The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, a review

The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie

Title:  The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie

Author:  Alan Bradley

Published:  24 April 2009

Publisher:  Delacorte Press

Date Read:  6 June 2019

Format:  Hardback

Source:  Pulaski County Public Library

Genre:  Mystery Fiction

My Rating:  Plot: 4. Character: 5, Setting: 5, Writing Quality: 4, Personal Enjoyment: 5, Overall: 4.6

GoodReads’ Rating:  3.81

Amazon Rating:  4.4

Awards:  CWA Debut Dagger (2007); Agatha Award for Best First Novel (2009); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction and Mystery/Thriller (2009); Barry Award for Best First Novel (2010); Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel (2010); Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2010); Dylis Award (2010); Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel (2010)

Other Books by Author:  The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Speaking From Among the Bones, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, “The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse”, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d, The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place, The Golden Tresses of the Dead.

First Sentence:  It was as black in the closet as old blood.

About the Book:  The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie introduces the reader to an eleven-year old, precocious, little girl with an affinity for chemistry, who takes great delight in tormenting her two sisters.    Finding a dead jack snipe outside the kitchen door, with a postage stamp impaled upon its beak, our protagonist, Flavia Sabina de Luce, youngest daughter of Colonel Haviland de Luce of Buckshaw, is most curious of the omen that this event presents.  When she later finds a man dead in the cucumber patch and her father is arrested for the murder, her feet and acute and logical mind are set to solving this murder most foul.

My Reaction to the Book:

Should You Read the Book?:



#ProjectElleryAdams Reading Challenge


During the latter half of 2019 and the early half of 2020, I shall be reading chronologically the cozy mysteries written by Ellery Adams, who is my most favorite cozy author.  Ms. Adams has crafted 8 unique cozy series:  Antiques and Collectibles Mystery Series; Supper Club Mystery Series; Books By the Bay Mystery Series; Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery Series; Hope Street Church Mystery Series; Book Retreat Mystery Series; A Novel Idea Mystery Series; and Secret, Book, and Scone Society Mystery Series.

  1. A Killer Collection (1st book in Antiques and Collectibles Mystery Series)
  2. Carbs and Cadavers (1st Book in Supper Club Mystery Series)
  3. A Fatal Appraisal
  4. Fit to Die
  5. A Deadly Dealer
  6. Chili-con Corpses
  7. Stiffs and Swine
  8. The Battered Body
  9. A Killer Plot (1st book in Books By the Bay Mystery Series)
  10. Black Beans and Vice
  11. A Deadly Cliché
  12. The Last Word
  13. Buried in a Book (1st book in A Novel Idea Mystery Series)
  14. Pies and Prejudice (1st book in Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery Series)
  15. Written in Stone
  16. Every Trick in the Book
  17. Peach Pies and Alibis
  18. Poisoned Prose
  19. Pecan Pies and Homicides
  20. Books, Cooks, and Crooks
  21. Murder in the Mystery Suite (1st book in Book Retreat Mystery Series)
  22. The Path of the Crooked (1st book in Hope Street Church Mystery Series)
  23. The Way of the Wicked
  24. The Graves of the Guilty
  25. The Root of All Evil
  26. Lethal Letters
  27. A Treacherous Trader
  28. Lemon Pies and Little White Lies
  29. Murder in the Paperback Parlor
  30. Writing All Wrongs
  31. Fate of the Fallen
  32. A Devious Lot
  33. Breach of Crust
  34. Murder in the Secret Garden
  35. A Killer Keepsake
  36. Killer Characters
  37. The Secret, Book, and Scone Society (1st book in Secret, Book, and Scone Society Mystery Series)
  38. Murder in the Locked Library
  39. Pasta Mortem
  40. The Whispered Word
  41. Murder in the Reading Room



For the latter half of 2019, I shall be eagerly participating in the #DuneTube2019 Reading Challenge created by Lukas at Totally Pretentious and hosted by Steve Donoghue, Elena Makridena, and Mark at Richardson Reads.

As a lifelong Dune fan, I am thrilled about participation in this read-a-long.  Not only do I love the original Dune sextet written by Frank Herbert, but I also love the storytelling in the Dune prequels and sequels created by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.  No, the prequels and the sequels do not possess the literary merit of the originals, however, Brian and Kevin spin some wonderful stories, nonetheless.

The #DuneTube2019 reading and discussion schedule is as follows:

  • 20 July, discussion of Dune
  • 20 August, discussion of Dune Messiah
  • 20 September, discussion of Children of Dune
  • 20 October, discussion of God Emperor of Dune
  • 20 November, discussion of Heretics of Dune
  • 20 December, discussion of Chapterhouse: Dune

The spice must flow!

#20BooksofSummer Reading Challenge


From 3 June until 3 September, I shall be participating in the #20BooksofSummer Reading Challenge created by 746books and promoted by Rick at Another Book Vlog.  My summer lineup will include the following 20 books:

  1. The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  3. Stoner by John Williams
  4. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  5. Bone Rattler by Eliot Pattison
  6. Almonds and Raisins by Maisie Mosco
  7. The Genizah At the House of Shepher by Tamar Yellin
  8. The Book of Abraham by Marek Halter
  9. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  11. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  12. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  13. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
  14. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
  15. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  16. In the Woods by Tana French
  17. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodore Dostoevsky
  18. Dissolution by C.J. Sansome
  19. Stormbird by Conn Iggulden
  20. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

June 2019 TBR

June TBR

Hello, Readers!  For June 2019, my intention is to read fifteen books.  Two books are for the LitWits Book Group and the Murder Book Group at the Pulaski County Public Library, eight books are for participation in the #20BooksofSummer Reading Challenge, and five books have been selected from my general TBR Listing.    These novels represent the following genres:  contemporary fiction, mystery fiction, classical fiction, historical fiction, Jewish fiction, and literary fiction.  Happy reading!

Book Groups at the Pulaski County Public Library

  • LitWits Book Group:  Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • Murder Book Group: 1222 by Anne Holt

Participation in #20BooksofSummer Reading Challenge

General TBR