Read Piiraan maku makea by Alan Bradley Maija Paavilainen Online


Saammeko esitellä: Flavia de Luce. Harrastelijasalapoliisi. Mestarimyrkyttäjä. Ikää yksitoista vuotta.Eletään vuotta 1950. Yksitoistavuotias Flavia de Luce asuu leski-isänsä ja kahden isosiskonsa kanssa suvun rapistuvassa kartanossa Buckshawissa Englannin maaseudulla. Flavia rakastaa kemiaa ja arvoitusten ratkomista. Siskojaan hän vihaa.Eräänä päivänä keittiön rappuselta lSaammeko esitellä: Flavia de Luce. Harrastelijasalapoliisi. Mestarimyrkyttäjä. Ikää yksitoista vuotta.Eletään vuotta 1950. Yksitoistavuotias Flavia de Luce asuu leski-isänsä ja kahden isosiskonsa kanssa suvun rapistuvassa kartanossa Buckshawissa Englannin maaseudulla. Flavia rakastaa kemiaa ja arvoitusten ratkomista. Siskojaan hän vihaa.Eräänä päivänä keittiön rappuselta löytyy kuollut lintu. Omituista kyllä, sen nokkaan on tökätty paperinpala, joka osoittautuu ikivanhaksi postimerkiksi. Mutta vielä oudompaa on, että isä tuntuu olevan tapauksesta aidosti peloissaan.Kun Flavia tekee keittiöpuutarhasta järkyttävän löydön, on selvää että kuollut lintu oli mitä huonoin enne. Poliisin saapuessa Buckshawiin Flavia päättää ottaa ohjat omiin käsiinsä ja ratkaista arvoituksen omin neuvoin. Kenen kanssa Flavian isä riiteli työhuoneessaan myöhään illalla? Kuka tai mikä on Ulsterin kostaja? Ja kuka kumma söi palasen rouva Mulletin sanoinkuvaamattomasta piirakasta, joka oli jäähtymässä ikkunalaudalla?...

Title : Piiraan maku makea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789522790514
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 388 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Piiraan maku makea Reviews

  • Felicia
    2018-10-21 00:07

    This book probably deserves 4 stars, but to me, as far as how much I enjoyed it, 5 stars baby!Having just read Steig Larssen's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" I hadn't expected to stumble on a heroine as quickly that I'd love as much. But Flavia fits the bill!This is a historical mystery, set in England in the late 40's/ (51 maybe?) Anyway, Flavia is 11 going on 40. She's a genius, perhaps a mad one, who knows. She is drawn into a wonderful mystery that I don't want to spoil, but her tenacity and drive and clever deductions make for a wonderful read. She reminds me of what I would have loved to be at 11, independent and forward and free. Yes, sometimes I got ahead of her in solving some clues, but honestly I think the author intended it, as she IS 11 (which is easy to forget when she is so precocious.)I love loved this book and will eagerly await another adventure with Flavia.

  • Hannah
    2018-09-27 02:17

    I really wanted to like this more then I ended up doing. The story started off slowly, then picked up steam with a murder to solve and some interesting backstory on stamps. What hindered my enjoyment of the book, the story and the murder mystery was, unfortunately, the main character and detective: Flavia duLuce.To say that young Flavia is precocious is an understatement. She has to be one of the most intelligent, well spoken, criminal minds since Sherlock Holmes. Problem is, she's only 11 years old, and she's totally unbelievable to me. Hey, I respect intelligent fictional kids as crime solvers - I grew up reading Trixie Belden for pete's sake. But Flavia's brand of intelligence is far beyond what I can believe or accept in a pint-size crime solver. As a result, I spent the majority of the book rolling my eyes over the things she said, the deductions she made, and the way she handled the sticky situations she found herself in.Look, I can suspend my belief in unbelievable books when the author creates a world that I can accept. (Case in point: a 100 year old sparkling virgin vampire). Flavia, however, resisted all my attempts to reconcile and readjust my mind-set to embrace. She's obviously got a goodly number of admirers. As for me, I side with her sisters in wanting to lock her in a dark closet and keep her there...

  • Carol
    2018-09-28 07:23

    So ... I'm the outlier. I cannot abide Flavia de Luce - yes, the same Flavia de Luce that everyone else in the reading universe - or at least the subset of those who enjoy mysteries - loves, adores, enjoys. For months I hid my outlier status by changing the applicable shelf from "currently reading" to "to read", but have decided that today I shall end the deception and own my outlier status. I am a grown woman. I can handle the blow back from admitting that being forced to read one more page relating to Flavia de Luce would be an effective means of torture for anyone seeking a method to use on me, for future reference. I shall not read Bradley's novels in a box, or with a fox. So help me, God.

