Dear Fellow Reader,
It is February, bitterly cold and there is more snow out the window than I can believe. We have had snow since January and there is no sign of it melting any time soon. It is high enough that the deer are having a hard time getting into the yard. The rim of the yard is high with plowed snow. While the season started off mild, it is going strong now.
It is the perfect weather to sit and read in front of the fireplace. What else can you do? Just get cozy and relax. Don’t forget the blankets!
And this week we have an older book that I found for you to think about reading. For those of you who are keeping track (exactly none of you, I assume) I have still not started reading the stack of books in the living room that I swear I am going to read this year. I have taken one book off the stack and will get to it in the next week. I’m sure I will. There are just so many books to read!
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first book in a series. The main character is Flavia de Luce. She is the youngest daughter in the family and has a passion for Chemistry. Due to an ancestor’s passion for chemistry, there is a fully equipped laboratory in the family home. As the book opens, Flavia is bound and tied up and placed in a locked closet. It seems that she irritates her older sisters to no end, and this is how they though they would settle the score. Flavia escapes soon enough and goes down to dinner with her father. Flavia’s mother, an explorer, was killed when Flavia was a year old and Flavia’s father is still in mourning. He allows his daughters to explore options that they find interesting. Thus, Flavia’s experiments and her vast knowledge of poisons.
One afternoon, Flavia was about to get in trouble with her father when a dead bird is found at the back door with a stamp stuck through its beak. The sight affects Flavia’s father more than she would expect and she wonders why. Then that evening, she wakes and thinks she hears voices. She goes downstairs to find that her father is arguing in his office with a stranger. Even more intriguing to Flavia is that she finds that stranger about to die in the cucumber garden early the next morning. The man says the word “Vale” and then dies. Flavia takes it on herself to solve this mystery. While the local detective is nice enough, she feels she can take care of this herself. She’ll let him know when the time comes for someone to be arrested.
There are 10 books in this series. While it is a bit outlandish to think that an 11-year-old could think and do everything involved in the story, it is a fine tale. You need to accept that this is a dysfunctional family in England. There are lots of quirks.
Overall, it was entertaining. While I do not try and guess “who done it” when I read mysteries, I did know who the murderer was, but the tale unfolded with more than I expected. And I do love finding a new series!
Thanks for reading!