I Am Half-Sick of Shadows – Alan Bradley

I am Half Sick of Shadows - Flavia De Luce Mystery

This is the fourth in the Flavia de Luce series, another wonderfully endearing “cozy mystery” set “somewhere” in England in the 1950s.  I absolutely love this series, they’re the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life with one of the most captivating heroines in the shape of 11 year old Flavia.

It’s getting close to Christmas and the de Luce family finances are still in a perilous state so the Colonel reluctantly agrees to rent out Buckshaw to a film crew.  The glamorous film star Phyllis Wyvern has agreed to perform a scene from Shakespeare in order to raise funds for the church roof, so the local villagers swarm to Buckshaw to see the leading lady in action.  Blizzards conspire to keep the audience captive overnight but tis not the season to be jolly as a body is discovered and, with so many suspects, Inspector Hewitt needs all the help he can get to find the killer.  Of course, Flavia, our amateur sleuth, is on hand to ferret out the culprit but she is already occupied with proving Santa’s existence and concocting some splendiferous fireworks.

If you are already a fan of Flavia, you will love this seasonal story as you are immediately transported into the snowbound world of Buckshaw and Bishop’s Lacey.  Flavia is as irrepressible as ever but she still has that cloud of sadness, the loss of her mother and her sisters’ indifference/cruelty weigh heavily on her.  Some much needed distraction comes with the arrival of the film crew and the glamour of the silver screen.  There are a lot of new characters in this relatively  short book but they really come to life for the reader, even the one who dies quite soon!

Overall, a pleasure to read, an ideal Christmas treat which leaves me longing for the next instalment in Flavia’s adventures, Seeds of Antiquity, hopefully out in 2012.

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3 Comments

  1. vivienne says:

    I still haven’t read the first one of these! I do love the sound of them though. Especially this one with its Christmas feel to it.

  2. Helen says:

    I loved the first three books in this series so will definitely be reading this one too. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to read it soon as it sounds perfect for the Christmas season!

  3. admin says:

    Vivienne, you’re missing out on a fabulous series, get reading!

    Helen, they really are fabulous reads, hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

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