The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
What fun! A charming, funny, eccentric mystery featuring the precocious Flavia DeLuce, an eleven-year-old chemist with a passion for poisons.
The book has a sweetness of its own, a murder mystery without graphic violence or sex, set in a rural English village in 1950. Flavia is a captivating character, a combination of superior intelligence and childlike innocence--full of curiosity, concern for those she cares about, and mischief-making.
Flavia is the narrator and presents her father as a gentle soul, but a reclusive one. There are two older sisters, and sibling pranks mark their days...although for Daphne and Ophelia, the pranks are probably often revenge for Flavia's high jinks. Dogger, a veteran suffering from shell-shock, is both friend and gardener. The villagers are also charmingly depicted from Flavia's point of view.
Detective Flavia is successful in the end.
I found The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie to be an engaging read that made me smile often. It is the first in a series of five books planned by the author. Bring them on!
Fiction. YA/Mystery. 2009. 370 pages.