Customer Reviews for

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 427 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(168)

4 Star

(127)

3 Star

(73)

2 Star

(39)

1 Star

(20)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Unusual, Exciting Read

The narrator is an extremely intelligent 11 yr. old girl named Flavia in the 1950's England. She lives in an old English estate, Buckshaw, in an unusual, strange, dysfunctional family. Her brilliant mind and wisdom beyond her years drives her to solve local muders and d...
The narrator is an extremely intelligent 11 yr. old girl named Flavia in the 1950's England. She lives in an old English estate, Buckshaw, in an unusual, strange, dysfunctional family. Her brilliant mind and wisdom beyond her years drives her to solve local muders and does a better job than the authorities. Well worth your time...
Other books I've really enjoyed were, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, FIREFLY LANE, THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN.

posted by 1louise1 on January 31, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Not Sweet in Any Pleasing Sort of Way

This book was a pleasant enough read, mostly. Parts of it were intriguing and stirred up my curiosity about poisons that I never realized I had, (nor do I expect to be enduring.) I found myself skipping large sections toward the middle of the book, and toward the end be...
This book was a pleasant enough read, mostly. Parts of it were intriguing and stirred up my curiosity about poisons that I never realized I had, (nor do I expect to be enduring.) I found myself skipping large sections toward the middle of the book, and toward the end because, although I wanted to find out how things were going to turn out, none of the book was interesting enough to compete with all the other books "calling my name."

I've been reading other books which were excellent, with wonderful character development; in constrast, the characters in "Sweetness" were pale, a bit annoying, and unbelievable.

At first, I was going to give this a "3 star" because I thought that "3 stars" was neutral. But "two stars" is suppose to mean "It was ok," and that's all this was for me.

posted by Angela2932ND on April 9, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 428 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 22
  • Posted March 31, 2010

    Finally! I get to write a good review

    I've been writing a lot of reviews lately and they have all been mostly negative. I'm so happy to say that this book is a great read. I really like Flavia, the 11 yr old protagonist. She is sassy and too smart for her own good. I love that she decides she is going to solve the crime herself (in fact, she solves two)and persists despite all the obstacles in her way. Along with her faithful steed Gladys, Flavia is tireless in her pursuit of the truth, even if it means climbing ontop of a roof or confronting the Bad Guy. This is an unusual mystery with an unusual detective. Long live Flavia.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun!

    Flavia de Luce is a confident, gifted 11 year old that dapples in chemistry, her specialty is poison. She is determined to solve a mystery (the dead man she found in the cucumbers) and manages to get herself into quite a few tight spots, a little like Nancy Drew would but with much more character. This is the first of the series and it was a fun read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    Can't wait to read more Flavia De Luce mysteries!

    The perfect murder mystery for someone who doesn't like creepy, sadistic murder mysteries. Flavia's quick wit and perspective on the world make this novel a winner.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A true who-done-it from a remarkable author.

    Mr. Bradley brings us the first in a new series in his The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. We are introduced to our protagonist on the first page as she's bound and gagged and placed in the attic, by her older sisters. Yes Flavia de Luce is an eleven year old Holmes want-to-be an Agatha Christie in pig tails and bobby socks and let's not forget an uber-alchemist with a mind like a steel trap and the sentiments, fears and emotions of a pre-teen girl.
    It's quite a combination of elements and emotions our author brings to this mystery. We have the typical stodgy, stiff upper lip, upper class English family. An eccentric father, two older siblings and assorted County manor employees, and of course our star Flavia. His story takes place in 1950's England in a fictitious village of Bishop's Lacey where Flavia and her family are intimately involved with the disappearance of a priceless postage stamp and murder. Mr. Bradey gives us the perfect dialogue to go along with our characters and we readers can easily picture ourselves watching little Flavia discussing the case with Inspector Hewitt who is equally appalled and amazed by the skill and intuition of Flavia. His other characters are also memorable, and I especially like the actions and reactions between the sisters. It makes you laugh and shake your head at the same time. The story line/plot is unique even if every man in the 1950's in England collected stamps.
    So put on your thinking cap, light up your pipe and get out your magnifying glass, because you'll need all three to figure out this who-done-it. His other notable works include Ms. Holmes of Baker Street written in collaboration with William A.S. Sarjeant which gives us a whole new perspective on the greatest detective that was ever imagined.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Precocious Young Detective!

