Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What I'm Reading Now...

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a review by Mary Jane King, Director Institutional Advancement and Development

Must be the season of the wunderkind. No sooner had I said farewell to the precocious Paloma in The Elegance of the Hedgehog than I met 11-year-old Flavia in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. This debut mystery by Alan Bradley introduces a new and unforgettable sleuth. Flavia lives in one of England's crumbling ancestral homes in the years just following World War II--peace has returned but the war simmers just beneath the surface. She is a self-taught chemist whose specialty is poisons. PVCC's beloved professor emeritus of chemistry, the late Ray Bratton, would have loved her. Everything is chemistry, he was fond of saying. Flavia would most certainly agree. The leisurely pace of life at the manor is interrupted by two events--the arrival on the doorstep of a dead snipe with a postage stamp impaled on its beak and the subsequent discovery of a dying man among the cucumbers in the kitchen garden. Of course, Flavia ultimately solves the case but not before many adventures and hilarious ruminations. Be prepared to laugh out loud. The publishers have promised that a new Flavia mystery is in the works. They'd better be right.