Book 18 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan
Bradley fulfills the category “Book
with a Bird on the Cover” for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. The cover is
a muted green featuring a dead Jack snipe bird with a stamp on his beak.
The novel is a cozy mystery featuring amateur detective
Flavia de Luce, an eleven-year-old girl with a passion for chemistry. She
stumbles across a dead body in her family’s garden and sets about solving the crime. The tale has
great background—Flavia’s dead, missing mother, her absentee father, her fights
with two older sisters, and the impending loss of their ancestral family home. The
mystery is complex without being overbearing. The characters are well-written
and fully imagined. And Flavia is the best girl-detective I’ve come across since
Nancy Drew.
my question though, why are these books in the Adult collection at my library?
Everywhere I have seen the series, they aren’t with Young Adult or Children’s. Wha?
The hero is a spunky girl living in England in 1950. She has an untamed spirit
and an audacity that’s inspiring. Why wouldn’t you market the books for YA? She’s
smart, funny, and loves science. The chemistry stuff is hysterical. She gets so
excited. She’s a great example for nerdy girls out there.
also the fantastic family drama. She’s a total Disney princess type—third
child, motherless, locked in a chemical laboratory in an old English manor.
Well, not locked because she has the run of the town, but you get my meaning.
She can’t relate to her father, her mother is some mythical dream woman, and
the sisters—that’s my favorite. I have two older sisters and the dynamic here
is so relatable. I was the nerd, and my sisters were more into sports, crafts,
and mirrors than I was. I love how they fight, how they can’t find a middle ground.
How they are like actual sisters. I’m sure I’m not the only person who can sympathize.
The novel contains so many wonderful elements besides
these I’ve mentioned. The
historical era of post-WWII England and the recovery. The fall of the “elite”
we all loved from Downton Abbey. Told from the first-person perspective,
we get a great view of small-town life in the English countryside, according to
a young girl. She’s so full of opinions and sass without a single apology.
Through Flavia’s eyes, we see the complex human conditions of WWII vets,
haunting pasts, and freedom of life without formal schooling.
I enjoyed the book entirely. The mystery was almost an
added bonus to the wanderings and thoughts of Flavia de Luce. And thanks to the
great Lock Down of 2020, I’ve
binged most of the series.

     I give The
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley Five Girl Detectives.

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