Monday, August 17, 2009

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley, by a 70-year-old-first time novelist who want to retain his "youthful enthusiasm" and has succeeded admirably. The book is the winner of the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award. A "stranger" dies in the garden in the wee hours of morning and Flavia, and eleven-year-old chemistry enthusiast discovers him just as he is dying. With his last breath, he says, "Vale!" Flavia's father is arrested for the murder. Flavia tries to confess, but no one will believe her, so she must find the real murderer and save her father.

The action is swift, engaging and humorous. It is written at two levels. It could be read and enjoyed as a child, and it could be read and enjoyed as an adult. There are many allusions that would fly over the head of a child-reader, but not so many as to ruin it. I hate book reviews that contain spoilers, so I will not tell you how it ends. I will simply say I enjoyed it very much, and you probably will, too. It is charming and entertaining. I have a tendency to read multiple books at one time and found myself often choosing to pick this one up rather than any of the others. Note of warning: other than several murders, there is no sex or violence. Readers may find themselves learning about stamp collecting and chemistry.

(I also finished Jane Eyre. It had a good story, but used too many words in the telling.)

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Here is my updated booklist, which is still think is missing some books:

  1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradly
  2. Jane Eyre, by Emily Bronte, August 7, 2009
  3. A Little Book on the Human Shadow, by Robert Bly, July 27, 2009
  4. The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich, July 26, 2009
  5. Acorna, by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball, July 20, 2009
  6. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbs, by Bill Watterson, July 13, 2009
  7. The Actress, by Elizabeth Sims, July 11, 2009
  8. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  9. Marley: A Dog Like No Other, John Grogan
  10. Goodnight, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
  11. Bad Dog, Marley, John Grogan
  12. The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch
  13. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
  14. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  15. Dream When You're Feeling Blue, Elizabeth Berg
  16. We didn't mean to go to Sea, by Arthur Ransome
  17. Tara Road, Maeve Binchy
  18. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  19. The Worst Witch at School, Jill Murphy
  20. Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan
  21. The Nick Adams Stories, Ernest Hemingway
  22. The River King, Alice Hoffman
  23. The Probable Future, Alice Hoffman
  24. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  25. Lucifer, A Hagiography, Phillip Memmer
  26. It's a Magical World, Bill Watterson
  27. Pigeon Post, Arthur Ransome
  28. I Claudius, Robert Graves
  29. Peter Duck, Arthur Ransome
  30. The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini


shraddha@theselfloveproject said...

if i want a pick...i will check out this list...

thank you...

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

It's been an interesting read! :-D