Following on from my previous post – CWA Debut Dagger Award 2010 – I thought it might be interesting to see if any of the previous winners, had gone on to greater things, in the literary world and had any of their work published.
I had to go back to the winner of 2007, before I found an author, who had, to date, used the award as a step towards a successful writing career.
That person is Alan Bradley, a Canadian born author, who now lives with his wife, in Malta.
The book that started everything off for him and in which the judges spotted a worthy talent was “The Sweetness At The Bottom Of the Pie.”, which introduced us to his character Flavia de Luce.
Great literary crime detectives aren’t always born; they’re sometimes discovered, blindfolded and tied up in a dark closet by their nasty older sisters. Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce’s bitter home life and vicious sibling war inspires her solitary diversions and “strange talents” tinkering with the chemistry set in the laboratory of their inherited Victorian house, plotting sleuth-like vengeance on Ophelia (17) and Daphne (13), and delving into the forbidden past of her taciturn, widowed father, Colonel de Luce. It comes as no surprise, then, that the material for her next scientific investigation will be the mysterious corpse that she uncovers in the cucumber patch.
Fearless and darkly imaginative, Flavia hurries to solve the murder and acquit her father of suspicion. Following the lead of its clever protagonist, Sweetness is entirely inventive, fast-paced, and quick-witted, with tongue-in-cheek humour that derides the macabre seriousness of subject.
Alan Bradley plants the story deep into the setting of 1950s England, with a portrait of an eccentric home life that is all too wickedly familiar. The story’s twists are supported by the time and place as well as the unusual interests of the characters which range from stamp-collecting to making poisons all of which are highly researched and ingeniously incorporated.
About The Author:
Alan Bradley was born and raised in Canada.
He had an electronic engineering education, worked at numerous television and radio stations in Ontario, before becoming Director of Television Engineering.
Much of his working life, from then, until the time of his retirement in 1994, was in the media centre of the University of Saskatchewan.
It has been since his retirement, that his writing career has taken on a life of it’s own, with his honours and awards for 2009/2010, coming thick and fast.
The fifth case for Flavia de Luce to solve, is already on the drawing board and if you like something a little more controversial, check out “Ms. Holmes of Baker Street.”
There is something passing strange about Sherlock Holmes. As one of the most famous characters in popular literature, he strides into our imagination, deerstalker hat jauntily set on his head, pipe protruding from his mouth and a formidable intellect which painstakingly masters the mysteries he investigates. Clearly Holmes has a set of qualities which elevates him as a remarkable man. but is he? Everything that is remarkable about Sherlock Holmes is remarkable only for being found in a man. The qualities that set Holmes apart as a masterful sleuth are rather commonplace — perhaps even universal — in any woman. In a deep investigation of the literature of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, C. Alan Bradley and William A S Sarjeant uncover the surprising truth about Sherlock Holmes.
This book has attracted a wide variety of views and reviews, outrage and admiration. How do you react to the hypothesis that Holmes was female, twice pregnant, and possibly once a mother????
I would love to hear some of your views….