    The characters in this mystery were so easy to visualize. The plot centered as much on relationships as it did on the mystery in the garden. Excellent descriptive writing and interesting twists and turns in the plot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great fun and a tad wicked....

    Very interesting characters, particularly the heroine. Although she is just a little scary, one soon realizes that she won't go as far as you initialy suspect she might. And how many of us wouldn't have envied her skill and imagination in retaliating against OUR siblings? Her relationship with the family caretaker is very touching, and the one with her sisters is hilarious. A fun read and I am looking forward to the sequel with anticipation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Addictive Read

    Within the first chapter, I was hooked. Although only 11 years old, Flavia is probably the most interesting protagonist that I've come across in quite some time. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    A clever page turner for adults or kids.

    A fun, light read that is a page turner. 11 year old sleuth Flavia de Luce uses her knowledge of chemistry, people, and her youth to help solve a murder mystery that happened in her family's own cucumber patch and clear her father of the crime. She also has time to complain about her sisters and the food their housekeeper makes for them. Of course you know the murder will be solved but getting there is the fun. One can easily picture the book(s) being adapted for PBS's Mytsery! series.

    Suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy the book -- how can an 11 year old be so smart and solve the crime -- but it is well worth it to be able to enjoy Mr. Bradley's characters which he paints so vividly -- from Flavia and her sisters and father, to Dogger, the (damaged) loyal family gardner/valet/whatever to the housekeeper, the librarian, the police chief, and even Flavia's bicycle, named Gladys. You can really see what they look and imagine how they act beyond what is on the written page.

    While I would not characterize this as "great literature," it is an entertaining book with a compelling mystery that seems perfect for anyone from someone Flavia's age who may need a fun book for encouragement to read, to adults who can appreciate the book differently. Kudos to Mr. Bradley -- his mystery writers award was well deserved.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    quirky and fun

    I loved this book set in England. Great little mystery. I can't wait for the second in the series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Philatelists Find Favor at the Bottom of the Pie

    An eleven-year-old English chemist called Flavia de Luce finds a body in the cucumber patch. Did her widowed father kill the man, whose final word was "Vale?" Or was it Dogger, the valet/driver/gardener who would kill for the de Luce family? It all starts with a famous pair of rare stamps: one stolen from the headmaster of a boy's academy and the other stolen from King George VI himself.

    This charming mystery novel, appropriate for teens and adults, is a joy to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    Couldn't get past the first 20 pages

    I know this book was well reviewed, and maybe it just wasn't the right time or place for me to meet it, but I found it nearly unbearable. So sticky cute, so saccharine, so unfulfilling in terms of a mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    I was disappointed.

    After reading the reviews, I was looking forward to a good mystery. I was very disappointed that this book was so slow and predictable. I expected more surprise and suspense. Everything that the main character concluded seemed perfectly obvious to me, and I could see where the author was headed way ahead of time. The ending was an
    anticlimax. I will say that it was beautifully written. But I expected more poignancy, especially when it concerned the main character's mother. All I could think when I finished this book was how much better it could have been!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gotta Love Flavia

    What an entertaining protagonist we meet in Flavia! She's quite the little detective, and I often found myself forgetting that she was an eleven year old. That is, until her next interaction with one of her sisters. Those involved some of the funniest parts of the book. I really enjoyed this story and the characters and look forward to Flavia's next mystery! If you're looking for a quick, entertaining read that's not too taxing on the brain, but still want a mystery within, pick this book up. You won't be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a superb young adult historical investigative tale