  • Trin
    2018-09-26 05:00

    A historical mystery, set in England, narrated by a precocious 11-year-old girl. I feel like I should have loved this, but mostly it just bored me. Flavia’s narration, designed to show off how brilliant she is, lacked the necessary wit and charm, and her investigation into a couple of murders and some missing stamps was full of weird leaps of logic and sideways-step conclusions. I never felt involved or like any part of the story was real or mattered.

  • Tatiana
    2018-10-07 01:59

    Flavia de Luce is an 11-year old amateur sleuth, a future chemist and poison enthusiast. She lives with her widowed father and two older sisters at Buckshaw - a decaying English country-side mansion. Flavia's days are occupied with chemical experiments and schemes of spiking her evil older sister Ophelia's lipstick with poison ivy. That is until one fateful day a dead bird with a postage stamp stuck to its beak is found on the doorstep of Buckshaw. Even more, soon after Flavia finds a dead man in the cucumber patch and witnesses his last breath. Flavia is not shocked or upset by the event (after all, she doesn't even know the man). Quite the opposite, she is energized and excited - finally she can apply her genius brain to something useful - to solving a crime!At the core of the novel is a murder mystery. It is not particularly complicated or mind-blowing, it is rather easy to solve. But the strength of "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" is not in the mystery. It is in the setting, an amusing cast of characters, and mainly - in its narrator. Flavia is a charming heroine with a very distinct "voice" that is a perfectly blended combination of childish innocence and book smarts. "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" is a delight to read. It is light and has an air of innocence about it. The story is set in 1950 (although it feels like a decade or two earlier at times), the time when 11-year old girls could still ride their bicycles to the nearby villages without the fear of being snatched by some psycho, and it's a relief to read a book without constantly freaking out about a child's safety. I think this book will appeal to a lot of people who enjoy reading mysteries without gore and excessive violence, those who are looking for a comfort read, an English country-side mystery sprinkled with humor, poisons, and philately.

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-09-25 03:20

    When young Flavia de Luce, aspiring chemist, finds a body in the cucumber patch outside her father's house, she finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and murder...I'm not really sure how my love of detective fiction led me to this tale of an eleven year old girl in 1950s England solving a mystery involving stamps but I'm glad it did.Flavia de Luce is a precocious English girl with a passion for chemistry in general and poisons in particular. She lives in an English country house with her father and two sisters, Ophelia and Daphne. The mystery component of the book is secondary to the delightful antics of Flavia. She's funny as hell and wise beyond her years.Bradley's writing takes what probably would have been a two star mystery and kicks things up several notches. The writing style reminds me of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers with a pinch of P.G. Wodehouse and was a delight to read. The mystery itself isn't that great, although Bradley red herring-ed my ass about a fourth of the way through. Parts of it reminded me of Nancy Drew and others reminded me of the cozy mysteries of yore. I was less than 100 pages in when I resolved to read the entire series.Four out of five stars. I'm looking forward to reading more adventures of Flavia de Luce.

  • David
    2018-10-03 03:26

    I absolutely loved Sweetness. The narrator-protagonist is one of the cleverest, liveliest, most entertaining characters I have had the pleasure to meet in many a year. I laughed aloud many times and couldn't wait to get back to reading this gem. Flavia is the 11-year-old daughter of a widower in England in the 50s. She loves science and mystery, despises her haughty clueless sisters, and is plotting to poison them and get away with it. When mysterious crimes happen at the family home, she thrusts herself into solving them.I have a definite soft spot for wit and humor in fiction and this book hit it out of the park on that score. Add to the mix a good mystery and the prospect of many more stories to come featuring this spunky scientist pre-teen and I am really excited!

  • Nancy
    2018-10-13 07:05

    A mystery about a precocious child, whom I would like to like, but suspect that she would not be enjoyable to be around. Flavia, when not tormenting her eldest sister, attempts to solve a murder in 1950 in Great Britain. I wanted to like this book, as much as the title appealed to me, but only finished out of a sense of duty, having bought the book based on the reviews rather than borrowing it. A good lesson, to remind me of the perils of random purchasing.My quibbles, if anyone is so interested: 1) Eleven? Really? Hard to bite on that premise, as her being little older would have been less of a strain on the imagination, not a lot, but it would have helped.2) Perhaps the first person narrative added to the believability challenge; her descriptions/observations were not in keeping with her age or experience (e.g. in Ch. 5 " Now, a quarter century after the last Lagonda had rolled out of its doors, the building had fallen, like old crockery in the servant's quarters, into a kind of chipped and broken decrepitude." Or this little beauty from Ch.12 " ... as if some sour old chamberlain were looking on dyspeptically as his mistress unfurled silk stockings over her long, youthful legs.") I had no problems with the observations themselves, just that their source was an eleven-year-old, genius or not. A third person narrative might have been less jarring, though still rather over-written (if not purple prose then at least mauve).3) Perhaps her knowledge of so many topics, not just having taught herself chemistry, but books, movies and music was just a little too much to swallow. Specific references include: "The Third Man" 1949, "Cinderella" 1950 (if it played in GB as it was only in limited release in the US in 1950 - although perhaps besides the gramophone she also had a record player and a copy of the one of the 1949 78-rpm recordings),"We Dive at Dawn 1943", "Modern Times" 1936 (the last Little Tramp film), "A Matter of Life and Death" 1946; various titled classical music pieces with some rather strong opinions and composer preferences. And apparently she also was conversant with her history and Olivier, picturing him as Henry II, in a quote which sounds Shakespearean, but isn't. Also Poe, du Maurier, Stephen Leacock, Gilbert and Sullivan, netsuke, lock-picking and the prison system (Wormwood Scrubs). Quite impressive, since in 1950 she wasn't attending school; good thing she was self motivated.Maybe the author was trying to anchor the book into the time and place, but the references had the opposite effect of reassuring me, drawing my attention and distracting me from the story itself (as should be obvious by the fact I looked up some of the info stated above).Since this is the author's first book, I might be inclined to borrow the second book and see if there are any stylistic improvements, but suspect that, with all the accolades for book one, there would be little incentive to do so.

