The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 2.40.13 PMEleven-year-old Lavia de Luce, a precocious aspiring chemist, solves the murders in this series set in an English village in the early 1950’s.

Typical paragraph:  [Upon finding a dead man in the cucumber patch] “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t.  Quite the contrary.  This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my life.”

Quotes from critics:  “Devilishly clever, wickedly amusing . . . delightful, original book” (author Carolyn Hart); “Utterly charming!  Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce proves to be one of the most precocious, resourceful, and, well, just plain dangerous, heroines around.  Evildoers—and big sisters—beware!” (author Lisa Gardner)

Bio:   Canadian author Alan Bradley won the Debut Dagger and several other awards for his first book.  He is also the author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and a memoir.  According to Wikipedia, during high school, he “spent his free time reading in the local cemetery because he didn’t fit in.”