The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, 292 pages
What's in a Name3?: food in title; Book Awards IV(Dagger Debut)
A great new mystery series, (The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag is to be released March 9, 2010) Flavia de Luce is a smart-thinking, 11 year old, evil younger sister narrator. Set in the 1950s, that wonderful time after the war when Britain is in upheaval, reassessing class systems and hanging on to the old gentry label. Flavia comes from a family with a named house, a father who appears not to have to work, and some servants in the house. She is free to wreck havoc on her older sisters and experiment in the chemistry lab in the attic. Oh, yes, there is some chemistry love in this book.
I still shivered with joy whenever I thought of the rainy autumn day that Chemistry had fallen into my life. .... I cheered aloud when I read that a woman, Madame Curie, had discovered radium..... When I found the precise instructions were given for formulating these compounds, I was in seventh heaven. (page 7) Fear not readers, there isn't that much chemistry in the story, but there was just enough for my chem geek love.
Flavia is at the perfect age, eleven, free to roam around, smart enough to think, brave enough to ask questions and butt in to places, and young enough not to know any better. The mystery was solid, clues given here and there, but it was the interactions with the sisters and setting that I really enjoyed, plus extras about stamps, and magic. I'd read the next Flavia mystery; she's quite a character.
I made it to five, the silver level, and there are still a few days left in January. How high can I make it?
more rave reviews:
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alison at piling on the books
carl at Stainless Steel Droppings
nicola at Back to Books
joy atThoughts of Joy
chris at book-a-rama