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Alan Bradley Books In Order

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Publication Order of Flavia de Luce Books

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Red Herring Without Mustard (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speaking from Among the Bones (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Tresses of the Dead (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
What Time the Sexton's Spade Doth Rust (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ms Holmes of Baker Street: The Truth About Sherlock (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shoebox Bible (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

A Study in Sherlock(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Alan Bradley is a Canadian Mystery writer; born in 1938, Alan is best known for his work on the Flavia de Luce Series.


Alan Bradley was born in Toronto, Canada; it fell to Alan’s mother to raise the author and his two elder sisters after their father abandoned them during Alan Bradley’s earliest years.

Alan Bradley was a very sickly child and the time away from school provided him the opportunity to nurture a love for reading, a habit that did nothing good for him, with the boy spending more time reading in the local cemetery than going to school. Alan has admitted to feeling like he never fit in among his classmates.

After school, Alan took up Radio and Television engineering in Cobourg, designing and developing electronic systems, before spending a sometime working at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto.

He moved to Saskatoon and took up a job at the University of Saskatchewan where he proved instrumental in designing and developing a broadcasting studio, spending the next 25 years working as a Director of Television Engineering.

He would eventually retire in 1994 to become a full time writer.

Literary Career

While interested in writing throughout most of his young life, it didn’t occur to Alan Bradley to take writing seriously as a career until he moved to Saskatoon at the age of 30, where he joined various writing groups and begun to nurture his talents.

Initially limiting his activities to those few short stories that he wrote to be read on CBC Radio, it wasn’t until he retired in 1994 from his work at the university of Saskatchewan that Alan finally begun focusing on full time writing.

He would produce numerous screenplays over a period of nine years before the fires that ravaged Okanagan Mountain Park in 2003 inspired him to turn his attention towards memoirs.

He produced the non-fiction works ‘Ms Holmes of Baker Street’ and ‘The ShoeBox Bible’ before finally making the decision to tackle his first novel in 2006. The success that Alan would achieve in later years began with his wife bringing his attention towards the Dagger fiction competition, run by the United Kingdom Crime Writers’ Association and which, as Canadian Mystery writer Louise Penny explained to listeners on CBC radio, required competitors to submit a synopsis and the first chapter of a murder mystery.

Alan Bradley had already began work on the ‘girl on the camp stool’ a character the aspiring author had created for the novel he was working on and whom Alan had named Flavia de Luce.

Taking a few days to pen 15 pages around his chosen character-and several weeks to polish his work- those 15 pages, which won him the competition, would also become the basis for ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’.

The impact of Bradley’s 15 pages was such that a bidding war ensued between two judges from the competition that contacted him with the intention of publishing the proposed novel.

Following negotiations with Doubleday and Bantam books which purchased the rights for the proposed book in Canada and the U.S respectively, Alan Bradley, now aged 69, traveled to London to collect his award before finally returning to Canada and spending several months transforming 15 pages into a fully fledged novel.

What began as a single book quickly evolved into an entire series following the adventures of Flavia de Luce as she put her wits to solving mysteries and murders in a small village.

Initially crafted with six books in mind, Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series has been extended to ten novels. Sam Mendes, famed director of movies like Sky fall and Road to Perdition has option the entire Flavia de Luce series with the intention of adapting the books into TV movies.

Alan Bradley and his wife have been travelling ever since they sold their home in British Columbia in 2009 with the aim of visiting all those places that Alan has written about but never seen.

The ShoeBox Bible

During a cold dark winter, a young boy finds a shoebox hidden away behind a closet floorboard; inside he finds weathered scraps of paper upon which is scribbled several lines of scripture. Within this box and those scraps of paper, the young boy hopes to find the mysteries that might reveal the reason his father ran away. It isn’t until she is on her deathbed that the young boy’s mother begins to reveal the truth.

The ShoeBox Bible is a difficult book to acquire, mostly because it is out of print, which is a pity when taking into account the number of readers that couldn’t get enough of it the first time around and continue to pine for their own copy of the Shoe Box Bible. Within its confines, the novel introduces its intriguing protagonist, a boy whose family fell into such poverty after their father abandoned them that they couldn’t afford to even buy a bible.

Forced to read the Holy book only on Sundays during church, with his mother then choosing to memorize and copy scriptures on scraps of paper; but not just any scriptures, but words from the bible that touched her heart and situation the most, scriptures that, over time, allow the young boy to peel away the layers behind her mother’s problems.

The ShoeBox Bible is a small, sad yet amazing book that has touched the hearts and minds of many a reader over the last several years.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Flavia de Luce is an aspiring chemist that finds her attention drawn towards an intriguing mystery. In the summer of 1950 Flavia comes across a series of inexplicable events, starting with a dead bird found on a door step and the dying man whose last breathe Flavia witnesses in a cucumber patch. For Flavia’s inquisitive mind these events couldn’t be more intriguing as she sets about confronting the most exciting thing that she has ever encountered.

Alan Bradley’s first novel in the Flavia de Luce series thrives primarily because of how engaging his protagonist, the clever and insatiable Flavia is; a girl whose genius drives her to confront the extraordinary, Alan brings the historical mystery to life with brisk dialogue and immersive developments.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Alan Bradley

5 Responses to “Alan Bradley”

  1. Konrad Radke: 3 months ago

    Have enjoyed all the books. I am an avid reader of anything, but you are great and I could never write. Thank you!

  2. schuele, judith: 4 months ago

    I have 2 older sisters but have always felt I was mistakenly placed in the wrong family Flavia is my roll model

  3. Debbie McCabe: 2 years ago

    I’ve just discovered the Flavia series and am hooked ! Please let Flavia come out and deduce some more, can’t get enough !

  4. Kristin Sisk: 2 years ago

    Mr. Bradley,

    We love Flavia. Will you write any more books about her? Thank you so much for writing the books you have. We are glad you retired!


    Kristin & Rex Sisk

  5. Stanley Isherwood: 5 years ago

    Thank you for this. As a resident of Cobourg and now Bradley/Flavia fan I hope it is not too long before we meet her on the small screen. I am also really hoping that some day I may lay my hands on a hard copy of The Shoebox Bible for our Museum Library. Anyone with one to spare?


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