  • Laurie
    2018-10-21 05:27

    Ignore the title, please, and go for the essence. Flavia de Luce is an eleven year-old Sherlock Holmes with a predilection for the dark side of rural crime and a hobby of poisons. This will be the first in what promises to be an utterly original and delicious series. Adult preoccupations and values may confront Flavia, but they do not greatly impress her; by the story's end, the reader can only agree.

  • Kathryn
    2018-10-09 03:16

    "There are times, Miss de Luce... when you deserve a brass medal. And there are other times when you deserve to be sent to your room with bread and water." -- Inspector Hewitt to Flavia de Luce: budding sleuth, brilliant chemist, and diabolical eleven-year-old.After very high hopes, I almost gave up on "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" after about seven chapters, finding little literary sweetness to induce in me a hunger to devour the remaining pages. Yet, the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the book made me continue and I am glad I did, though I do not think my praise is quite so high as most readers' thus far.The opening chapter grabbed me, and then I was rather bored for several chapters. I could not picture Flavia as an eleven-year-old, she just didn't really SEEM like one, even if this was 1950s England. I am still not sure or how much I cared what happened to her, yet the story was interesting enough. Aside from Dogger, I really didn't feel much empathy for any of the characters but they managed to make an amusing enough group, Mr. de Luce and his lack of emotion for anything but stamp collecting, Flavia's older sisters Daphne and Ophilia, one with a love of make-up and the other with a love of reading... Nothing too original here. Flaiva herself is quite the character, and I feel the above quote and description sum her up well. While I admire her bravery and loyalty to her family in solving the crime, and her intelligence at solving it accurately, I really could not LIKE her. She is the sort of child one finds amusing enough in books, but would not wish to stand next to in line for a ride at Disneyland. Her intelligence sprawls out into dangerous territory, since her love of chemistry tends to making up toxic concoctions, and one of her experiments includes putting some nasty mixture on her sisters' lipstick and waiting to see the results. Oh, dear, sibling rivalry tossed with youthful genius! The mystery was not all that astounding. I guessed most of it myself at one point or another and I just didn't care enough about the characters to be really riveted. Sometimes, Bradley's writing drug on a bit, or got a weighted down with analogy. Still, overall this was an enjoyable read and good for those who tend to enjoy cozy mysteries as there is very little gore or violence and it's pretty clear, based on the pending sequel, that Flavia will pull through!

  • Tea Jovanović
    2018-10-03 06:59

    Prva knjiga iz serijala od šest romana o devojčici Flaviji i njenim čudnim interesovanjima i dogodovštinama... Nažalost, publika je kod nas nije prihvatila, a ni izdavač se nije adekvatno potrudio da je predstavi čitaocima... Knjiga u kojoj uživaju i tinejdžeri i odrasli širom sveta... Autor je rado viđen gost po sajmovima knjiga u svetu... Ne skida se s bestseler lista... Must read za mlade i one koji vole dobru knjigu... Veoma je zabavna! :)

  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2018-10-11 03:27

    Onvan : The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) - Nevisande : Alan Bradley - ISBN : 385342306 - ISBN13 : 9780385342308 - Dar 374 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2009

  • Nadia
    2018-10-17 03:27

    Finally! I'm done! The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has been read and crossed off of my TBR list. And now I must ask you not to hate me, because truthfully, though I did enjoy aspects of the book, I did not love it. I found it to be rather predictable, long-winded and slightly dull at times. There were moments when I had to put the book down or just rush ahead in order to avoid a passage that went on about something or other that just didn't hold my interest. I can understand why this book would be a bestseller and how so many people fell under its spell, but I just wasn't one of those people. Don't get me wrong, Flavia de Luce is ace. I loved her character's carefree spirit; her love of chemistry and potions; her experiments on her rotten sisters; and her faithful bike Gladys. What I didn't care for was everything else. 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 last 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."From that summary (found on back of book) alone, I was positive that I was in for a treat. But I wasn't. I just don't think that the book was my cup of tea. Perhaps if I was a kid reading about Flavia, I would have enjoyed the book more. The sneaking out of the house, magic tricks, and intriguing mystery behind the stamp pinned to the bird's beak - all of these things would have caught my attention once upon a time. However, in the now, I just wasn't as enthralled by it all as I had hoped. Oh well, different strokes for different folks - in this case, books.

