I first read about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (how fantastic is that title??) over at Dove Grey Reader - the source of a lot of my reading inspiration lately.
This is a novel set in an English countryside village, Bishops Lacey, in 1950 and it is told from the perspective of 11 year Flavia de Luce - amateur detective, chemist and large pain in the rear end for her older sisters Ophelia and Daphne (I would read this book again simply for the gorgeous names of all of the female characters!).
Flavia's world is really quite isolated - she lives in the run down family estate, Buckshaw, just outside of the village, her father locks himself away pouring over his stamp collections, her older sisters either ignore her or torment her, her mother died when she was only very young and her best friend seems to be her beloved bike - Gladys. Despite all this Flavia is a vivacious, outgoing, intelligent, creative and, some would say, precocious child - I loved her!
The mystery of the novel centres around the discovery of a dead body in the garden of Buckshaw by Flavia herself. Flavia steps in to work out the events that led up to the death - which actually go back a lot further than the present time.
The actual mystery plot was neither here nor there for me - I just cared about hearing more from Falvia about her adventures! I am pleased to hear that Alan Bradley has at least 2 more Flavia books on the horizon - can't wait!! A pure delight to read - I only wish those other books were out now!