In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: 11-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. 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
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"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)
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5 out of 5 stars
Von J. Spars Am hilfreichsten 14.02.2011

Unbedingt durchhalten!

Die vielen positiven Dinge, die ich über diese Geschichten gehört hatte, haben mich dazu bewogen, mir die Hörbücher zuzulegen.
Ich habe zwei, drei Anläufe gebraucht, bis ich mich an den Stil der Vorleserin gewöhnt hatte...und an die altkluge, vorlaute Protagonistin. Schließlich hat eine lange Autofahrt mich dazu gebracht, das Hörbuch in einem Rutsch anzuhören, und ich habe es nicht bereut!
Pfiffig, spannend, schlüssig und witzig ist die Geschichte allemal, dazu der leicht angestaubte Charme der 50er Jahre und Familienbande, wie viele sie kennen (ich habe zwei ältere Schwestern, ich kann viele Aspekte von Flavias Nesthäkchendasein SEHR gut nachvollziehen, genauso wie ich, jetzt, wo ich älter bin, auch die Schwestern verstehe, die unendlich genervt sein müssen ob des unentrinnbaren Besserwisserchens an ihrer Seite), Unterhaltung pur!
Neben all dem Humor, der mit jedem Wort versprüht wird, werden Charaktere mit all ihren Schicksalen und Macken beschrieben, die dem Buch eine ganz besondere Tiefe verleihen.

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2 von 2 Hörern fanden diese Rezension hilfreich

4 out of 5 stars
Von BikerJoe Am hilfreichsten 24.10.2016

An Eleven Year Old "Miss Marple"

This book is harmless fun through and through. Why does it remind me of Agathy Christie, even if the main character Flavia DeLuce is just 11 years old? “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" follows the tradition of classical crime stories, a simple mystery, no blood and gore, no sex, no major disaster or terror attacks. Mysteries are still solved like puzzles by intelligence, understanding of human nature and hard thinking and most important of all, the heroine is always a little bit smarter than the police. The book is also very British, not just the setting in rural England, but also the dry humor and the eccentricity of some of the characters. This is amazing since Alan Bradley is Canadian and did not set foot into England until very late in his life.

Flavia de Luce lives together with her father and two elder sisters in Buckshaw, an old mansion full of mysteries and slow decay. Her father is a retired colonel, slightly eccentric, detached and shy of showing any kind of emotion or affection. His only interest in life is his stamp collection. Flavia’s mother died many years ago during a mountain climbing expedition in the Himalaya. Flavia’s 2 sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, try to make her life miserable, but Flavia is way too smart to fall for their stupid games. There is also the gardener “Dogger” , a former soldier, who served with her father and he is Flavia’s mentor and best friend. He is fiercely loyal, but has some mental issues now and then. Not to forget Mrs. Mullet, the cook/housekeeper, she is the last member of the household.

The idyllic life at Buckshaw comes to an end, when Flavia finds a dead body in the garden. Since there were not many people around, suspicion falls on Mr. DeLuce immediately. It takes all of Flavia’s remarkable chemical skills and intelligence to find the real murderer.

It is a delightful first book of a series, perhaps a little bit simple, but what it lacks in depth, it offers in pure joy of reading. I am curious, what Alan Bradley will make out of it.

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