The Salted Caramel Custard Pie Inspired By The Book
Because of the unique title, I decided to put a twist on a classic custard pie recipe and coat the bottom of the crust with salted caramel. The same salted caramel is drizzled on top with a sprinkling of toffee bits, making the overall flavor something akin to butterbeer, for my fellow Harry Potter fans.
Pastry chef I am not, so I typically rely on Pillsbury to make my pie crust for me. After an afternoon of binge-watching the Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network with my four-year-old son, hes been asking to have time alone in the kitchen to bake for us. Haha! Nice try, kiddo.
I will make more of an effort to let him cook with me, and so decided to make this pie completely from scratch with his assistance. Flavia herself might enjoy cooking, as there is a lot of chemistry involved. Years ago, I was fascinated by the cookbook CookWise by Shirley Corriher. It would probably help me discover, for instance, why my rice always sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Anyway, back to that salted caramel pie. I somehow remember from high school home economics that the best pie crust has a blend of both butter and shortening. Butter for the flakiness and shortening for smoothness??? Food chemistry again. Im not a fan of partially hydrogenated oils, though, so I went with an all-butter crust. The chemistry of pie crust is simple: keep all of your ingredients super cold, and process as little as possible.
I hope to see YOU there soon!
Read The Labels: Warnings
Although this book is accessible and exciting for ages as young as 12, a few caveats should be mentioned. Readers may notice that throughout the story Flavia lies or withholds the truth during her investigations. This may allow for valuable conversation starters determining what her motives are for her deceit at various times. At another point, during Fathers recollections from his school days, he describes an elaborate magic trick which involved racist impersonations of a Chinese mans speech and mannerisms. The harsh and combative relationship among the sisters could also be difficult for some readers to endure. A short reference to a man being sexually forward with a woman might go over some heads but may also need to be addressed.
Alan Bradleys The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a gem of a book. Studded throughout this cleverly crafted story are turns of phrase that the reader cannot help but marvel and often chuckle at. Any man, woman, girl, or boy will enjoy biking along local roads, perfecting a disguise, and mixing noxious chemicals through the eyes of this spunky and intelligent eleven-year-old girls eyes. In Flavia de Luce, Bradley has created a new archetype of crime-solving sleuth. The big question is now: how quickly can one get a hold of the other nine books in this series?
What People Are Saying
I immediately liked the idea of a precocious 11 year old with a love of chemistry trying to solve a murder mystery, and this book really delivers on that promise. She’s believable smart and makes …Read full review
Yes, I’m reading them out of order, but it really doesn’t matter. I love the protagonist of these books! Perhaps it’s the absolutely delightful audio presentation, but I have no difficulty believing …Read full review
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Early Life And Engineering Career
Bradley was born in 1938 in , , Canada. He was brought up with two older sisters in the small town of . His mother raised the children alone after Bradley’s father left the family when he was a toddler. Bradley learned to read at an early age, partly because he was a sickly child who spent a lot of time in bed. However, Bradley confesses to having been a “very bad student”, particularly in high school, spending his free time reading in the local cemetery because he felt he didn’t fit in.
After completing his education, Bradley worked in Cobourg as a radio and television engineer, designing and building electronic systems. He then worked briefly for Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto , before moving to to take a job at the in 1969. There he helped develop a broadcasting studio, where he worked as Director of Television Engineering for 25 years. He took an early retirement from the university in 1994 to become a full-time writer.
A Great Treat In The Mystery Genre: The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie
In The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley you will find a new classic in the mystery genre. From the opening paragraph , Bradley brilliantly weaves a web of murder, privilege, and PTSD around the protagonist and sleuth, eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce. So, you may ask, is she the titular sweetness in the story? Absolutely not. Flavia is not your typical post-war pre-teen Briton. She has a passion for poisonand all things chemistrythat she is able to cultivate in the laboratory of Buckshaw, her family estate in rural England. Her inquisitive and independent nature seems to have been inherited from her late mother rather than her distant, philatelist father.
These skills prove useful when a man dies in the de Luce vegetable garden just hours after a dead bird shows up on the kitchen doorstep with an unusual item in its beak: a postage stamp. Flavia does not sit idly on the sidelines when she worries that Father whom she had seen arguing with the stranger in his study the evening beforeor his doggedly loyal jack-of-all-trades, Dogger, might have been involved. With her own wits and snippets of overheard information from the police, Flavia begins her own line of inquiry. Flying to and fro between Buckshaw and the nearby hamlet of Bishops Lacey on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, she begins to unravel this world-class mystery.
Publishers Weeklyfeb 23 2009
Fans of Louise Fitzhugh’s iconic Harriet the Spy will welcome 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce, the heroine of Canadian journalist Bradley’s rollicking debut. In an early 1950s English village, Flavia is preoccupied with retaliating against her lofty older sisters when a rude, redheaded stranger arrives to confront her eccentric father, a philatelic devotee. Equally adept at quoting 18th-century works, listening at keyholes and picking locks, Flavia learns that her father, Colonel de Luce, may be involved in the suicide of his long-ago schoolmaster and the theft of a priceless stamp. The sudden expiration of the stranger in a cucumber bed, wacky village characters with ties to the schoolmaster, and a sharp inspector with doubts about the colonel and his enterprising young detective daughter mean complications for Flavia and enormous fun for the reader. Tantalizing hints about a gardener with a shady past and the mysterious death of Flavia’s adventurous mother promise further intrigues ahead.
