Making his fiction debut at age 70, Alan Bradley has crafted a charming novel that is sure to be one of the most loved mysteries of the year. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie introduces a delightful, intrepid, acid-tongued new heroine to the genre.
Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old girl living in 1950s England, is an aspiring chemist, a lover of poisons and a terror to her older sisters. When she discovers a dead body in the garden of her family's estate, she adds another hat to her repertoire: detective.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has a wonderfully entertaining plot, but it is Flavia that truly makes it shine. As this is only the first in what is projected to be a six-book series, readers are sure to enjoy the delights of Bradley and his creation for some time.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, May 3, 2009