  • Algernon
    2018-09-23 06:08

    Sometimes reviewing a book is a bit of a chore, especially if I really liked the novel and I want to do it justice. Other times, reviewing is sheer pleasure, and it does not necessarily follows that the book was popcorn. Revisiting bookmarks and notes proves to be a chance for laughing out loud all over again and reading just another couple of pages for the pleasure of the company of say mr. Bertie Wooster or Arthur Dent.Flavia de Luce is that sort of companion that charms you out of your shoes and out of your other plans for the evening right from the first page of her murder investigations. An eleven year old child prodigy with her own chemical laboratory, where she concocts various poisons and plans of revenge against her two older siblings, Flavia is an unusual first person narrator an English Manor whodunit set in the 1950's, but her immense curiosity, her passion for books, her singing 'Oomba-Chukka' as she flies atop Gladys (her bicycle), her reckless courage and her sardonic wit look very promising to me for the continuation of the series. If Feely only knew that lipstick was made from fish scales, I thought, she might be a little less eager to slather the stuff all over her mouth. I must remember to tell her. I grinned. Later. Chemistry was like the third foreign language in my highschool curriculum, but Flavia has an interesting approach to the practical application of its principles that makes the dry formulas easier to understand. I just hope her sisters Ophelia and Daphne can survive her moments of pique. Once I had taught myself to make sense of the chemical equations such as K4FeC6N6 + 2K = 6KCN + Fe (which describes what happens when the yellow prussiate of potash is heated with potassium to produce potassium cyanide), the universe was laid open before me: It was like having stumbled upon a recipe book that had once belonged to the witch in the wood.As much as I enjoyed the hijinks of Flavia de Luce, the murder mystery itself came up short, despite an interesting premise of combining very rare and very valuable stamps (as in "Charade" with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant), a junior magician club in Oxford and a number of colorful characters in and around Buckshaw Manor. Maybe it's the fact that I guessed the identity of the culprit very early, or a series of coincidences that stretched my credulity, but I believe I will read the next books in the series more for the characters and the humor than for the actual plot. As the author notes in the notes at the back of the novel: People probably wonder, "What's a seventy-year-old-man doing writing about an eleven-year-old-girl in 1950s England?" And it's a fair question. To me, Flavia embodies that kind of hotly burning flame of our young years: that time of our lives when we're just starting out, when anything – absolutely anything! – is within our capabilities.

