The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie
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WINNER OF THE AGATHA • ARTHUR ELLIS • DILYS • DEBUT DAGGER AWARDS “Wonderfully entertaining . . . sure to be one of the most loved mysteries of the year . . . [Flavia is] a delightful, intrepid, acid-tongued new heroine.”—Chicago Sun-Times 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.” BONUS: This edition contains a The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie discussion guide and an excerpt from Alan Bradley's The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag.
Flavia fans will rejoice: The first three adventures of our completely charming eleven-year-old sleuth, bound together in one volume! The Buckshaw Chronicles, Volume 1, brings together under one spine the bestselling The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, and A Red Herring Without Mustard. Follow our precocious amateur detective with a passion for poison as she investigates the death of a man in her very own backyard's cucumber patch, goes behind the scenes of a puppet show to find out who wanted the puppet master dead, and as she looks into the crystal ball to find out why corpse after corpse is being found in Bishop's Lacey. Flavia is a completely enchanting character, and Alan Bradley a masterful writer. Join the adventures!
"The world's greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth" (The Seattle Times), Flavia de Luce, returns in a twisty new mystery novel from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley. In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes against her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself as Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia's grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia's mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder—although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave.
Flavia de Luce applies her skills in the chemistry lab to solving the murder of a master puppeteer, a case that is further complicated by her tormenting sisters.
On a cold, dark winter day during the Second World War, a young Alan Bradley found hidden beneath a floorboard in his mother’s bedroom closet a well-worn cardboard shoebox. At the time, he could make little sense of the ragtag things he found inside: cigarette packages, soup can labels, handbills, calendars, paper bags, pie boxes—any scrap of paper upon which his mother could copy out, in her old-fashioned handwriting, what seemed to be no more than unrelated snippets of Scripture. He only knew that the box, which he would later come to think of as the Shoebox Bible, had something to do with the fact that his father had run away from home. Many years would pass, and his mother would be on her deathbed before he would once again hold this treasure in his hands. And only then would he put together the pieces of the puzzle, and learn the complete truth. Beautifully and lovingly told, The Shoebox Bible is a wonderful memoir of a precocious family who manage to live and love despite the absence of their father. Interspersed with heartbreaking quotations from the Old and New Testaments, this sad, funny, and above all inspiring story will appeal to readers who fell in love with such inspirational books as Tuesdays with Morrie and Mister God, This Is Anna.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as “one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.” Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Alan Bradley’s The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. Acclaim for Speaking from Among the Bones “[Alan] Bradley scores another success. . . . This series is a grown-up version of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and all those mysteries you fell in love with as a child.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune “The precocious and irrepressible Flavia . . . continues to delight.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Fiendishly brilliant . . . Bradley has created an utterly charming cast of characters . . . as quirky as any British mystery fan could hope for.”—Bookreporter “Delightful and entertaining.”—San Jose Mercury News Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award “Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today “Delightful.”—The Boston Globe, on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie “Utterly beguiling.”—People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag “Irresistibly appealing.”—The New York Times Book Review, on A Red Herring Without Mustard
In the third installment of this bestselling, award-winning, sister-poisoning, bicycle-riding, murder-investigating, and utterly captivating series, Flavia de Luce must draw upon Gypsy lore and her encyclopaedic knowledge of poisons to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice. “You frighten me,” the old Gypsy woman says. “Never have I seen my crystal ball so filled with darkness.” So begins eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce’s third adventure through the charming but deceptively dark byways of the village of Bishop’s Lacey. The fortune teller also claims to see a woman who is lost and needs help to get home—and Flavia knows it must be her mother Harriet, who died when Flavia was less than a year old. The Gypsy’s vision opens up old wounds for our precocious yet haunted heroine, and sets her mind racing in search of what it could mean. When Flavia later goes to visit the Gypsy at her encampment, she certainly doesn’t expect to find the poor old woman lying near death in her caravan, bludgeoned in the wee hours. Was it an act of retribution by those who thought that the woman had abducted a local child years before? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how can she prove this crime is connected to the missing baby? Did it have something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon a corpse—that of a notorious layabout and bully she had only recently caught prowling about Buckshaw. The body hangs from a statue of Poseidon in Flavia’s very own backyard, and our unflappable sleuth knows it’s up to her to figure out the significance. Pedalling her faithful bicycle, Gladys, across the countryside in search of clues to both crimes, Flavia uncovers secrets both long-buried and freshly stowed—the dodgy dealings of a local ironworks, the truth behind the Hobblers’ secret meetings, her own ancestor’s ambitious plans—all the while exhausting the patience of Inspector Hewitt. But it’s not long before the evidence starts falling into place, and Flavia must take drastic action to prevent another violent attack.
What better Christmas surprise for detective-in-training Flavia de Luce than a dreadful murder under Buckshaw's roof - and a snowbound house full of suspects! It's Christmas time, and our beloved Flavia is tucked away in her laboratory whipping up a sticky concoction to trap that infamous sneak, Saint Nick, and thereby prove once and for all - despite the claims of her evil sisters - that he does exist. But she is soon distracted from her task: Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, has rented the family's crumbling manor house to a film company for the holidays. When its crew arrives from London to shoot a movie starring the reclusive and renowned actress, Phyllis Wyvern, there's no end to the disruptions - and dramas - demanding Flavia's attention. When Wyvern is convinced to perform a famous scene to help raise funds for the local church, it is decided that Buckshaw Manor is the only suitable location. Its foyer alone is bigger than the parish hall, and could fit every man, woman, and child in Bishop's Lacey, to a soul. It's almost Christmas Eve, but - to no one's surprise - all of the village inhabitants fight their way through a raging snowstorm to be in the audience that magical night. As the actors take to the stage, however, the blizzard sets in, and it becomes clear that the villagers will have to hunker down at Buckshaw for the night. Sleeping head to toe in the de Luces' foyer seems amenable to most, until word spreads of the evening's shocking conclusion - Phyllis Wyvern is found strangled to death in the Blue Bedroom, with a length of film from one of her movies tied in an elaborate bow around her neck. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of her chemical cleverness and crime-solving prowess to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight. But when she does piece the puzzle together and deduce who has committed this twisted crime, will Flavia be able to escape in one piece?
Fans of Flavia de Luce rejoice—here’s a special eBook original short story, in which the eleven-year-old connoisseur of chemistry is immersed in her element: solving a mystery! Murder! the letter says, Come at once. Anson House, Greyminster, Staircase No. 3. How can Flavia de Luce resist such an urgent plea? After all, examining a dead body sounds like a perfectly splendid way to spend a Sunday. So Flavia hops upon her trusted bicycle, Gladys, whose rubber tires hiss happily along the rainy road, and arrives at her father’s mist-shrouded old school. There, a terrified boy leads her to the loo where, sitting in a bathtub, is what appears to be a statue. But, no: To Flavia’s surprise, the thing is in fact a naked dead man. Save his face, he seems to have been carved out of copper. Never one to shy away from the macabre, Flavia gets to work—only to find that when an investigation begins with a metallic cadaver, ever more curious twists are to be expected.
Bishop's Lacey is never short of two things: mysteries to solve and pre-adolescent detectives to solve them. In this New York Times bestselling series of cozy mysteries, young chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce once again brings her knowledge of poisons and her indefatigable spirit to solve the most dastardly crimes the English countryside has to offer, and in the process, she comes closer than ever to solving her life's greatest mystery--her mother's disappearance. . .