Suzanne and I were discussing what makes for a great work of fiction.
I offered three attributes…
- Well written
- Interesting plot
- Characters you care about
The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie has all three in abundance. Alan Bradley’s first novel is well written- a delight to read at any age. It won the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. The plot is fun and exciting. It involves the murder of one Horace Bonepenny with a detailed back-story. The lead character is Flavia de Luce a budding chemist; a precocious eleven-year-old girl. The story is told in the first person, with Flavia leading an intimate tour of her Buckshaw English manor, of her annoying older sisters: Ophelia and Daphne, her widowed father, Dogger the groundskeeper, Mrs. Mullet the cook, and the colorful characters of Bishop Lacey- a small English village.
My only complaint: Flavia is too resourceful to be eleven. I see her actions as those of an older girl: somewhere between 14-16.
I would recommend this book to anyone. I suggest you read it before they make a movie of it and wreck it.
Amazon Book Preview of The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie