The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The protagonist of this charming debut novel set in postwar Britain is Flavia de Luce, a precocious eleven year old girl who loves chemistry and loathes her older sisters. When a dead body turns up in the cucumber patch at her family's English manor house, Flavia turns to amateur sleuthing to solve the crime and clear her father's name. As Flavia rides her trusty bike named Gladys around the sleepy village of Bishop's Lacey, the reader takes a ride with her -- learning a bit about chemistry, poison, British stamp collecting, de Luce family history, and more. While the mystery at the heart of this book has all of the trapping of a classic, "Golden Age" British mystery, Flavia is a totally original and utterly fresh voice -- and she's surrounded by a great cast of characters to boot. If you loved Harriet the Spy as a young reader, you'll love Flavia de Luce. A second installment in this promising new series is due out this March.
Susan - Adult Services