  • Meredith Holley (Sparrow)
    2018-09-29 05:12

    This book is CSI to The Series of Unfortunate Events' McGyver. In my scale, a three-star rating is neutral, and that's a pretty accurate evaluation of how I feel about this story. At the risk of sounding disapproving, I'm going to make a couple of notes about why I didn't love the book. They're not things I really disliked about the book, though, just to be clear. I'm also really terrible about reading mystery stories, so, I’m disqualifying myself from evaluation. These are my general reactions, and all that is just to say that I think the reactions say more about me being a bad reader in this situation than the author being a bad writer. Also, since writing them, I’ve realized that my reactions aren’t spoilers, but they’re probably going to ruin this book for you if you haven’t read it, so you should stop reading now and leave it at the CSI thing. That’s really all you need to know. Go read the book, and my blessings upon you. It’s too bad about missing the review, though, because if you like slapstick I tell a pretty funny story at the end. Anyway, here are my thoughts:This story wasn't silly or dramatic to the point of ridiculousness, which left me slightly disinterested. I'd rather stories be totally over the top if they get close to the top at all. This kept a semi-real atmosphere that was informed by trivia references. A lot of the story is about slight-of-hand, and the trivia seemed like a better example of that than any of Boney's magic tricks. Again, this is the McGyver v. CSI preference. McGyver's always like, "LOOK AT HOW WEIRD THIS IS!" CSI's like, "Look at the swirley machines! Woooo! You don't understand our words! Woooo! *You'll never realize how unlikely this story is. bwuhahaha.*" I kind of like it when stories are extremely unlikely, but it makes me uncomfortable when I feel like the author is trying to distract me from it or justify it. Or maybe it just makes me feel apathetic. A lot of the chemistry lessons and cultural references in this book felt like misdirection. Also, I might feel like that because I didn’t understand ANY of the chemistry stuff, and even in the cultural references where I knew what the author was talking about, I kind of felt like I didn’t understand.On a different note, bitchy siblings are a pet peeve of mine. It stresses me out to read about siblings who hate each other. That’s totally a personal thing, but it really affected my read of the book. I’ve honestly never met siblings who absolutely hate each other and don’t have some kind of sibling bond that transcends petty fighting. Even siblings who do fight a lot have some kind of deeper understanding, in my experience. Also, sibling bickering is just unpleasant. It doesn’t bother me to have fighting among siblings if there’s that other understanding, but the idea that the siblings inherently hate each other bugs me.In one of my first college English classes, the professor told us to read our assignments not just for the material in front of us, but for who the author was and what the author was trying to convey – as in worldview and all that. It’s good advice, but I blame that professor for basically ruining most contemporary fiction for me. Authors often seem uncomfortable with the protagonists they choose, and I just don’t GET why people are writing what they’re writing. For example, Water For Elephants - why would a young mother living now write about a man in the 1920’s working at a circus and becoming an old decrepit crank? I don’t get it, and I spent the entire book alternately being suspicious of what she was doing and being just plain confused. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was the same. From the blurb in the back of the book, I learned that our author is not a spunky 11-year-old British girl living in the 1940’s (1950’s?) but a retired Canadian man living now. Yes, I know it’s fiction (or, lies, as we sometimes call it), so the author can pretend to be whomever he wants, but again, why? It’s better than Water for Elephants because I mostly like our girl Flavia, but I still don’t understand, and that’s really distracting.More specifically, my problem is that for the bulk of the story Flavia’s more adult than I am, and then she would suddenly transition to kid jokes. She’d be describing these chemical processes and doing the whole Sherlock Holmes thing, and then she’d make some kind of pun or reference to cartoons about a page later. I guess I wanted the chemistry and puns to be woven together more? Also, there were a couple of points where she’s going on about how she’s glad she’s not a boy, and that seemed awkward to me. When 11-year-old girls are riding their bikes down the street thinking to themselves, are they really glad they’re not boys? Are they even thinking about whether or not they’re boys? Was the author mad that he is a boy? Those parts brought up Virginia Woolf’s point from A Room of One’s Own about how women authors are able to truly write at the level of men authors when they are not so self-conscious that they are women (I’m butchering that, but it’s from the comparison of Austen and the Brontes, and I can mos def find it more specifically if you’d like). Except Bradley is not a woman, so I guess I feel like he was self-conscious that his protagonist is one. I mean, it seems like he was proud that she’s a girl, but it still drew me out of the story. Both the kid jokes and the “Hey, folks, I luvs bein’ a girl!” parts were like the accidental boom mic in the movie scene. It reminded me I was reading a book about a scrappy little British Nancy Drew kid, who was supposed to be both creepy and charming. Remember? Remember who the protagonist is? But then there were parts where the author completely ignored that he wasn’t the character, and that might have been weirder to me. There’s one part when Flavia gets a cold, and everything about that stressed me out a little bit. It became a big deal that her nose was really plugged up, but also a big deal that she could both breathe through it and use her impeccable sense of smell. It’s petty of me to get distracted by that, but there you are. More funny, though, was this really crotchety moment where she points out that she got her cold from this person breathing on her. I mean, MAYBE an 11-year-old girl in the 1950’s would be a germaphobe, if she was also the genius chemist that our Flavia was, but I have to do some mental gymnastics to get there. I’m much more willing to believe that a man in his 60’s who retired to write mystery stories and lives in British Columbia would be able to tell me exactly who it was who gave him a cold. Again, it’s not really even a flaw in the story, it just kicks me out of the world Mr. Bradley’s creating.I don’t know whether it made me more uncomfortable when he was pointing to who the character was or when he was ignoring it. It’s like this story I like to call “Undeniable Proof Exercise is Dangerous” about a treadmill accident I had one time. So, walking in a drab exercise room is boring, and I was pretty sleepy, and I decided to rest my eyes for a minute while I was on the treadmill. Then suddenly, when I opened them I was standing at the very end of the machine, and, yes, friends, I slipped right off. As I was falling, I suddenly realized what that chord attached to the big STOP button does. Anyway, I did a major face-plant, and got pretty scraped up. I had these flesh-colored band-aids all over my face for a couple of weeks. The scrapes felt really weird after I would put the numbing Neosporin on them, so I kept touching them. One of the helpful men I worked for came up to me one day and was like, “You know, I wouldn’t notice the bandages at all, if you would just stop touching them.” Thanks, Ben. This book wasn’t a full treadmill faceplant for me, so the pointing at the bandages didn’t burn my eyes or anything. I’m just left feeling distracted from the action’s pretty face. Where are you point of the story, and why do you tease me like this?

