I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley

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I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley

Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The fourth book in the series - and the enviable standard is staying high. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: November 2011
Publisher: Orion
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1409114208

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The finances of the de Luce family are in a dreadful state and Flavia's father makes the decision to allow a film company to make use of the family stately home, Buckshaw, as a location. Flavia is in her element with new people to investigate, new processes to mull over and her friendship with Dogger, her father's manservant, to progress. There's obviously something strange going on when the star of the film persuades the director - much against his will - to put on a benefit performance for the village. When there's a snow storm which cuts Buckshaw and many of the residents of the local village off from the outside world - and then a murder - you have the makings of a classic 'locked room' mystery.

And classic it is, with Flavia snooping mercilessly on everything and everyone and even if she wasn't aways one step ahead of the police she certainly illuminates a few pathways which they might have failed to spot. As always you have to suspend disbelief as to whether or not an eleven-year-old child could have accumulated the mass of knowledge which she has acquired or could be quite so worldly-wise, but here it's offset by a rather touching belief in the existence of Father Christmas. And - it's a story, Enjoy it for what it is.

You'll find most of the usual cast of characters in attendance - the sisters, Daffy and Feely, Dogger the manservant, the local police and the long shadow of Harriet, Flavia's mother who died when she was little more than a baby. It might be the fourth in the series but don't feel that you have to read them in order as each book read perfectly well as a standalone. My first book was the third in the series and I've enjoyed each as I've read them.

The story is good, the time and the location is perfect but what really sets this series apart from others is the quality of the writing. Reading is a delight and Alan Bradley is now one of those authors whose books are irresistible.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you really must read the series in order then you should start with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. If you're looking for crime novels written in the nineteen-fifties then we can recommend the work of Gladys Mitchell.

Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce Mysteries in Chronological Order

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Buy I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley at Amazon.com.


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