First Impressions Friday: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

It’s that time of week, again, which means, it’s First Impressions Friday. For those of you who are unfamiliar, #FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading then, share your first impressions, predict what you think will happen, and say whether you think you’ll enjoy it.

“It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “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 entire life.”

I just started this one last night after picking it up off my TBR pile instead of the much heavier hardback, GLASS HOUSES, by Louise Penny. I don’t know what made me do it … other than maybe the bright green covered screamed “read me, read me!” But once I started that was it, there was nothing going to stop me till, that is, I fell asleep.

Yes, it’s true, head lolling, eye lids closing, I nearly nodded off because I refused to stop reading, and go to bed like most normal people do when tired. So I had no choice but to stop, close my book, say goodnight to Flavia, and go to bed grumpy.

This book is funny, dry, droll, full of observational wit, and did I mention, it’s funny? Well, it’s as delightfully funny as a murder mystery can be when narrated by an 11 year-old sleuth who has a mind like a steel trap, and a perchance for playing with poisons.

Flavia de Luce is a refreshing change to some of the characters I’ve encountered these last few weeks. She brings, or I should say, the author, Alan Bradley brings a breath of fresh air to what, I suppose, is a cosy murder-mystery? Maybe cosy isn’t the right word, but, as it’s set in the 50s like most Agatha Christie’s novels, this one bears a resemblance to the genre and era depicted by Christie, but Bradley adds a whole other layer of depth, in bright, fresh-faced Flavia.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with this decidedly eccentric young genius and her whimsical thoughts, as she narrators this wonderfully written mystery. I think this is going to be a 9 out of 10 without a doubt!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to order the next book in the series.

Previous Flora Incognito
Next The City of Brass


  1. September 28, 2018

    Droll oh how I love this word Alexandra! Happy reading 😉

    • September 28, 2018

      It’s such an English word, Sophie … such droll humour. I think the word is (maybe) Dutch in origin meaning imp or goblin? So impish maybe? 😀

  2. Alexandra
    September 28, 2018

    This is quintessentially very much English humour and a lot of what I found myself laughing at was to do with the era this is set in, the 50s, Joe. Because the author, Bradley used that to good effect by making a lot of dry observations. It might not be to everyone’s taste or sensibilities. But it made me laugh out loud.

    And thanks, I really enjoy doing the #FIF tag.

  3. September 28, 2018

    Sounds like some good stuff here. My only question is if you found the book to be funny at all? LOL

    Thanks for taking part in FIF again this week!

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