Friday, November 5, 2010

Literary Friday: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie



On Fridays I will review books and book series.  I will try my best to make these posts brief and to the point.

My Dixie Diva Book Club's October selection was The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.  The main character is eleven year old Flavia de Luce, a genius chemist (she even has her own well-appointed chemistry lab in her family's manor house) who does not mind tormenting her older sisters with her knowledge of poisons.  One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Flavia filches her sister Ophelia's lipstick, melts it down, distills poison which she adds to the melted lipstick and a little beeswax, and voila! Her sister will pay for the book's opening scene.  How does an 11 year old know that a charge of lipstick is the same size of a .45 caliber slug?



Basically, the story is about a murder that occurs at Buckshaw, the de Luce family's manse, in early 1950's Bishop's Lacy, England.  Flavia rides all over Bishop's Lacy on her sturdy bicycle named Gladys while she gathers clues to solve the case.  Alan Bradley brilliantly gets inside the mind of Flavia, and the sense of time (post World War II England) and place (an eccentrically quirky English country estate) is spot-on.  This novel won multiple awards including the Debut Dagger Award and Agatha Award.  I have also read Flavia's second murder mystery, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, and I actually liked it a little bit better that The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I must admit that I am anxiously awaiting the U.S. release of Flavia's third mystery, A Red Herring Without Mustard, on February 8, 2011.  Can't you tell that I'm a member of Flavia's Fan Club? Have you read a good mystery lately?

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

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