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Download The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery Audiobook, by Alan Bradley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (48,821 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Bradley Narrator: Jayne Entwistle Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Flavia de Luce Series Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9780739384312
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It is the summer of 1950—and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • A wickedly clever story, a dead true and original voice, and an English country house in the summer: Alexander McCall Smith meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Please, please, Mr. Bradley, tell me we'll be seeing Flavia again soon? Laurie R. King, author of the Mary Russell series

    “Alan Bradley’s marvelous book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, is a fantastic read, a winner. Flavia walks right off the page and follows me through my day. I can hardly wait for the next book. Bravo!
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the reader the precious gift of a richly imagined and luscious new world–but uniquely so, for this is the world of Flavia Sabina de Luce: an eleven-year-old, utterly winning, and altogether delightfully nasty piece of work. An outright pleasure from beginning to end. Gordon Dahlquist¸ author of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
  • Alan Bradley brews a bubbly beaker of fun in his devilishly clever, wickedly amusing debut mystery, launching an eleven-year-old heroine with a passion for chemistry–and revenge! What a delightful, original book! Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand series
  • Utterly charming! Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce proves to be one of the most precocious, resourceful, and well, just plain dangerous, heroines around. Evildoers–and big sisters–beware! Lisa Gardner, author of Say Goodbye
  • Flavia is an engagingly smart new sleuth with a flair for bringing out the child–and the detective–in all of us. Christopher Fowler, author of the Peculiar Crimes Unit series
  • She’s a fictional 11-year-old girl detective living in England in 1950. He’s a very real 70-year-old retired television engineer living today in Kelowna, B.C. Together they are soaring to great heights in the international literary world. Ottawa Citizen
  • “Bradley adroitly brews a biting yet empathetic read that’s anchored in the English countryside and public schools, and haunted by secrets. His fresh and innovative Flavia de Luce…is a new voice that’s brilliant and fierce, funny and vulnerable….I couldn’t read the book fast enough…Another serving, please! Marie Ary, Seattle Mystery Bookshop; Seattle, Washington

    “Amazingly entertaining…The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie introduces a charming and engaging sleuth.
  • A fresh, engaging first novel. Library Journal

    Praise from the Debut Dagger Award Judges of the UK Crime Writers’ Association:

  • If there ever was a heroine set for stardom it would be Flavia de Luce….Think Agatha Christie crossed with the Mitfords and laced with mischievous humour. Sunday Herald, Australia
  • If you condensed Sherlock Holmes’s deductive abilities, Madame Curie’s talent for chemistry, and Dr. Jekyll’s zeal into the mind of an 11-year-old, her name would be Flavia de Luce….full of mystery, charm, and chemistry. Its quick-witted dialogue, tongue-in-cheek humour and colourful characters will linger long after the book is back on the shelf. Discovery Channel, in print
  • “A fresh, engaging first novel.”

    Library Journal

  • “Amazingly entertaining…The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie introduces a charming and engaging sleuth.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Delightfully entertaining.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “If there ever was a heroine set for stardom it would be Flavia de Luce…Think Agatha Christie crossed with the Mitfords and laced with mischievous humour.”

    Sunday Herald

  • “Brilliant, irresistible, and incorrigible, Flavia has a long future ahead of her…Bradley’s mystery debut is a standout.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • While Flavia De Luce is winning your heart, she may also be poisoning your tea. She's the most wickedly funny sleuth in years, brilliant, unpredictable, unflappable—and only eleven. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie offers the freshest new voice in mystery yet. Charles Todd, author of The Ian Rutledge series
  • Sure in its story, pace and voice, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie deliciously mixes all the ingredients of great storytelling. The kind of novel you can pass on to any reader knowing their pleasure it assured. Andrew Pyper, author of the The Killing Circle

    “Told through the observations of science-experimenting snoop of an 11-year-old girl, this jolly-good-fun murder mystery is as indulgent as a Bunty annual. Flavia de Luce, daughter to a philatelist colonel father and late mother, who dies when she was a baby, finds a body in the cucumber patch. In the twists and turns that ensue, centering around the nesting habits of the snipe and the last word of the dead man, she proves herself as indomitable a sleuth as you would expect a girl who says “Oh, piffle” to be.—Good Housekeeping, UK
  • In June 1950’s, very-nearly-eleven year old Flavia de Luce, rising above the torments of her two older sisters and plotting revenge in her Victorian chemistry lab, is intrigued by the mystery of snipe with a rare stamp in its beak, found on the doorstep of the crumbling de Luce country seat. And she is astonished by the effect the dead bird has on her stamp-obsessed father, the Colonel. When something much worse is found in the cucumber patch and family secrets begin to unravel, Flavia has to use all her deductive powers to solve a mystery and a crime. At once precocious and endearing, Flavia is a marvelous character. Quirkily appealing, this is definitely a crime novel with a difference. Choice Magazine, “Book of the Month.”
  • Brilliant, irresistible and incorrigible, Flavia has a long future ahead of her…Bradley’s mystery debut is a standout. “—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
  • Fun for the reader…. Fans of Louise Fitzhugh's iconic Harriet the Spy will welcome 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, the heroine of … Bradley's rollicking debut. Publishers Weekly
  • “A delightful whodunit.…hilarious, eccentric and mischievous. Tangled Web, UK
  • An absolute treat. It is original, clever, entertaining and funny….an extraordinary maze of mystery and intrigue…driving the reader to turn those pages in glorious anticipation….a terrific book, so different to anything. Material Witness

