Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery Paperback – January 19, 2010
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In this novel, set in England around 1950, Flavia comes across some peculiar situations happening at her family's home. First, an unexpected late night argument between a stranger and her father has Flavia listening at the door of her father's study. Next, a dead jack snipe with a penny black postage stamp affixed to its beak ends up on the family's doorstep. And finally, Flavia involved in a classic "whodunnit" case when she stumbles upon a dying man in her family's own garden. With a "supportive" cast around her, Flavia uses a mix of assertion and wits to get the mystery solved.
I had a problem with this book right off the bat. I felt like the use of an 11 year old girl as the mystery solver was more of a gimmick than a carefully crafted original character. From her knowledge bank and references (sure, many 11 year olds I know are familiar with J. Arthur Rank, Pietro Domenico Paradisi, and like people who use the word 'slattern') to her turgid manner of speech, she sounds more like the 70 year old author than a child. Maybe if Bradley hadn't written this novel in the first person, Flavia would've seemed less dubious.
Her family isn't any better crafted, either. Bradley plays on all the stereotypes with his British family (he hadn't stepped foot in England until 2007)-- snooty and stuffy with a bone dry sense of humour. Conveniently enough, all the family members seems to have an intellectual "superpassion" that I am sure will come in to play in further stories: middle sister Daphne has a taste for the literary greats (and we're not talking the Boxcar Children here) Shakespeare and Dickens, as well as more obscure "classics" such as The Castle of Otranto. Older sister Daphne is a piano prodigy, playing her Schumann and Bach. I highly doubt anything from the 20th century has ever been played on the family piano. Even the house maid wasn't very original, just a mix of Dicken's housemaids Missus Affery and Miss Peggotty. Don't forget the "mysterious" character with the shady past (Dogger), because every basic mystery needs one of those.
Kudos to Bradley for trying to bring a once popular passion (stamp collecting) back to the forefront, but the rest of the story was so formulaic. You have the police chief that Flavia wins the respect of, and you have the "exciting" final scene where the culprit tells the protagonist how "it" was done.
This novel had a similar style to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It was sassy, but not too sassy. It was classy, but ran along the stale edge, and it was written rather intelligently. I just didn't find it very original, nor did I find it very exciting, but I think that it is a book that could be enjoyed by all ages because of its inoffensive, lightly suspenseful content. The kids may need a dictionary, though, and maybe wikipedia for some of the references.