THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by ALAN BRADLEY.
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 decided to do some investigating of her own.
..... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: It was as black in the closet as old blood.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: As he drank, I remembered that there's a reason we English are ruled more by tea than by Buckingham Palace or His Majesty's Government: apart from the soul, the brewing of tea is the only thing that sets us apart from the Great Apes.
The first of the Flavia De Luce mysteries and what a wonderful read it was. Nostalgic, witty, cleverly written and with a memorable cast of characters - who could resist names such as Flavia, Ophelia Gertrude, Dr Kissing, and Jacob Tingle?
Almost 11 year old Flavia is the rather unusual, unwitting heroine of our story. Kicked out of the Brownies for manufacturing ferric oxide to earn her domestic service badge, Flavia is intelligent beyond her years and yet. at the same time, argues with her sisters (Daphne and Ophelia Gertrude) as is typical of a girl her age.
Somewhat reminiscent of The Secret Seven/Famous Five Books made famous by Enid Blyton, Flavia is a child of times gone by, a child, who despite having found a dead body in the garden, lives in gentler times which makes this such a nice story to read.
A book I would highly recommend to those who like their crime served with a little sugar, The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie is an enchanting read.
The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie was a book club read.