    “Oh how astonishing and pleasing is genuine originality!....I simply cannot recall the last time I so enjoyed being the company of a first-person narrator….Bradley has a simply astonishing gift for putting simile and analogy in Flavia’s mouth…the plot is a splendid piece of hokum with some pleasing deduction and an excellent historical back-story….This is a book which triumphantly succeeds in its objectives of charming and delighting. And on top of that it is genuinely original….we may well be talking in a few years about one of the great voices and great series of mystery fiction. I resort to — and it is very, very rarely that I use this — that old cliché, a must-read.
  • A wonderfully written, engaging novel….It’s rare that a book of which I feel quite passionately enraptured crosses my desk, and this is one of those special books that fully deserves five stars. The plot is well-paced, the dialogue is thoughtful and succinct, and being inside the head of Flavia de Luce is delightful. Her wry, dry humour and resigned frustration with the adult world are seriously entertaining….I loved her to bits. Oh Baby Magazine, NZ
  • Delightfully entertaining. The Guardian, UK
  • The first page…is so delicious, that I actually had to stop in the middle of The Girl Who Played with Fire to read the rest of it. Flavia deserves the Nobel Prize for Chemistry and Alan Bradley the Edgar Award. Does anyone collect stamps anymore? Paul Ingram
  • Really adored the voice of the characters in this- especially Flavia, the spirited main protagonist- and the sense of place is beautifully described, particularly when telling the history of the house and its inhabitants. The family unit, comprising of the taciturn, introspective Colonel and his three daughters is well written, humorous and the sibling relationships very realistic. The author should be praised for creating a work that has nostalgic interest as well as a murder mystery, in places this almost reads like an Enid Blyton novel for adults!"
  • I adored this! Our heroine is refreshingly youthful, funny and sharp and the author creates such a strong sense of time and place. Flavia’s eccentric family are delightful and I love seeing them interact within their crazy home. There are also interesting depths to the plot — the stamp collecting, the chemistry experiments, and the acknowledgement of past events and how they have affected these characters. The author’s tone is very tongue-in-cheek and offers something quite different in this genre, and the story is cleverly structured and beautifully written. This doesn’t read like a first novel. Assuming the mystery itself will be as enticing and smoothly handled as the opening, I can see Flavia solving crimes into adulthood. Great title too!" 
  • The most original of the bunch, I think, with a deliciously deceptive opening which really sets the tone of macabre fun. Flavia is a wonderful creation, along with the rest of her eccentric family, and makes for a highly engaging sleuth. Think the Mitfords, as imagined by Dorothy L Sayers. The plot, with its intriguing philatelic elements, is nicely ingenious and delivers a very good end, with a fun twist. Would make very good Sunday night telly, I think." 
  • Winner of the 2009 Agatha Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2010 Dilys Award
  • A 2010 Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2010 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel
  • Winner of the 2010 Barry Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2007 CWA Debut Dagger
  • A 2010 Arthur Ellis Award Nominee for Best First Novel
  • Selected for the May 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juliet | 2/20/2014

    " This book should really probably be classified YA, if it's not already. Very smart, clever, non-traditional heroine, good mystery plot. What really sells me on it, though, is listening to Jayne Entwhistle narrate. Really helps put you in the scene. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wiske W. | 2/20/2014

    " Great book! It's witty, funny and I especially loved all the historic facts and references to classical books and music. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 2/16/2014

    " I absolutely loved the narrator! It was a fun, quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Arnold | 1/30/2014

    " Very enjoyable book. Looking forward to reading the rest of Mr. Bradley's books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley Midgett | 1/29/2014

    " What a wonderful book! A captivating young heroine and a wonderful anglophile setting. Myself, my husband and my daughter were all charmed by this book which also has a cracking good mystery. If you have not read this mystery, do so now and share it with someone too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claire Harrington | 1/28/2014

    " I personally thought this book was intriguing. Certainly one of the best books I've ever read, honestly. This book is all about an 11 year old, aspiring chemist who discovers a series of events such as dead birds with peculiar notes pinned to their beak, dead men laying in cumcumber patches, and many more. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery, historical fiction, science fiction, etc. You won't be disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/24/2014