  • Julie
    2018-10-01 01:03

    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley is a 2009 Delacorte Press publication. Several years back, I received a copy of the fifth book in this series for review purposes. I had no idea I was agreeing to read a YA mystery, and was slightly irritated at myself for not researching the context before agreeing to review it. But, once I started reading it, I realized the novel was not necessarily for kids or young adults. In fact, I wondered if perhaps the book was for adults but marketed toward for the younger crowd due the Flavia’s age. I was so impressed by the book, I vowed to look up the first four installments and catch up with the series. Well, that was three years ago, so suffice it say, I got a little distracted somewhere along the way. But, I see a new installment of this series was released recently, which reminded me of my pledge to get started on this series. So, finally, I have read this book that propelled the series into the public’s consciousness. Flavia de Luce is eleven years old in 1950 and is an aspiring chemist. Not the normal goal for young ladies in this time period, and we learn pretty early on that her entire family is a more than a little eccentric. The mystery heats up right away after Flavia finds a body in the cucumber garden, and her father becomes the prime suspect. In order to prove her father’s innocence, Flavia must investigate a sad episode in her father’s past, which is linked to a valuable stamp. Flavia’s first person narrative is razor sharp, and laugh out loud funny. Her adventures are tense and suspenseful, and the secondary characters add just the right amount of support, while drawing a pointedly poignant portrait of Flavia, she would rather keep hidden. As charming as she is, Flavia is also hurting, somewhat neglected, and left to her own devices more often than not, which brought out my maternal instincts, making me wish I could give her a fierce hug and reassure her, and assuage her fears, doubts, and insecurities. The mystery is very well done, with several twists and surprises that place Flavia in direct danger, which adds a pretty intense level of suspense to the story. I loved the strength Flavia displays, her courage, and willingness to do what it took to help her family, which makes her a positive figure for young readers and adults alike. Other than being a huge Harry Potter fan, and having read The Hunger Games, I have pretty much skipped over the YA phenomenon for a variety of reasons. However, this series gets my stamp of approval, so far, and I am really looking forward to Flavia’s next adventure. 4 stars

  • Lisa Vegan
    2018-10-19 02:05

    Delightful!I loved this quirky book. The amateur sleuth and chemistry enthusiast Flavia de Luce is a very unusual 11 year old, but I’ve known many 11 year olds unusual in their own ways, so Flavia worked for me just fine. She’s completely over the top, yet somehow believable, at least within the narrative. She’s a fabulous character and a brilliant creation.I smiled several times on almost every page, especially in the first part of the book. As with many mysteries, there was some quite scary (for me) suspense toward the end, which surprised me a bit, given the general humorous telling of the story, dark though it was. The story dragged a bit a few times in the last parts, but overall this was a completely engrossing book. I will definitely be continuing with this mystery series.

  • Arah-Lynda
    2018-10-15 07:04

    A surprisingly, delightfull who dunnit, introducing Flavia De Luce, who is one of the most captivating, young characters I have met since young Harry came out from his cupboard under the stairs. I'll definitely be reading the next chemical caper.

  • Misty
    2018-10-19 03:17

    Flavia de Luce is not your average eleven year old. She lives in a decaying mansion. She has a passion for chemistry, especially poisons. And when she finds a man dying in her cucumber patch, it doesn't occur to her to be worried or scared. Instead, Flavia senses something delicious may come of it: adventure.Thus Flavia sets out to find out just who the man is, and how he came to be dying in her cucumber patch. But what starts off as a fun, mysterious way to spend the summer of 1950 turns into something much more when Flavia's father is arrested for the crime -- and she must prove his innocence before it's too late.The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is slightly out of the norm for me in that I tend to avoid mysteries. I figure them out too soon, so they bore me and come off as cheesy. But I'd heard good things about this one, I was completely caught by the title and, yes, the cover (you know me), and precocious Flavia sounded interesting. So not only did I decide to give it a try, but I even went ahead and bought it. I do not regret this impetuous decision.Flavia is delightful in her little-genius antics, and though her precociousness is occasionally somewhat irritating (as with all precociousness), she remains consistently entertaining. She's bold and bright and adventurous, and like many a genius, slightly off. She occasionally reminded me of Merricat Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle, whom, if you remember, I found captivating, even if she was a loon. Flavia isn't a loon, but her obsession with poisons does make her narration slightly suspect on occasion, which adds an interesting element.The tone throughout the book is fun and intriguing. It's like some weird love-child of We Have Always Lived in the Castle + nostalgic/atmospheric/eccentric/British coming of age lit (think I Capture the Castle) + a cozy mystery. That's some parentage, and it makes for interesting offspring. The characters are fun and quirky, and this extends beyond Flavia, though she certainly takes the cake in this regard.And even for me, who always figures things out and then gets disgusted -- even for me the mystery was fun. It's the sort that, even if you figure it out, there's still enough suspense, still enough tension, still enough interest to keep me going. You want to know how it's going to work out; more specifically, you want to know how Flavia's going to wriggle out of this one and come out on top, because she's that type of character; you just know she will.I think, whether you like mysteries or you typically avoid them like me, you'll like Sweetness, and you'll intend to continue on with the series, The Buckshaw Chronicles -- you just have to know what Flavia's going to get herself into next!

