Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books

Ironically I put off reading the first Flavia de Luce book for some time purely because of the title. The Sweetness at the  Bottom of the Pie sounded to me like a syrupy Southern sort of thing, something I don’t naturally gravitate to. As I now know it is not that at all. Far from it. I finally got into the series with the second book,  The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, for which I had an ARC and was completely and utterly hooked. The books are delightful, not children’s books as such, but I would imagine those young readers who enjoy other adult mysteries, say those of Agatha Christie, would also enjoy these.

Their appeal is because of Flavia, a winning and wonderful character. She is eleven as the series starts, living in a small 1950’s British village (shows you how you shouldn’t judge a book by its title, at least I sure shouldn’t:), complete with the standard tropes and inhabitants of those sorts of literary places. Flavia is smart, tough, loves chemistry, lives in an Gormenghast-sort of home, is treated horribly by her two older sisters (and gets back at them in some pretty nasty ways), and sleuths her way through each book with vim and vigor. Each in the series has its own mystery and also takes us a little farther along on Flavia’s big mystery — what happened to her mother?

I’m both nervous and excited about the television series Bradley is developing with Sam Mendes. Fingers crossed that it does right by Flavia and her creator. To learn more about her, I recommend this interview with Bradley.


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5 responses to “Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books

  1. K Anderson

    Flavia is simply one of my favorite series. Bradley can turn a sentence into a work of art. I often have to put a book down and laugh as I realize the perfect sentence I just read could have not occurred in any other book, place, or time. Flavia has an excellent, consistent voice. Oh, and the covers of the set together are to die for, I’ll buy them just to be bookshelf jewelry.


  2. I’ve read the first and one other of these and am determined to get them into our middle school library. The 7th graders read Agatha Christie and when they finish Murder on the Orient Express, they start working their way through the mystery section. Which is too small. I remember enjoying Sweetness very much but couldn’t remember to buy it! Putting it in a cart now!


  3. I love them too. The last sentence of the most recent one, though, is pure torture.


  4. I love them all too. I got on the bandwagon late and read them all since November. But now it is so hard to wait for the next, as Chelle said the last line is torturing me!!


  5. really enjoying the latest FLAVIA DE LUCE, speaking from among the bones.the last sentence? wow…i will be there tomorrow i am sure..might be up all night reading this…and i have interviewed ALAN BRADLEY for http://WWW.DAVIDSBOOKTALK.COM..and hope to again soon


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