The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a delightful cozy mystery. The book is set in a small English village in the 1950s and the story begins with 10-year-old Flavia de Luce finding a dead snipe on her doorstep. The bird has a postage stamp impaled on its beak and her father’s reaction to the discovery implies that this is a warning of worse to come. His fears are confirmed when a man is found dying in a cucumber patch.
Flavia de Luce is a budding chemist with access to a laboratory in her country house. She enjoys learning about poisons and other chemical reactions – I loved her! She was such a wonderful, quirky character and I liked reading about the preparation and effects of various poisons. She wasn’t entirely believable as a ten-year-old, but then much of the plot was a bit far fetched so I don’t think realism is the key aim of this book!
The plot was fast paced and entertaining. It needed little concentration – I read much of it on a train journey, a time when I find the noise prevents me from reading anything too deep. The ending wasn’t earth-shattering, but the light mystery was well resolved.
Overall I enjoyed my journey back into the charming life of 1950s England and while I won’t be rushing out to buy the next in the series (The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag ) I’m sure I’ll get round to it at some point.
Did you enjoy The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie?
Which is your favourite cozy mystery?