Having written a memoir of his mother called The Shoebox Bible (M&S 2006) and won a children's literature award in Saskatchewan for Meet Miss Mullen, Alan Bradley of Kelowna, at 70, published the first novel in his projected six-volume, adult mystery series featuring an eleven-year-old detective named Flavia de Luce.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Doubleday 2009) focuses on the sleuthing of the enthusiastic and precocious Flavia, a chemistry buff, who lives in an ancient family house somewhere in England in the 1950s with a stamp-collecting father and two very nasty older sisters. The manuscript received the Debut Dagger Award of the British Crimewriter's Association in July of 2007, leading to its publication in a dozen countries, including Canada. Bradley's series has since been sold in more than thirty territories around the world.

In Bradley's follow-up in the series, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, Flavia investigates the sudden death -- mid-performance -- of a master puppeteer named Rupert Porson who arrives in the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey in a broken-down van.

In the third installment, A Red Herring Without Mustard, Flavia de Luce must clear a woman's name to prevent a grave injustice, while herself trying to avoid an early grave. She comes to the rescue when a gypsy is charged with the abduction of a local child. Flavia must draw upon her encyclopedic knowledge of poisons--and gypsy lore--to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice, and to solve a greater mystery:
What really happened to her long-vanished mother?

Bradley was born in Toronto in 1938 and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. In 1969 he became Director of Television Engineering at a new media centre at the University of Saskatchewan, where he remained until taking early retirement in 1994. He was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and a founding member of The Casebook of Saskatoon, a society for the appreciation of Sherlock Holmes. With Dr. Willliam A.S. Sargeant, he co-authored Ms Holmes of Baker Street (Gasogene Press, 1989; University of Alberta Press, 2004).

Having started publishing his series while living in Kelowna, by 2010 Alan Bradley had moved to Malta.


Meet Miss Mullen

Ms Holmes of Baker Street (Gasogene Press, 1989; University of Alberta Press, 2004).

The Shoebox Bible (M&S 2006)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Doubleday 2009) $25 978-0-385-66582-7

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Doubleday 2010). $29.95. 978-0-385-66584-1

A Red Herring Without Mustard (Doubleday 2011). 978-0-385-66586-5 $29.95

[BCBW 2010] "Fiction"