The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie
|Front cover of US/Canada first edition
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a mystery by Alan Bradley published in 2009. Set in the English countryside in 1950, it features Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old amateur sleuth who pulls herself away from her beloved chemistry lab in order to clear her father in a murder investigation. Bradley, a first-time novelist, wrote the book after winning the 2007 Debut Dagger Award and selling the publishing rights in three countries, based on the first chapter and a synopsis. Well received by critics as an old-fashioned mystery featuring an unforgettable protagonist, the novel has won multiple awards and is the first in a 10-book series.
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Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Alan Bradley, 2009ISBN-13: 9780385343497
Summary In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavias family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. 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 wasnt. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.
An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptionsand a rich literary delight.
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Common Terms And Phrases
The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie: A Flavia De Luce Novel
387 ReviewsWINNER OF THE AGATHA ARTHUR ELLIS DILYS DEBUT DAGGER AWARDS Wonderfully entertaining . . . sure to be one of the most loved mysteries of the year . . . a delightful, intrepid, acid-tongued new heroine.Chicago Sun-TimesThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag.
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The Recipe For An Engrossing Mystery
Where to start: simple. In a small town like Bishops Lacey there is only one place for a stranger to seek lodging. But Flavias inquiries soon spread throughout the town as it becomes clear this stranger was known by more than just Father. Even Mrs. Mullet, their gossiping cook, has information to help. Nor does she escape Flavias suspicion as it may have been her custard pie detested by all Buckshaws residentsthat delivered the poison to the victim.
In fact, nobody escapes Flavias suspicion except for her two older sisters: seventeen-year-old Ophelia, or Feely, and thirteen-year-old Daphne, or Daffy. It is not family loyalty that protects them, probably the opposite. Theirs is an amusingly vitriolic relationship. Flavia is outnumbered but not outwitted as they trade barbs and elaborate pranks. Much of the time, however, the older sisters simply provide flavor to the plot by building the family dynamic and a nice touch of comic relief with Feelys constant preening and Daffys bookish distraction. The other members of the household, Father and Dogger, both still suffer from the scars of fighting in the Second World War just five years over. It is this trauma that they carry that most concerns Flavia as Father will show flashes of his former, assertive self when roused and Dogger is known to have spells of confusionor worse.
Foreign Relations And Military
Canada is recognized as a for its role in international affairs with a tendency to pursue solutions. Canada’s foreign policy based on international peacekeeping and security is carried out through coalitions and international organizations, and through the work of numerous federal institutions. during the 20th century has played a major role in its global image. The strategy of the reflects an emphasis to meet the , while also providing assistance in response to foreign humanitarian crises.
Canada was a founding member of the United Nations and has membership in the , the and the . Canada is also a member of various other international and regional organizations and forums for economic and cultural affairs. Canada acceded to the in 1976. Canada joined the in 1990 and hosted the OAS General Assembly in 2000 and the in 2001. Canada seeks to expand its ties to economies through membership in the forum .
share the world’s longest undefended border, co-operate on military campaigns and exercises, and are each other’s . Canada nevertheless has an independent foreign policy, most notably maintaining full , and declining to officially participate in the . Canada also maintains historic ties to the and and to other former British and French colonies through Canada’s membership in the and the . Canada is noted for having a positive , owing, in part, to its contribution to the .
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Flavia Is In The Thick Of It
- 5 out of 5 stars 1,225
- Story4.5 out of 5 stars 1,221
In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, 12-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia’s blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty – and not empty enough.
Review Of The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie
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70 year old Alan Bradleys debut mystery novel quickly became an international bestseller- and with reason. In The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Flavia de Luce brings something completely fresh and new to the mystery scene. Amateur chemist Flavia is all of 11 years old, but when a stranger gets murdered in her familys garden, she is instantly determined to solve the murder. Precocious and cynical and lovable, Flavia is a one-of-a-kind sleuth in these charming, well-plotted mysteries.
In the Great Tradition of Golden Age Mysteries
With an 11 year old protagonist, this series easily avoids many of the common racy relationship scenes common in mystery novels. There are a few plot points here and there involving adultery or promiscuity, but no explicit details. Since theyre so clean, this series is actually appropriate for teens too.
A Troubled Family
Given her troubled family situation, its no surprise that Flavia is no angel. She frequently lies, manipulates, and prevaricates. She disobeys adults habitually, breaks rules, plays malicious pranks and generally tries to get attention. Shes somewhat disturbingly obsessed with poisons. But despite all this, its easy to see this brilliant, lost adolescents potential, and you quickly begin rooting for her- not only to solve the mystery but to grow as a person.
A Mystery Series for Teens and Adults to Enjoy
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