A mystery! I don't often pick mysteries for my own reading so when we had a choice for the next book club pick I voted mystery. I'm so glad I did! I didn't read this one, I downloaded the audio onto my iPod. The narrator had such a charming accent. I loved listening to it. In fact, I went to my library's website to see if they had any other books by Bradley because I enjoyed "Sweetness" so much, and I found out there's a sequel! I'm on the waiting list for the CDs and I can't wait to listen to that charming narrator again. Well, I hope it's the same narrator, at any rate.
I felt the book was a combination of recent books I've read, "Hedgehog" and books by Kate Morton. "Hedgehog" because the story is told through the eyes of an intelligent 11-year-old girl (although this girl isn't bent on her own destruction). Kate Morton's stories come in because the story takes place at a grand old English manor that had been in the family for centuries; and for the mystery component. Flavia de Luce, a child chemist, takes it upon herself to resolve her father's name when he's accused of the murder of a college acquaintance who was found dead in the estate's cucumber patch. She's very precocious and gets herself in and out of several scrapes while collecting evidence and solving who really killed the ginger-haired man.
It was an excellently spun story with unique characters. That's a huge selling-point in any book I read; how real are the characters? Maybe that's a reason I hated "Gay Neck" so much. It was so bland because there was virtually no character development to add flavor to the story.
Go read "Sweetness." I'm sure it's a book you won't regret getting to know better!