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Book Specific Discussions > Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikedecshop) Just finished Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradely.I didn't think I was going to care for this one about an eleven year old girl "detective", however it turned out to be a pretty good little mystery.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I listened to the audiobook version of The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie. This is the story of a precocious eleven-year-old English girl who discovers a dying man in the cucumber patch on her family’s estate. The novel is as ridiculously pretentious and fun as that statement suggests. As the story unfolds with its Gothic twists and familial eccentricities, comparison with the equally absurd but adult heroine of Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody are unavoidable. I’m not particularly fond of precociousness, but I can appreciate the skill with which Alan Bradley drew the character of Flavia deLuce. Jayne Entwistle perfectly delivered the role of the braces-wearing amateur sleuth; but I have to be honest, it all grew rather tiresome to the ear after a while. I think I will probably pass on the sequel, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, which is coming out next week.


message 3: by Joel (new)

Joel (joelevard) Tanya, I might blame the reader in this case. I also listened to Sweetness as an audiobook, and found the narrator's interpretation of Flavia really grating after a while. Her precociousness comes off as much less obnoxious in print. Also the mystery wasn't really interesting enough to listen to for 11 hours, but I think I would have been happy reading it for three.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikedecshop) Tanya/Joel
I listened to Sweetness on audio as well. I agree the narrator did get on my nerves very quickly into the book. I also didn't find it intriguing enough to continue with the series.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
OK, well, you all have to get the PRINTED version of The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, if only for the Books on the Nightstand mention in the acknowledgements!


message 6: by Joel (new)

Joel (joelevard) Ann, I plan to, if only because the books look so good on the shelf -- great design. Congrats on the mention, that's very cool!

I first heard about it on NPR, in a segment about a number of mysteries that were hitting shelves last fall. You never do interviews there, do you?


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Joel, excuse me while I fall off my chair laughing. No, NPR has never come calling ... maybe someday :)


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
Joel-

a warning. The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag has the same cover design as the first, but it has a dust jacket (whereas the first book was "paper over board")

I really wish we had stuck to paper over board, as I think it gave them a quirky look that reminded me a bit of the old Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books.


message 9: by Joel (new)

Joel (joelevard) Aw. Thanks for the warning. I have to admit that was about 75 percent of why I had to own the first one. What were they thinking!


message 10: by Peg (last edited Mar 09, 2010 12:10PM) (new)

Peg | 73 comments Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel

Story set in 1930's Ireland about politics, coming of age, love story, treachery and mystery. Not a story for those that don't like descriptive writing or need the story to move quickly. Nor is it one for those that need no digressions - this story has tremendously wonderful digressions.

For the rest of you that love good writing and a story that is good in itself but also for it's telling.....


message 11: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 21 comments Tanya wrote: "I listened to the audiobook version of The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie. This is the story of a precocious eleven-year-old English girl who discovers a dying man in the cucumber patch on her..."

I listened to the audiobook as well. Since it came so highly recommended by BOTN, I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more. I found myself not really interested in the characters and the mystery itself.


message 12: by Eric (new)

Eric | 1175 comments Mod
Just finished it (audiobook also - the narrator was superb). I will definitely read any sequel the author chooses to write. Loved it. You know what would be interesting? If he did two sequels from Daphne's and Ophelia's points of view, just to turn our expectations on their heads.


message 13: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2701 comments Mod
Eric, His sequel came out this past Tuesday The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag. I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

Linda


message 14: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 279 comments I saw The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag in the bookstore this weekend, and I agree with Michael. I wish the publisher had stuck with the paper over board, rather than the dust jacket. I loved the old-fashioned feel of Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I am not allowing myself to purchase the book until I finish the three books that I am currently reading.


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2701 comments Mod
Hee, hee, hee. Bradley's going to be in Cincinnati at the beginning of next month. Dare I blow off monthly board meeting in Columbus to go to the book signing?

Linda


message 16: by Kat (new)

Kat Warren | 73 comments I read this ("Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie") several months ago and now can't recall much except there are two kids, a car, a garden and the sweetness of the title indeed foreshadowed the content. Slight, very. Sorry to have bought it in hardcover.


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianec) | 46 comments Tanya wrote: "I listened to the audiobook version of The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie. This is the story of a precocious eleven-year-old English girl who discovers a dying man in the cucumber patch on her..."

Wow, I'm in the middle of the audio and I love it. The first couple of chapters, I admit, the interpretation of Flavia seemed annoying, but it really did capture that precocious self aggrandizing personality and I grew to really like it and have been looking for excuses to drive so I can finish it up.


message 18: by Kat (new)

Kat Warren | 73 comments I did like the idea of the girl being named Flavia.


message 19: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (manchesterunited) | 56 comments I adore Flavia! A couple of my favorite quotes...
"Anyone who knew the word slattern was worth cultivating as a friend."

"Tell them we may not be praying with them," Father told the Vicar, "but we are at least not actively praying against them."

"It is not unknown for fathers with a brace of daughters to reel off their names in order of birth when summoning the youngest, and I had long ago become accustomed to being called 'Ophelia Daphne Flavia, damn it.'"

I just finished "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag" and thought it was a solid 5 star book. I seriously could not put this one down. My highest of recommendations!


message 20: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments Because of yet another glowing endorsement from Michael on the podcast and because of hearing a sample of The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, I download the audio version of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I'm about 2-1/2 hours into it and am completely captivated. It's absolutely wonderful and Flavia is the girl I wanted to be when I was eleven.


message 21: by Onaona (new)

Onaona (vaashti) | 17 comments It's absolutely wonderful and Flavia is the girl I wanted to be when I was eleven.

Exactly! I adore Flavia now and would have definitely adored her in my youth. Not only did I wish I was a super sleuth when I was eleven, but I also wished I was British. :)


message 22: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 11 comments While I might find Flavia obnoxious if she lived in my neighborhood however I love her in this story. Listening to the audio version read by Jane Entwistle makes the girl jump right out of the story and I can see riding down the street on Gladys. Elaine


message 23: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments Elaine, I completely agree with you about the narration. Jane Entwistle is definitely not an 11-year-old girl, nor does she even sound like a young woman. However, she captures Flavia's precociousness and enthusiasm perfectly.


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