Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Title The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
By Alan Bradley
For Bookclub
Source I own it

England 1950's, Flavia, an eleven year old girl with a fondness for chemistry, witnesses an argument between her father and a red haired stranger. Early the next morning she finds the stranger dead in the garden and launches her own investigation despite everyone's irritation.

Note ( I hate synopsis'. I mean if I'm interested fine, but half the time I already know what its about, or I don't care and would rather read what someone thought of the book. So, I'll make mine short and sweet. If you want a better one you can click on the title link.)

General thoughts
I don't know whether to be concerned or impressed that an older man from Canada can write so well about an 11 year old from England. But he does. That was by far my favorite thing about this book. Flavia seemed very realistically written. However, that was about the only thing I really enjoyed about the book. Every time I set it down, it was torture to pick back up. I just couldn't get into it and it was predictable enough that even the mystery didn't entice me. I'll admit it got much more interesting and fast paced in the last hundred pages or so and that made for a quick finish up. And there were plenty of lines that had me smiling and laughing but that just wasn't enough to make it a "great" book in my opinion.  


As I mentioned above I loved Flavia; she amused me and was incredibly believable. I liked Dogger too and loved the relationship between him and Flavia. I even enjoyed Flavia's pesky older sisters Ophelia and Daphne and I was amused by the Inspector and his patience with Flavia.  Flavia's father, however was a bit too melancholy and uninterested in his children than I liked and the "villain" was a touch to cliche. But other than those two I liked all the characters and that made the book much more tolerable than it might have been.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, definitely. No, I may not have liked it that much,but I didn't hate it and besides, my opinion tends to run on the negative side of things and is usually the opposite of everyone else. The characters were well developed and well written and there were plenty of amusing lines that made it worth it.

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  1. I'm curious about whether your book club liked it? This series is fairly popular in our used bookshop, though I have not read any of them myself.

  2. Book Girl, Our book club is meeting this week. Actually, Suey of It's All About Books organizes and hosts it. She always does a post on what we all thought. So look for that in the next week or so. I'm betting they all liked it.

  3. Oh boy, I guess I better finish it, huh? My guess is actually, that I'll feel about the same as you on this one. We'll see!

  4. I liked it--you know a relaxing book to go to sleep by--Of course I had to be reminded of what it was about to remember it a couple weeks later.

  5. You know, I'm totally not well-versed in mysteries, so I never see stuff coming or think they're predictable. Ok, I usually don't. I guess I just love Flavia.

  6. I hate it when the parents aren't invested in their children's lives. I get really frustrated when they should notice or stop something, but just look away like nothing is going on. It's a bummer the villain wasn't more original and interesting.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?