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
"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)
I get why people like the book - the main character is adorable. BUT I couldn't understand what they were saying half the time, the accents were so thick. I ended up bored and never went back to it.
This is a prime example of a book that I would NEVER be able to get through a paper copy of, but the audio book is good fun and definitely worth using up a credit. This is because Jayne Entwistle is such a talented narrator with a truly delightful voice. She has good material to work with, however. Bradley's vivid imagery, clever use of idioms, and attention to even the smallest details, coupled with Entwistle's endearing British accent, make this a perfect read-aloud. I only gave it 3 stars because of several annoyingly unlikely coincidences in the story line.
If there were a 4.5 I would give it that. I really liked this book a great deal, but I just couldn't buy into the idea that this girl was 11 years old. I thought the character was both charming and smart, but I imagine her to be more like 15. Other than that the story was interesting and the writing was very well done, if a little flowery. I look forward to more from this author. And the narrator was great. I think she really brought Flavia alive for me.
The main character is a bit to clever compared to most young people i know. the knowledge and interest in chemistry at that age seems nearly impossible. The story itself was interesting and a fun listen, very appropriate for young adults. The narration is very nice, with a soft accent.
Unable to download
Forget Kindle & buy a computer instead
avoid kindle enen a free one is no bargin
Yes, easy fast read. and if you're not paying attention they repeat things...a lot.
The nerdy chemistry references.
She's got great intonation and excitement in her voice.
This was in a highlighted section on the front page of the website. The synopsis sounded like a lot of fun and I enjoy stories of young people. I slogged through nearly half of the book before I gave up. I just wasn't enjoying it, and I thought the character was annoying.
It's probably the narrator's excellent skill that kept me listening so long. But the story and the characters put me off listening further.
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