Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, reviewed by Michelle A. Greenberg

Doubleday Canada, 2009, 304 pages; $14.40 (paperback).

If you were to cross Marie Curie with Nancy Drew, the result would be Flavia de Luce; a precocious child in the post-WWII English countryside with a passion for poison and a propensity for mischief. Canadian author Alan Bradley’s series of mystery novels surrounding the adventures of Flavia de Luce are written with the old-school charm of a vintage Agatha Christie novel. There is never a dull moment in the village of Bishop’s Lacey, and Flavia is sure to weasel her way into the heart of it.

In The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, you get to know Flavia and her beloved laboratory as she solves her first murder with a variety of impressive deductions. Of course, Flavia finds the body, and although the police are involved, she can’t help but investigate this one herself.

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag follows Flavia over the course of yet another murder with a rather odd set of events that will keep you wondering what she will discover next. The third volume of Flavia’s adventures, A Red Herring Without Mustard, was released in 2011 with a fourth to be released in November 2011 and at least two more in process. If you love mystery with a touch of whimsy and a side of eccentricity, you won’t be able to put Flavia aside.

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Michelle Greenberg is a real estate professional in Toronto, Ontario. In her off-duty hours, she spends a lot of her time with her nose buried in a book. Sometimes, she likes to write her own stories and is working on improving her creative writing skills. In the past, she has contributed food reviews to online magazine Prospere and continues to blog irregularly here.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.


  1. I recently read "A Red Herring Without Mustard" and thoroughly enjoyed it!

  2. Good to know about the third volume of Flavia’s adventures that is A Red Herring Without Mustard which was released in 2011 with a fourth to be released in November 2011 and at least two more in process...No Doubt it was good..


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