Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce is at it again in I am Half-Sick of Shadows. And this was the perfect read for now, since it takes place during Christmas!

The de Luce's are about to lose Buckshaw because of financial difficulties, so the Colonel decides to allow a filming crew to use the house for a couple of weeks during the holidays. This means that one of the world's biggest film stars, Phyllis Wyvern, will be staying in the house. Of course, no way is Flavia going to leave this alone....

The reverand convinces the stars to give a performance at Buckshaw to benefit the roof repairs at St. Tankred. It turns out that the snow storm gets worse and worse, causing the entire audience (most of Bishop's Lacey) to have to spend the night.

It takes a while for the story to get started. (It's about halfway through the book before the dead body appears), but we get to hear about Flavia's latest  schemes while we're waiting. She's come up with a method to prove (or disprove) the existence of Father Christmas. She's also planning a great display of her fireworks to be shot from the roof on Christmas Eve. And, she investigates the film crew and the stars in the usual manner.

Once we have a dead body, then Flavia goes to work. Her methods and the science she uses are, as usual, creative and entertaining.

I did miss some of the snarky attitude between Flavia and her sisters in I Am Half-Sick of Shadows. They just didn't seem to be their usual hateful selves, and Flavia didn't even get to trick them with one of her concoctions.

I've listened to most of the Flavia de Luce books on audio and really enjoyed them. However, I really enjoyed the reading experience too (and it took a lot less time!)

If you enjoy a light-hearted murder mystery, in a historical English setting, with a precocious eleven-year-old sleuth, you really must read these books. It isn't necessary to read them all in order, but why not?

Published by Delacorte Press, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
297 pages

Rating: 4/5

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