Nothing warms my heart like a young, smart, female detective! This was my first Flavia de Luce novel and it was the perfect balance of light hearted and interesting.
I’m not sure where to put this book, genre wise. Like yes it’s a mystery, but it’s also like a slice of life, fun, young girl beating the odds, type thing. It’s also extremely wholesome. It actually kinda reminds me of The Keeper of Lost Things. Cozy mystery? Literary fiction? Historical fiction? Honestly, genres are so subjective. It could be anything.
But don’t let my lack of label scare you away! Following Flavia along on this adventure is a total delight.
Flavia is one of three de Luce girls; they live in an estate with their father, a housekeeper, and a groundsman. We find out quickly that her mother died some time ago. And while Flavia’s sisters are occupied by boys and books, she is chiefly interested in chemistry. One of her distant relatives was a scientific genius and apparently that got passed down to Flavia.
She spends most of her time in the lab they have upstairs (very convenient) reading about poisons and plants and chemicals. But she has to leave the lab and help solve a crime after her father is arrested for murder.
Especially because she saw her father arguing with the dead man less than 12 hours before he died.
It’s quite a whirlwind for Flavia. She has to dig into her father’s past, snoop through a hotel room, bike all over town, give her older sister a rash, conduct some tests, and escape the clutches of a bad guy. But it ends nice and tidy and we’re able to rest easy in the justice that was carried out.
Honestly, it was a light easy read. The plot had a few twists but was ultimately pretty predictable. The selling point for me was Flavia herself. She was smart and funny, she did let being a young girl stop her, even when it maybe should have (for safety reasons). I liked her spunk and determination. It was sweet!
So if you’re going on a long drive, or reading in the back yard, or need something to helpful recover from a crushing read (ie It Looks Like This), then I highly recommend The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie! If you’re looking for something intense and thrilling, you’ll probably be better off with something like Ware’s The Turn of the Key.