The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a book I have vaguely known about for some time but I don’t think I really knew any more than the title. The title is obviously great which is presumably the main reason I remembered it!
I certainly had no real idea of the plot until I was exploring Foyles and found it sitting on the shelf looking at me. How could I possibly resist it?
Meet Flavia: Mystery Solver. Master Poisoner. 11 Years Old.
England 1950. At Buckshaw, the crumbling country seat of the de Luce family, very-nearly-eleven-year-old Flavia is plotting revenge on her older sisters.
Then a dead bird is left on the doorstep, which has an extraordinary effect on Flavia’s eccentric father, and a body is found in the garden. As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides to do some investigating of her own.
I am a huge fan of cosy crime books so I was fairly sure I was going to enjoy this one. It felt more intellectual than I was expecting – not that it was difficult to read but it definitely kept me thinking. I thought of it as more akin to Dorothy L Sayers than Agatha Christie.
I found the main character delightful and the book was excellently written. I found myself thinking about it a lot when I wasn’t able to read and that is always a sign of a gripping book. I just wanted to keep reading! I did spot the murderer fairly early on but as I had no idea why or how they had done it I don’t really count that as solving the crime. It wouldn’t stand up in court!
I loved this book and will definitely be seeking out the next book in the series. It is so wonderful to find a new series to obsess over!
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley