Miriam and I just might be the only two individuals under the age of 97 who watch Matlock on a regular basis. We thank our mother for that habit, along with our love of all other "mysterious" things---from Nancy Drew novels to Agatha Christie whodunits to breastfeeding.
This month we're happy to suggest a delightful addition to the classic mystery repertoire: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. The protagonist and "detective" is precocious 11-year-old Flavia de Luce. She's brilliant. She's cheeky. And she's quite alone in the world: her mother is dead, her older sisters ignore her whenever they aren't tormenting her, and her father escapes his financial problems in the oh-so-riveting world of stamp collecting. On the bright side, Flavia's lack of attachments allows her to roam the 1950s English countryside snooping for clues on her trusty bike named Gladys.
Bradley's writing is fresh, witty, and captivating from the first page to the last. And best of all, it is squeaky clean . . . aside from the occasional dead body, that is. But we should warn you, if you start this series you had better find a comfy chair and make sure you've got Matlock on TiVo because you won't want to stop reading. And while you're at it, put an extra copy or two of the book in your Amazon cart for gift-giving. Cheers!
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