try another book from Alan Bradley and/or Jayne Entwistle?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alan Bradley again?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Jayne Entwistle’s performance?

    Didn't want to listen to a child's voice


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    no no no no no no no no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rebecca longmont, colorado, United States 03-06-14
    rebecca longmont, colorado, United States 03-06-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The most lovable main character since nancy Drew"
    Would you listen to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie again? Why?

    Yes, this audiobook is the perfect storm. The Story is entertaining, The Woman who recorded it had the perfect voice and inflections to relay the story, it is an intelligent plot, and flows perfectly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie?

    When Flavia and the inspector both come to the same conclusion from entirely different clues.


    Have you listened to any of Jayne Entwistle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I would enjoy more.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Flavias sisters slipped up and showed they care


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn 01-14-14
    Glenn 01-14-14 Member Since 2015

    agdbg

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent writing and a fantastic performance"
    If you could sum up The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie in three words, what would they be?

    Evocative, imaginative writing


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Flavia, of course! Alan Bradley writes convincingly of a young teen, full of herself, but written so that we have insights into her "self-delusion." Flavia plays the roll of the omniscient narrator, but she is still a kid and it shows at times!


    What about Jayne Entwistle’s performance did you like?

    Jane has the perfect voice for Flavia and for British novels. Her voice is smooth, never irritating, and varied sufficiently in pitch and cadence to represent the many characters without ever becoming boring.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Flavia's conversation with her dad (who is in prison) was very well written and offered insight into the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Jeeves (Wodehouse) and other high-quality writing that is clean and interesting, you are bound to love these books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raele Austin, TX, United States 12-20-13
    Raele Austin, TX, United States 12-20-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Delightful! Delightful! Delightful!"

    I rejoiced throughout this entire book. The turn of phrases....so surprising! so refreshing! so delectable!
    "He puffed up like a courting pigeon." and suchlike. I laughed aloud many times.
    I think this writer, Bradley, must just be such a fun, interesting, intelligent man to have conceived this witty, dewy-fresh heroine, Flavia. I loved her mix of childish arrogance and childlike vulnerability, and her touching compassion, and how very imperfect her family is. They are imperfect the way all typical families are: still perfectly okay for the people within them to survive, and even thrive.
    But, thank god for not another sappy-happy picture-perfect family!!
    To me, it was a profound and moving caricature sketch of the love that exists in families, even where words and touches to prove it are absent.
    I love, love PG and PG-13 adventures and mysteries, and generally have to hang out with the young (Bloody Jack adventures) or the old (Mrs. Pollifax), to get that right mix. But here is a book directed at adults, with a young heroine. Such a neat combo. So many wonderful literary and cultural references to keep you engaged.
    More exciting than Ladies Detective Agency, but similarly inducing of quiet joy.
    Just read it. It's brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamela Charlotte, NC, United States 12-01-13
    Tamela Charlotte, NC, United States 12-01-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Improbable, delightful and worthwhile"
    Any additional comments?

    Flavia is a bit of a sociopath--trying out potentially lethal chemistry experiments in her sisters--and precocious beyond imagination, but the story is terrific. I will read the entire series with anticipation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 11-19-13
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 11-19-13 Member Since 2016

    I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful mystery"

    What can I say? I just adore Flavia. Maybe it's a combination of her genius, which makes her seem older than her years, and those flashes of the little girl who craves love and attention. The language the author uses, a sort of multi syllabic music ably played in varying tones by Jayne Entwhistle, delights the ear. There were a couple of instances when I felt the similes Bradley uses are likely outside the scope of comparison for an 11 year old, but these were easy for me to get past. The plot line is compelling, and the mystery isn't a terribly easy puzzle to solve. The characters remain distinct enough to know who says and does what. There isn't a lot of growth in Flavia's character in the course of the book, but the action takes place over a short period of time, and this is the first in a series. Overall, if you like a good cerebral mystery, this is definitely worth a full credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 11-16-13
    Ray West Deptford, NJ, United States 11-16-13 Member Since 2013

    Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "rich use of vocabulary, weaker story line"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Less descriptive detail


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The eleven year old sleuth.


    Which character – as performed by Jayne Entwistle – was your favorite?

    The eleven year old sleuth..


    Any additional comments?

    I have no interest in another book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad E. 11-02-13
    Chad E. 11-02-13 Member Since 2016

    Love audiobooks for commuting and anywhere really.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "A Lively and Refreshing Heroine"

    A well deserved Debut Dagger award for Alan Bradley. Flavia DeLuce is an unusual character, but she is full of life and this is conveyed perfectly by Jayne Entwistle. Her thoughts about the goings-on as well as the pleasure she takes in tormenting her older sisters is deftly portrayed, I found it hard to not believe the story wasn't being told by an 11 year old.

    The story was enjoyable as well as entertaining. I am looking forward to reading the others books in this series. If you enjoy an English mystery and don't mind an unusual narrator voiced by a talented reader, give this one a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Wood Central, NY 10-22-13
    Gail Wood Central, NY 10-22-13 Member Since 2014

    Librarian, reader, commuter. I got tired of the radio and CDs and switched to audio books. Now I listen to books while I quilt, clean, etc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Precocious Eleven Year Old with a Mystery!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie to be better than the print version?

    Yes, to me it was. There is a lot of extraneous similies and analogies in the book that I found annoying in print but in audio, you were privy to a very intelligent, eccentrically educated young girl in 1950s England. Fairly well-to-do and access to ancestral libraries and chemistry lab, this child has an enormous amount of knowledge. Her internal voice is very amusing and has a depth of insight.....even when she is wrong. Flavia is an original.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie?

    Without indulging in a spoiler, there was a very suspenseful set of circumstances in the end. I drove several extra miles to finish the chapter.


    Have you listened to any of Jayne Entwistle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but she certainly brought the prose alive. Jayne Entwistle made Flavia, her sisters, and all the characters be come vibrant, eccentric, human beings. I did go buy others in the series and also another series that Entwistle narrates.


    Any additional comments?

    This reminds me of those classic children's books where children are left to their own devices. Driven by curiosity and a sense of adventure, the children solve problems and mysteries have fantastic and dangerous adventures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Bruns Texas 10-19-13
    R. Bruns Texas 10-19-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderfuly Done!"

    I've been enjoying audio books for decades and have never heard a better casting match than performer Jayne Entwistle and the lead protagonist eleven year old, Flavia de Luce in Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Flavia, who rides a bicycle named Gladys, has a "passion for poison" and makes one think of Sherlock Holmes (albeit a female adolescent version) is delightful. I was thoroughly entertained and will be listening to the next Flavia mystery as soon as I can download it. Mr. Bradley, thank you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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