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Friday, June 29, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 2 out of 5 stars for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley @BOTLibrary

TITLE: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
SERIES: Flavia de Luce, Book #1
AUTHOR: Alan Bradley
NARRATOR: Jayne Entwistle
PUBLISHER: Books on Tape
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 53 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9781415964491
It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, 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. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”


This historical cozy series is so popular, and I've wanted to read it for such a long time. Not only do I love cozies, but it's also by a Canadian author so for me that's a plus!! Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations.

The heroine in the story is Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old girl who is quite curious and clever, and the setting is London in 1950. She is the youngest of three girls, and her mother passed away when she was just a year old. She's raised by her father, but there's no affection between parent and child. Flavia often is off on her own, in her laboratory (yes, she has one!) playing with chemicals.

When a dead bird is found on their doorstep with a postage stamp speared by its beak, Flavia's father becomes very unsettled. Later that evening, Flavia overhears her father arguing with someone and one of the things she hears him say is that they killed someone. Dogger, one of the mansion's servants, tells Flavia that it's none of her business and sends her off to bed. She awakens before dawn and sees something from her window. In their garden, she finds a man lying in their garden. She watches him take his final breath and hears him utter "Vale!" before he dies.

Before I started this series, I had no idea that Flavia was a child. I was quite surprised, but then the idea of a little girl solving mysteries appealed to me. For me, this story seemed to ramble on and on and there was so much extraneous information that was not relevant to the mystery and seemed like the info was there just to fill the pages. There were parts that were very boring to me and failed to hold my interest. This book won lots of awards, so it looks like I'm in the minority here! Given the popularity of the series, I'm willing to give it another shot and hope that I enjoy the next one more.

Memorable quote:

"As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No … eight days a week."

Jayne Entwistle is a new-to-me narrator, and she kept me listening. She pulls off the voice of a child which is no small feat. Had I been reading as opposed to listening, I don't think I would have gotten through this one. Here is a sample of the narration:

2 stars!! I wanted to love it but, for me, it was a bit "meh." It was just okay.

This book qualifies as:


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