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)
My partner read this book and told me it was fabulous - I listened to it and found it to be a great read too. I loved Flavia, had I read this when I was a teen or pre-teen, I would have wanted to be Flavia.
The reader was fabulous, Flavia is 11 and so often, you know that the reader is an adult, Flavia sounded 11 and this made the story so much more fun.
This is one of the best books I've ever listened to - so unique, so precious, so brilliant. I loved it!
This is such a unique story, but I guess the setting might remind me of Midsomer Mysteries. It really does stand alone!
Flavia, for certain. Jayne Entwistle has the most engaging voice, and really sounded amazingly like a young eleven year old girl.
I can't wait to download the rest of the books in the Flavia series. ;o)
Say something about yourself!
I discovered this series on Audible, and I'm glad I did - Jayne Entwistle makes Flavia so real! Her take on the different characters is excellent.
Everything! I love her reading style.
This is a great story, read fantastically, and, well, Flavia is a riot! I couldn't wait for my commute every day to get back to the book. I would listen to it while I cleaned, raked leaves, etc. To be totally honest, I got a tiny bit bored in one spot in this book where it went on a little long about chemistry (maybe it's just my dislike of the subject), but this is the only one in the series so far where I've experienced that. (I've listened through #3.) I will definitely listen to the entire series - I've become hooked on the De Luces!
I've only listened to the book, but I think I'd also enjoy the print version.
Why Flavia, of course.
A musical humor, an empathetic voice.
Ranks in the top 5%
I can't decide between the plot, the main character and the narrator!
I admit that for the first 10 minutes I wasn't sure I was going to buy into the "child as sleuth" paradigm that Mr. Bradley was proposing. I continued to listen anyway, and now I'm hooked. Flavia is one of the most appealing detectives I've ever read, and the surrounding plot lines concerning her family and village life are captivating and totally entertaining. Flavia is a child in chronological age only, and Jane Entwistle's narration is beyond perfect. I would even listen to these stories a second time, and I don't think I have ever thought to do that with any other mystery. Do yourself a favor and listen!
I listened to this book and loved it. The main character, 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, is very interesting and entertaining without being too sweet at all. She's very intelligent and clever, but not too clever -- she needs help in solving the mystery she faces. I was a bit disappointed in the ending. It seemed way too contrived and easy as a method for wrapping up the mystery. I am hoping that the author uses a more plot-oriented (rather than narrative) ending in the second book.
The reader, Jayne Entwistle, is wonderful. Her voicing of Flavia, the first person narrator, seems perfect to me.
I bought this book as part of a special based on positive reviews. I am not sure i really read what it was about because it was totally unexpected - all of it, the story, the age of the main character, the setting. But right from the fabulous first scene I loved it. Flavia is one of the most interesting characters I have read in a while. I liked that this book was not just a mystery but also had a very human tale of a very bright but lonely little girl. It was interesting to see her story get filled in as the book went on. I bought the second book straight away. Narration was perfect.
I enjoy a variety of books including mysteries, historical fiction as well as young adult and children's literature. Listening to books gives me the ability to "read" in the car as well as the evening as a nightcap before bed.
Initially I thought listening to this narriator for several hours would be annoying but she grew on me and it turned out she was a perfect Flavia. Flavia was an interesting main character as she was only 11 years old but very intellegent and quirky. The mystery was well orchestrated with plenty of action and questions regarding who was the murderer not to mention the identity of the murdered man. In the end things were wrapped up nicely and Flavia and her family continued on with their funky life and typical family relationships. The other characters in the book were enjoyable and interesting even though Flavia was often presented as the most intelligent of the lot.
The main character, 11 year old Flavia, was such a bundle of precious fun. Before I listened to this book, I didn't have very high expectations. Needless to say, I was thoroughly surprised and rewarded! It was a rollicking fun listen! I don't make a habit of listening to books more than once, but this book I will listen to again.
I looked forward to discovering how a 11 year old child could contribute toward solving of the crime, murder victim in her garden.
Jayne Entwistle brought the characters, especially, Flavia, to life. The glee and delight that she expressed, when Flavia was being dishonest in her investigative pursuits, or being mischievous with her sisters, was superb. Numerous times, I laughed out loud while listening. Had I read the book, I'm certain that the characters would of been less colorful and energetic. A better reader, for this book, couldn't of been found. Ms. Entwistle was the perfect choice; her voice, and intonations, was captivating. Bravo!
Teacher-Librarian, an a avid audible listener:)
Yes, I love the reading of Jane Entwistle she really brings Flavia to life!
Flavia, what a gem, this in my mind is a going to become a classic. The writing is superb, I can not not give these books enough praise!
Flavia, of course! She has captured the essence of this character!
I love all these books and am anxiously awaiting the next!
A must read for mystery fans!!
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