Hannah's Reviews > The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2411388
's review
Aug 16, 10

bookshelves: 2010-reads, mysteries
Recommended to Hannah by: Tatiana G.
Read in August, 2010

I really wanted to like this more then I ended up doing. The story started off slowly, then picked up steam with a murder to solve and some interesting backstory on stamps. What hindered my enjoyment of the book, the story and the murder mystery was, unfortunately, the main character and detective: Flavia duLuce.

To say that young Flavia is precocious is an understatement. She has to be one of the most intelligent, well spoken, criminal minds since Sherlock Holmes. Problem is, she's only 11 years old, and she's totally unbelievable to me. Hey, I respect intelligent fictional kids as crime solvers - I grew up reading Trixie Belden for pete's sake. But Flavia's brand of intelligence is far beyond what I can believe or accept in a pint-size crime solver. As a result, I spent the majority of the book rolling my eyes over the things she said, the deductions she made, and the way she handled the sticky situations she found herself in.

Look, I can suspend my belief in unbelievable books when the author creates a world that I can accept. (Case in point: a 100 year old sparkling virgin vampire). Flavia, however, resisted all my attempts to reconcile and readjust my mind-set to embrace. She's obviously got a goodly number of admirers. As for me, I side with her sisters in wanting to lock her in a dark closet and keep her there...
85 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-20)




dateUp arrow    newest »

message 20: by Arlene (new)

Arlene precocious [prɪˈkəʊʃəs:] adj
1. ahead in development, such as the mental development of a child
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Botany) Botany (of plants, fruit, etc.) flowering or ripening early
[from Latin praecox early maturing, from prae early + coquere to ripen:]

*re-reads review*

Got it!! :)

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I think I would have been annoyed too with a precocious main character.


Hannah Arlene wrote: "precocious [prɪˈkəʊʃəs:] adj
1. ahead in development, such as the mental..."


LOL! I'm so glad you typed the word "precocious" since I couldn't spell it - now I'm gonna change the spelling in my review - thanks Wonderbread!

The bad thing about this was that the mystery was fairly decent, but the main character ruined it for me. If the author had made her about 6 years older, I *might* have believed it.


message 18: by Arlene (new)

Arlene LMAO! I didn't even realize you spelled it wrong!! hahaha I hope you didn't think I was being a smartass. tee hee... I really didn't know what it meant. Is embarrassed.

Mysteries have never really been hits for me. If a book has a mysterious element, that's okay, but crime solvers and such aren't my thing. Great review!!


message 17: by Hannah (last edited Aug 14, 2010 08:17PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hannah Arlene wrote: "LMAO! I didn't even realize you spelled it wrong!! hahaha I hope you didn't think I was being a smartass. tee hee... I really didn't know what it meant. Is embarrassed.

Mysteries have never rea..."


No, no, no, I totally didn't think you were doing that. I had actually thought about looking up the spelling before I started my review, then said "oh screw it", so I was TRUELY glad you helped me out on that :)

I understand what you mean about mysteries. I feel that way about chick lit. Just not my cuppa tea.


message 16: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim To say that young Flavia is precocious is an understatement. She has to be one of the most intelligent, well spoken, criminal minds since Sherlock Holmes. Problem is, she's only 11 years old, and she's totally unbelievable to me.

Seriously? How come I didn't know this, I've had this on my to read list forever.


Hannah Hi Kim -
You might enjoy it, and Flavia. Many people do - just not me :)


Susan One of my mailing lists is currently having this conversation of being either in the pro-Flavia circle or not at all. Can't comment on it myself as I haven't read the book.

Maybe Flavia was a love child of Sherlock Holmes, since she seems pretty much a genius? :)


Hannah Susan wrote: "Maybe Flavia was a love child of Sherlock Holmes, since she seems pretty much a genius? ..."

I guess that would mean Irene Adler came back to visit Sherlock one night!


message 12: by Dee Dee (new) - added it

Dee Dee Walker I really want to try this book but now I'm having second thoughts. I think I can overlook the fact that this girl is way too smart for her age. If I can do that, would you recomend the book? I'm looking for somethink cute and light!


message 11: by Hannah (last edited Feb 18, 2012 12:03PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hannah Dee wrote: "I really want to try this book but now I'm having second thoughts. I think I can overlook the fact that this girl is way too smart for her age. If I can do that, would you recomend the book? I'm lo..."

I say go for it, Dee. Many people like this series, including several of my GR friends. It just didn't "click" for me.
Good luck, and I look forward to knowing what you make of it.


message 10: by Dee Dee (new) - added it

Dee Dee Walker I've started reading it but it's not clicking for me either. I've already moved on to another book. I think I'm turning into a action junkie!


message 9: by Hannah (last edited Feb 24, 2012 05:05AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hannah Dee wrote: "I think I'm turning into a action junkie!"

haha - go for it!

Sorry Flavia didn't impress, but I understand completely.


Kathryn So, about Trixie Belden, do the books stand up over time? Or would I not enjoy them since I have no childhood nostalgia about them to carry me?


message 7: by Hannah (last edited Jun 08, 2012 03:25PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hannah Kathryn wrote: "So, about Trixie Belden, do the books stand up over time? Or would I not enjoy them since I have no childhood nostalgia about them to carry me?"

Hard to say, because I do think nostalgia colors alot of the books we re-read much later in life, and coming into it new (and as an adult) might not impress. But I do think Trixie has the appeal of classic 50's YA fiction, and should at least be tried. If you want to read this series, start with the first:

Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell

(this edition features the Whitman publishing cover, which is what my sister had and which is so pretty).


Kathryn Thanks :-) Lovely!


Ricki I thought the author did a wonderful job of showing Flavia's immaturity as an 11-year-old through her actions, words, and thoughts about the events at the time they occurred. For instance, when she thinks, "Father is going to be so angry," when her father has a lot of other things on his mind, including worrying about her safety, that anger would be far from his first thought. Flavia clearly doesn't understand adults (such as when she thinks that the inspector or her father could think she is the murderer) and doesn't notice that the inspector is only humoring her when he considers it. When I went through the book, I considered the detail and construction of the tale as being filled in by an older Flavia. And I believe that was the author's intent, although this isn't overtly stated.


Hannah Ricki wrote: "I thought the author did a wonderful job of showing Flavia's immaturity as an 11-year-old through her actions, words, and thoughts about the events at the time they occurred. For instance, when she..."

I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Ricki.


Sarah I agree, my review states the same. Enjoyed certain parts, but she is completely unbelievable as being eleven. She should be at least 15, asks it would have been much more appropriate.


Susan I loved this book and didn't care if she was an unrealistic 11 year old. It was such fun!


Hannah Susan wrote: "I loved this book and didn't care if she was an unrealistic 11 year old. It was such fun!"

I know alot of people who like this series - it just wasn't one I could get into. Oh well.


back to top