    " Almost 5 stars -really, really liked this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Waldron | 1/21/2014

    " I was surprised to find out the heroine of this "cozy" English murder mystery is 11 years old, but it's rather engaging. I'm not sure I'm going to read the rest of the series, but it was entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 1/20/2014

    " I love this story! I felt like I'd stumbled into an Agatha Christie story with a super cool twist because the protagonist was a young girl. The family angst was funny and believable too. What makes me psyched is that there are so many other books to read- and to think I just happened to pick this book up because one of my kids had found it and liked it! Flavia de Luce Rocks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kenzie | 1/20/2014

    " I found this book a little hard to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it! I loved Flavia, she is really likeable. Great little mystery and a clean read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 12/9/2013

    " Flavia is a wonderful heroine -- smart and sassy, with a lovely, vintage British flavor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esherlock | 12/8/2013

    " This is a really solid book. I really loved Flavia, the main character. Bradley writes with precision and purpose. Although it is that standard mystery story I found that I didn't mind that too much. It is also surprisingly heart warming which I didn't expect. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marci | 12/7/2013

    " I thought the plot was great but I never connected with Flavia. I couldn't get past how bratty she was to her sisters and Mrs. Mullet. I really wanted to like this book but I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Essie Fox | 12/2/2013

    " Delightful. A thoroughly charming and most entertaining g read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katiedavis | 12/2/2013

    " Such a good book. My grandmother would have loved this book. This series has a great Agatha Christie feel to it. I love Flavia as a character and her world is just so fun to visit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla A | 11/14/2013

    " I avoided for fear it was over ratted instead I found it to be really entertaining and very funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 11/1/2013

    " I got this from audible and it is a great book and great performance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 10/17/2013

    " Clever and charming but never silly. That's quite an accomplishment. Now onto the second book in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 7/16/2013

    " This is a great book! it is mysterious and suspenseful, but with some good humor. People of all ages will adore this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misti | 7/15/2013

    " The Flavia deLuce books are fun, quick reads. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelby | 6/6/2013

    " A fun read, especially if you loved Nancy Drew growing up! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mlcmunt | 3/8/2013

    " Cute, not the most sophisticated but an easy fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 8/18/2012

    " It had a slightly meandering and verbose style that was somewhat annoying and unrealistic coming from a child, but the story and characters were enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sasha | 8/7/2012

    " It's good story. I'd like to see as hero is 11-years old girl. I like chemistry, so it's some interesting facts about chemistry in this book. So may be I'll read second book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Collier | 7/8/2012

    " How could anyone resist Flavia! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/24/2012

    " This was a fun mystery, a quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christa | 2/17/2012

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this murder mystery. It was light and yet clever. I would definitely recommend this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 1/28/2012

    " I started this book in 2009, but I only read one page! Glad I went back to it; I will probably read the other Flavian books now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 7/20/2011

    " Loved everything about this book. Flavia might be one of my top five favorite literary characters... she's definitely in the top 10. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darlene | 6/30/2011

    " The second book I read this summer about a young detective. Fun reading but not very believable. I will probably try the next book in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 6/28/2011

    " You must meet Flavia. Smart as a whip and fun to follow around her town of Bishop's Lacey. If you want to review your chemistry, Flavia is your girl. She outsmarts the local constabulary every time. Takes place in 1950 -- post WWII Britain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cherie | 6/27/2011

    " This was a fun little murder mystery. I had a hard time getting into it, but by the end I couldn't put it down "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 6/27/2011

    " Cute little mystery, but some parts of they story were repeated over and over while others were left a little muddled by the end. I liked it though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 6/27/2011

    " I really enjoyed this. It was a mystery with a child solving it. A very precocious child (I have one of those.) Look forward to seeing more of this character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 6/25/2011

    " What a delightful murder mystery (if one can be called such). Eleven year old Flavia de Luce, lover of chemistry, especially, poisons, is a hilarious and endearing detective. I look forward to reading more of her cases. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 6/24/2011

    " Emily gave this to me as a gift, and it was a good fit. I liked how it was definitely a cozy mystery, but had fun with the genre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elesa | 6/23/2011

    " I loved the writing style and I loved the main character, Flavia. Just fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelley | 6/23/2011

    " What a different and fun book! I don't really know how to describe it except to say that it was entertaining and a page turner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 6/22/2011

    " Love the main character, Flavia de Luce - she is delightful! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 6/22/2011

    " I loved the whole concept .... an eleven year old doing the detective work for the police, and solving the mysteries first! Love the setting in early England. "

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About the Author
Author Alan BradleyAlan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His other Flavia de Luce novels are 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, and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.
About the Narrator

Jayne Entwistle is an award-winning audiobook narrator. She has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards for her outstanding performance for the Flavia de Luce series. A native of the UK, she now lives in Los Angeles.