  • Wart Hill
    2018-10-07 07:25

    Things I Find While ShelvingWell, that was disappointing. I have been looking forward to reading this for awhile and I was finally in the mood and it was in at the library (I've tried the audio but find it far too annoying), so I was super psyched!And then it was...super meh.Flavia is beyond annoying. As are most of the characters, but especially Flavia. It annoys me greatly that she thinks she needs to compete with the police to solve a murder because a) she's eleven and b) it's a murder leave that shit to the police what the everloving fuck?!It had a strong ending, which was good, and means I may keep reading in the series, see if it gets better, but overall it was

  • Heather (DeathByBook)
    2018-10-03 05:00

    This is a new favorite! I read it in two sittings and am ready to start agiain. Flavia de Luce is one of my top new detectives. I only wish I could have her over for tea to discuss the difficulty of living with older sisters and perhaps, poisons. I'm sure it has been said by many and I agree, that this book is an absolute delight.

  • BookLover
    2018-10-04 07:04

    This was a delightful little read! Thoroughly enjoyed looking at life in 1950 through the eyes of the incorrigible Flavia de Luce!

  • Robert
    2018-09-24 04:09

    If I were an eleven-year-old girl, I’d like to think I might resemble Flavia de Luce. Precocious, ubiquitous, and intelligent, she’s filled with energy and life, refers to her sisters as Feely and Daffy, and has an unbounding curiosity about the world around her, even though there’s always the chance she could blow up Bishop’s Lacey with her latest science experiment. Not knowing what trouble she might find herself in next kicked my curiosity into overdrive. Her voice kept me finely tuned into her mesmerizing world, as my eyes widened in surprise and awe. Filled with a cheery lightheartedness, I couldn’t help but smile at some of her adventures, even if I did wonder slightly how she managed to insert herself so readily into the crime solving arena, without so much as a stray comment from the commanding officers. But it was her sweet escapes and near misses that felt a tad more contrived and too convenient, rather than showcasing the work of an expert planner or master crafter. The story would have been better served with hints or groundwork rather than fanfare eureka moments that provided narrow escapes.While I realize a plethora exclamation points are a stylistic choice, and I’ll even grant that said exclamation points added to Flavia’s voice and helped enhance her childlike wonder, I couldn’t help my burning desire to pound a few out of the page and cry “Curses!” all the way to Mother England.THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE proved rather sweet indeed, but it did have the hint of a bitter aftertaste, which prevented me from rating this book higher.Cross-posted at Robert's Reads

  • Meagan
    2018-10-08 01:16

    I'm not usually one for mysteries because they're so much about the plot and not so much about the character, so it takes a good one to keep me interested. Unfortunatley, this one did not. I found it terribly dry and borderline nodded off at several points. I guess I was hoping for more of a 'Mysterious case of the dog in the nighttime'. Instead it just seemed to almost trudge along at an alarmingly tottering pace.I did find the main character, Flavia, fairly charming and I think if she were written into a more fast paced novel she would really truly shine. As it was I felt she was lost amidst a wordy excursion into stamps and the British countryside.

  • Lata
    2018-10-11 23:02

    This is my second time reading this, though this time I chose to listen to it. And that made a difference. Where before I didn't really think much of the book, this time, having a voice actor bring Flavia de Luce to life was critical to me enjoying this story. Flavia's intelligence, humour and cheek really come through in the audio, and that makes the book, and this time I could appreciate Alan Bradley's writing and historical details. I am going to check out the other books now in audio, as Flavia became someone I want to spend more time with.

