Orion, £7.99, 363pp from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, By Alan Bradley
Friday 21 May 2010
Eleven-year old Flavia de Luce, the heroine of this appealing detective debut (the first in a series), brings a breath of fresh air to the world of period-piece sleuthing.
Brainy, funny and pigtailed, Flavia spends her days concocting poisons to try out on her spiteful elder sisters. Her experiments, however, are unexpectedly postponed by a much more exciting event in her life – the discovery of a corpse in the family cucumber patch.
A post-war English country house murder ensues, with stamp-collecting and ornithology. Cosily arcane and modishly fast-paced Bradley, a Canadian who prior to writing the book had never visited England, draws on his close acquaintance with the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations