The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Flavia de Luce

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BONUS: This edition contains a The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie discussion guide and an excerpt from Alan Bradley's The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag.

It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth” (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty mystery novel from award-winning author Alan Bradley.

In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia’s grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia’s mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder—although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave.

Praise for The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place

“Flavia [is] irrepressible, precocious and indefatigable. . . . A whole new chapter of Flavia’s life opens as she approaches adolescence. Will she become the Madame Curie of crime?”—Bookreporter

“Outstanding . . . As usual, Bradley makes his improbable series conceit work and relieves the plot’s inherent darkness with clever humor.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“There’s only one Flavia. . . . Series fans will anticipate the details of this investigation, along with one last taste of Flavia’s unorthodox family life.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Bradley’s unquenchable heroine brings ‘the most complicated case I had ever come across’ to a highly satisfying conclusion, with the promise of still brighter days ahead.”—Kirkus Reviews

From award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as “one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”
Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Alan Bradley’s The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.

Acclaim for Speaking from Among the Bones
“[Alan] Bradley scores another success. . . . This series is a grown-up version of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and all those mysteries you fell in love with as a child.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“The precocious and irrepressible Flavia . . . continues to delight.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fiendishly brilliant . . . Bradley has created an utterly charming cast of characters . . . as quirky as any British mystery fan could hope for.”—Bookreporter
“Delightful and entertaining.”—San Jose Mercury News
Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today
“Delightful.”—The Boston Globe, on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
“Utterly beguiling.”—People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag
“Irresistibly appealing.”—The New York Times Book Review, on A Red Herring Without Mustard


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Additional Information

Delacorte Press
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Published on
Apr 28, 2009
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Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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