#1: Sweetness

Full title:  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Main Characters:

Flavia DeLuce – our heroine.  She’s smart, a budding detective and a great chemist.  She also really seems to like the darker side of life – it intrigues her.  Her thoughts are sans filter and awesome to hear!

Daphne (aka Daffy) – one of Flavia’s older sisters.

Ophelia (aka Feely) – the other of Flavia’s older sisters.

Col. DeLuce – Falvia’s dad.  He is still in such shock and mourning over losing his wife that he neglects his daughters a fair amount.

Dogger – the family gardener.  He was a medic in WWII and saved the Colonel’s life.  He has memory problems from being shell-shocked.

Mary – daughter of the local innkeeper (local inn is the Thirteen Drakes) and she is sweat on Ned.  She and Flavia seem to form a sort-of friendship.

Ned – works at the inn.  He likes Mary even though Ophelia likes him.

Gladys – Flavia’s bike

Buckshaw – like Downton Abby, it is as much a character as it is the primary setting.

Dr. Kissing – the school master at Greynings where the Colonel went to school.  He was a stamp collector and possessed, at one point, an extremely valuable and rare stamp that was burned (supposedly) in a magic trick gone awry when the Colonel was at school.

Frank Pemberton (aka Bob Stanley) – another school pal of the Colonel’s.  But more of a pal of Bonepenny.  Masquerading as a writer, writing about old English homes.

Horace Bonepenny – the stiff in this book.  We see him briefly alive.  He is visiting the Colonel as they were old school pals.  Then he turns up dead in the cucumber patch at Buckshaw.

Mrs. Mullet – the DeLuce family cook.

Harriet – the former Mrs. DeLuce.  Died in a mountain climbing accident when Flavia was young enough that she doesn’t have any memories of her.

Inspector Hewitt – the police inspector working the murder.

Mrs. Cool – the postmistress and sweatshop owner.

Mr. Twining – an old professor who jumped off the school roof in 1920 because of his guilt about setting up the meeting that lead to the theft of Dr. Kissing’s stamp.  Turns out he didn’t jump – he was murdered by Bonepenny.  His last word was “Vale” – same as Bonepenny’s last word (spoken to Flavia).

Miss Mountjoy – the old librarian.  Also Mr. Twining’s neice.  And Dr. Kissing’s eyes and ears in the village since he went into the nursing home.

Sergeants Graves and Woolmer – two more police working the case.

Main Premise:  Flavia is a budding detective and amateur chemist.  She is incredibly precocious and smart.  She lives with her sisters, father and two servants (gardener and cook) in their family manor in England.  She is excited by dead bodies and lets her imagination get away. She often thinks about killing people and she is a skilled liar.  But she isn’t evil – instead she is just a little girl who feels neglected and likes to think threatening things because little kids often think without a filter.  One night she overhears an argument between her father and a stranger.  Then, the stranger turns up dead in their garden.  And her father is arrested for the murder.  She takes it upon herself to solve the murder, since she needs to rescue her father.

Who dun it? Pemberton and Bonepenny killed Mr. Twining.  Pemberton killed Bonepenny (with a syringe of poison, an injection into the neck) for the stamps (even though he didn’t get them) and framed the Colonel.

Locations: A few small villages/towns in Northern England, particularly Bishop’s Lacey.

Other Important Things to Remember for Later:  The DeLuce family is really broke.  Buckshaw belonged to Harriett.  The Col. is mourning her so very much it’s hard to deal with and he neglects his daughters as a result.  Harriett went to a boarding school in Canada when she was younger.

Review: Coming Soon!

 

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