Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Book Review--The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and read by Jayne Entwistle; accessed through OverDrive.

As always, "reading"* a book via audio combines two components; the story itself and the presentation by the reader.

*Disclaimer:  I put reading in "quotes" because it is a different medium than visually reading the printed page.  However, I maintain that any way you get the story into your brain is actually "reading"; it doesn't matter the mode.

Back to the story and our protagonist, Flavia De Luce.  Agatha Christie would applaud the cleverness of this sleuth and Arthur Conan Doyle might have used her to give lessons to Mr. Holmes in deductive reasoning.  And Lemony Snickett would have devised a series of ever-more-unfortunate events for this aspiring detective as she is only 11 years old. Do not automatically discount this as a children's book due to the age of the main character.  Her level of logic, deduction and reasoning will give you pause for thought as it all makes sense... from her point of view.  1950's-era chemistry knowledge and scientific practices, as well as a different views on parenting add to the flair and freedom of this phenom of the mystery genre.

... and I like it because she reminds me of one of my children.

The added bonus of listening to Jayne Entwhistle read was that I enjoyed a crisp accent that reminded me where the book took place (UK) and didn't leave me to wonder at pronunciations.  Ms. Entwhistle gives the text a brisk, matter-of-fact pace that reflects the character's personality wonderfully.

The double bonus is that this is not a new book and there is already a series featuring this fun little girl so I don't have to wait to find out what new adventures await Miss Flavia!

Shameless plug:  I borrowed this book from my public library's OverDrive collection.  Check your local library for access to downloadable audio and e-books!

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