The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This was the first book I borrowed using my renewed library card and I’m very glad I didn’t buy it.

In theory, the plot is something I should like: it appears to have the Agatha Christie influence, there are multiple problems abound, and the 11-year old hyper-intelligent detective is quirky enough to be interesting.

But I couldn’t finish reading it. I found the writing style incredibly grating, but I’ve been thinking over it and I can’t work out why. Maybe it’s because there’s too many things going on, making it messy to read, even though the first murder doesn’t kick in until at least thirty pages in. Maybe it’s because of the constant examples to show off how smart Flavia is, so it doesn’t feel natural, even though 11-year old chemical scientists aren’t exactly realistic. Maybe it’s because it leans towards a satire but is served up very straight-faced. Either way, I didn’t enjoy it.

Because it’s an abandoned novel, this is a ridiculously short review.

2016-04-08 16.16.05

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