  • Mona
    2018-10-07 04:15

    Delightful and Unique Young Protagonist, Flawed Story Eleven year old Flavia de Luce is such a delightful and unique character. "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" is worth reading just to make her acquaintance.She is a precociously brilliant child living in Northern England in the 1950s. Her passion in life is chemistry (specifically poisons) and she has her own chemistry lab. She is also an accomplished fibber (well, probably not as accomplished as she thinks, since several adults see through her lies). She is a brilliant detective, far better than the professionals she encounters (in part, because she is unencumbered by the police politics they face; and in part because she's just a lot smarter than they are). Riding her refurbished bicycle, Gladys, everywhere, she snoops around and uncovers more evidence than anyone else. Of course, in spite of her advanced intellect, she is still emotionally a child (although she shows surprising maturity at times). She is engaged in an ongoing war with her annoying teenage sisters, Daphne and Ophelia. She's also quite acerbically funny. Her thoughts about the (mostly) clueless adults around her are often hilarious. Nevertheless, she can be fiercely loyal to those she cares about.Flavia needs to develop her detective skills because a crime shows up literally in her yard. One day, someone leaves a dead bird on the front porch of the de Luce's palatial old home, Buckshaw, and the next day Flavia finds a corpse in the garden at Buckshaw. (view spoiler)[Actually, Flavia discovers a dying man in the Buckshaw garden, but he becomes a corpse in a few minutes.(hide spoiler)] Someone's been unfairly jailed on suspicion of murder, (view spoiler)[(Flavia's distant and troubled father, Colonel de Luce) (hide spoiler)] and although at first Flavia wonders if the police have the murderer, after a while, Flavia becomes more and more certain it's someone else.The cast of characters is large and colorful and includes the following people. There is Dogger, the faithful gardener and servant of Flavia's father. Dogger is troubled by PTSD and episodes where he blanks out. Apparently this is the aftermath of World War II, in which Dogger served side by side with Flavia's father, Colonel de Luce. There is Mrs. Mullet, the (all too) chatty cook, who creates custard pies that the DeLuces loathe and rhubarb pies that they like. There are a couple of local librarians; Dr. Kissing, the former headmaster at Greyminster, the school Colonel de Luce attended as a boy; and various policemen and detectives. There is also Pemberton, who keeps showing up asking if he can interview Flavia's father for the photo book he is writing about distinguished old homes in the area. Mary is the daughter of the local innkeeper at the Inn called the Thirteen Drakes; Ned works there too and Ophelia is in love with him, but he is infatuated with Mary.It's a sweet book, but unfortunately there are huge pieces of the story that don't make sense. Here are the two most illogical parts of the plot. In one scene, (view spoiler)[Flavia visits her father in jail and (hide spoiler)]Flavia's father tells her the story of his time in school which provides a backstory for the crime. But Flavia says he hardly notices she's there and thinks he's speaking to Harriet, his deceased wife. I suppose this is possible, although it's a stretch to suppose that he would spend hours telling this story to his youngest daughter as if she was his wife. It is in character for him to do something like this, but....More illogical is that Flavia finally solves the crime while she is in dire circumstances and her life is in danger (view spoiler)[She is blind folded and tied up in a pit under the library. (hide spoiler)] It's hard to imagine that an eleven year old child would be calmly analyzing the scenario under the circumstances, but I suppose anything is possible.In any case, it's a nice story with a remarkable young heroine. It's worth reading just for the main character.Jayne Entwhistle does a nice job reading the audio.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • ✨Susan✨
    2018-10-16 23:57

    A clever, sassy, Nancy Drew like book with a young girl who loves chemistry and mystery. A fun, fast paced ride with our heroine Flavia, the youngest of three girls being raised by their father. Flavia's angst and curiosity is entertaining and hits on all cylinders in this cozy murder mystery that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. A good story mixed with good narration makes for a win, win adventure.

  • Brenda
    2018-10-09 06:58

    Clever plot, unusual subject (stamp collecting), interesting setting and time, and amusing characters flesh out this funny little mystery. Flavia is a smart and snarky little detective whose passion is poison. I look forward to more Flavia.

  • Kasia
    2018-10-18 03:58

    I cant' believe this is the author's first work, in short it's really amazing, I mean a gloriously adorable kaleidoscope of words and textures and emotions, pure bliss to read! Set in 1950's England, the mystery has a rustic feel to it but is very easy to read and enjoy. It's not often that the protagonist is an eleven year old little girl, who's as feisty and cunning as it gets. Flava de Luce has a love affair with chemistry. Glass flasks and potions are more fun than hanging out and doing kid stuff so when a murder takes place in her very own garden she's not scared, instead she challenges the world to stop her from solving it, and most important from trying to find her sweet old dad guilty. Sprinkled with clues and obstacles the story is a must read for anyone who likes something a little different and it's delicious to curl up with on a cold and dreary night.Flavia compares chemistry to witchcraft, there's something very organic and cozy about the building elements of life and how they surround us in all forms. She is a wiz at tricking her sisters and playing games on them. What kid would melt her sister's lipstick and melt it back into shape using a .45 caliber slug mold with an interesting addition mixed in, one that would teach her sister respect for the quirky youngster. Even though their mom has passed away, her spirit lives on in all the precious things she left her name on all around the house. The tale is a mystery with some really special characterization and lot's of heart, I think the author has really left his mark on the world with this novel. The mystery wasn't the hardest thing to solve, I mean it wasn't as complex as an Agatha Christie one but still a fun to read, and Flavia's brave escapades were a joy to read. At one point in the story the author lets us know that Flavia started her love for chemistry with one book that fell on her head, well I had one of those books too as a kid, I was obsessed with it, I was never as good as her at it but I know what it feels like to be spellbound by a whole new philosophy and world of unknown wonders.

  • Elena
    2018-10-06 01:24

    Such a fun, fun character! Love the series and will likely to finish all of it lightning-fast (all audiobooks are present in edmonton library). Enjoyed learning via wikipedia facts about the author. Also read on the super-suitable for the story narrator Jayne Entwistle. Definitely will follow all that from now on.