    In 1950 in a remote English village, eleven years old Flavia de Luce the chemist plots revenge against her pain in the butt snobby older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne. However, her considerations of various poisons while she should be sleeping are interrupted when an angry volatile redheaded stranger confronts her widower father Colonel de Luce in the cucumber patch. Wanting to know more, the expert keyhole listener pays careful attention and learns that the newcomer accuses her father of stealing a valuable stamp, which led to a schoolmaster committing suicide. Though she knows her dad is an avid collector, Flavia has a problem with him being a thief; her sisters perhaps but not dad.-------------

    Soon after the accusation, the stranger dies in bed. Inspector Hewitt arrests the Colonel for murder. Flavia insists to Hewitt that she witnessed the spat, but he ignores her as a child of the culprit. With the help of battle fatigue victim Dogger the gardener, Flavia investigates that is when she is not lacing poison in Ophelia's lipstick or hiding Daphne's book.------------

    THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE is a superb young adult historical investigative tale starring a brilliant sleuth who apparently proves to be a chip off the old block; her late mom that is. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the great chemist concocts plans to poison Ophelia's lipstick and never slows down as fearless Flavia investigates the stamp theft and its related two homicides. Her asides are worth the admission price as Alan Bradley introduces readers to a wonderful anti-heroine tweener.---------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2015

    Flavia Gets to the Bottom of a Mystery Life for 11-year-old Fla

    Flavia Gets to the Bottom of a Mystery

    Life for 11-year-old Flavia de Luce is fairly easy in 1950 England.  True, she doesn’t get along with her two older sisters, but she gives as good as she gets from them, usually thanks to her passion for chemistry.
     
    Then one June day, their housekeeper finds a dead jacksnipe on their doorstep complete with an old stamp on his beak.  That first upsets her father, who goes into his study to be alone.  However, Flavia wakes up in the middle of the night and heads to the garden to find a stranger dying in the cucumber patch.  As these two events connected?  What might they mean?
     
    I have long intended to read these books because I’ve been hearing such great things about them.  It was certainly an interesting change from what I normally read since the book is aimed at adults but stars a pre-teen.  I also enjoy the setting and time as something different.  Flavia charmed and bothered me at the same time, but I have a feeling that is at least partially because I was expecting more maturity than is realistic from her.  Still, at times her first person narration droned on a bit too much and really could have been cut down.  Overall, I did enjoy being in her presence, and the rest of the characters entertained me as well.  The plot was logical, and her involvement and deductions all made sense.
     
    While I wasn’t quite as charmed as many of her fans are, I did enjoy getting to meet Flavia.  I will certainly be willing to give her next case a try and see how her detective skills grow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    Not my piece of "pie"

    I have sisters, a father and even named my bike but One adventure with Flavia was enough for me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 6, 2014

    A lovely mystery to keep you guessing! Flavia is quite a unique

    A lovely mystery to keep you guessing! Flavia is quite a unique 11-year-old girl. She is sweet herself, yet mysterious. The fact that she loves chemistry and talks like a true chemist keeps you on your toes---you never know what masterful chemical reaction may happen in her laboratory. The 1950 setting is beautiful and a bit rustic---charming, to say the least. "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" is a wonderful start to an intriguing series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite heroines of all time!

    The characters in Mr. Bradley's mystery are so well drawn and brought to life with such love, I can very clearly see them all in my mind's eye. Most brilliant is Flavia herself. A fascinating and winsome creature, I cannot wait to read her next adventure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    wonderful

    This was a terrific book. A unique main character, interesting plot and great supporting characters. Got the second book in the series immediately after finishing this one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2015

    Boston Bob reviews; funny, cute, great character

    This is a great book for young adult readers. The character is unique, funny and memorable. I give it high marks and well worth your time and effort, especially younger readers

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 428 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 22