I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Series #4)

( 70 )

Overview

It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the ...

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I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Series #4)

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Overview

It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Christmas comes early for precocious Flavia de Luce with the arrival of a glamorous London film crew at Buckshaw, her family’s country house, in Agatha-winner Bradley’s fourth post-WWII mystery starring the endearing 11-year-old sleuth (after February 2011’s A Red Herring Without Mustard). Flavia, a chemistry prodigy, must push her previous project—concocting a super stickum to trap Santa—to the back burner after actress Phyllis Wyvern turns up dead in a wingback chair with “a length of ciné film, tied tightly, but neatly, in an elaborate black bow” around her throat. The murder investigation pits the cheeky schoolgirl’s considerable deductive prowess against the local constabulary—and puts her in grave danger. With its sharply drawn characters, including the hiss-worthy older de Luce sisters, and an agreeable puzzle playing out against the cozy backdrop of a British village at Christmas, this is a most welcome holiday gift for Flavia fans. (Nov.)
Library Journal
England's most famous 11-year-old sleuth returns in Bradley's much anticipated fourth novel (after A Red Herring Without Mustard). It is Christmas, and Colonel de Luce, faced with impending bankruptcy, has agreed to rent the family estate out to a British film studio. The whole village is agog with the arrival of Phyllis Wyvern, famous beauty and film star. Flavia, however, is preoccupied with plans of her own. Ophelia and Daphne, her vile older sisters, have told her the shocking news that Father Christmas doesn't exist. Intent on capturing the jolly old elf herself, she turns to her "savage passion for chemistry" for inspiration. But murder and mayhem have a way of following our impish heroine, and soon Flavia is presented with a crime to puzzle out. VERDICT This is a delightful read through and through. We find in Flavia an incorrigible and wholly lovable detective; from her chemical experiments in her sanctum sanctorum to her outrage at the idiocy of the adult world, she is unequaled. Charming as a stand-alone novel and a guaranteed smash with series followers. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/11.]—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph P.L., MI
Kirkus Reviews
Flavia, the cheeky 11-year-old who knows her way around a sulfurous beaker, is at it again. Determined to prove that there is a Santa Claus, Flavia de Luce retreats to her laboratory in the upper reaches of Buckshaw, the family estate, to concoct a glue that will cement him to the flue should he try to descend on Christmas Eve. While it's steeping, she and her tormentors, her older sisters Feely and Daffy, hear from their father, the Colonel, that financial distress has caused him to rent out Buckshaw to Ilium Films. The company will have free run of the place except for the Colonel's study and his deceased wife Harriet's boudoir. Learning that the fabulous actress Phyllis Wyvern will be in residence, the vicar of Bishop's Lacey pops around to ask if she'll star in a fundraiser for the church. She coaxes her co-star to join her in a scene from Romeo and Juliet to be staged in Buckshaw's foyer. The performance has just finished when a snowstorm strands the villagers at the estate, with no heat, no electricity and no immediate possibility of police intervention. As one might expect, Flavia can deal with it all, even when she finds poor Phyllis dead in the middle of the night, a strip of celluloid tightly wound around her neck. Many of her showbiz colleagues had reason not to like her, from her director to her dresser to her driver. But whodunit? Inspector Hewitt will eventually get through the snow to start his inquiries, but meanwhile Flavia will piece together clues that will lead to the sticky ending she'd planned for Santa. The plot's murderous aspects are on the skimpy side. But who can complain when that serial charmer Flavia (A Red Herring Without Mustard, 2011, etc.) is on hand, wreathed in Tennyson and Shakespeare?
From the Publisher
Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Winn Award, and Arthur Ellis Award
 
“If ever there was a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce.”—USA Today

“Delightful . . . [Flavia is] a combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes. . . . Fearless, cheeky, wildly precocious.”—The Boston Globe, on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
 
 “Utterly beguiling . . . wicked wit . . . The real delight here is [Flavia’s] droll voice and the eccentric cast.”—People (four stars), on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag
 
“Outstanding . . . [a] marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on A Red Herring Without Mustard

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385344012
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Series: Flavia de Luce Series , #4
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 367,516
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His second and third Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag and the New York Times bestselling A Red Herring Without Mustard. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

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(51)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Flavia at her best

    It's Christmastime at Buckshaw and Flavia devises a plan to check Father Christmas in the act. But as the house fills up with a movie crew she has other things on her mind as well. The movie crew arrives at Buckshaw after Colonel de Luce lets them tape there in exchange for money (their money situation is still dire). Flavia becomes fast friends with the star of the movie, Phyllis Wyvern. When someone from the movie crew is suddenly murdered Flavia investigates the murder. During her investigation of the murder and her plot to catch Father Christmas Flavia finds herself in danger, will this Christmas be her last?

    This is by far my favorite book of the Flavia de Luce series. Just when I thought I couldn't like Flavia any more than I do, she turns up even more precocious and loveable as ever. I loved her devised plan to catch Father Christmas, and all through the book it felt like it was Flavia and me plotting together. Flavia is like the little sister I never had but always wanted. I would recommend this book to people who have read and enjoyed the other Flavia de Luce books and enjoyed them. This is even a good read for those who haven't read the other books.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2011

    Love this series

    My only regret, in having read this book, is that I have to wait another year for the fifth book in the series to be published. Flavia is the hero of my inner child, and her story is told so well by the author.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Highly recommend. Excellent Series!!!

    Incredibly creative writing. Great storyline. I love Flavia De Luce.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Flavia has done it again!

    Throughout reading this amazing book, I was always captured by the unexpected twists and turns of the novel, the beautiful figurative language used, and, of course, the clever mind of Flavia de Luce. I read this book in merely a few days, because I always dreaded the moment when I would have to put it down. I was eager to turn each page, and immersed in Flavia's life of murder, poisons, and the occasional wise words of her friend Dogger. You don't even have to read the other books before it, it will still come off as spectacular. If you are looking for an amazing, captivating mystery, look no further. This novel, by the incredibly talented author Alan Bradley, has it all. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Charming-A Perfect Gift

    This is my favorite Flavia De Luce book. It is full of interesting characters and Flavia is at her best. Highly recommended and would make a lovely gift for a reader of any age. The hardback is adorable!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Pierce

    Why whats down there? Are you scared of Naiads?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Canoe lake.

    There are things i have yet to discover down there and i dont want campers dissapearing because they took a dip in......

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Never in School?

    Why are none of these kids ever in school?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2013

    The entire series is excellent. It's a true who-done-it that ma

    The entire series is excellent. It's a true who-done-it that makes British mysteries so enjoyable. A funny heroine with a good mind who untangles the craziest of murders. I love every minute!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    An engaging series!

    This is the second book about Flavia that I have had the good fortune to find. Her character is engaging. The chemistry trivia is an added plus. If you are looking for a new series I highly recommend this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Jaggedstar

    Smirks and follows.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Misty

    She tryed to slip away from the cats.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Virus

    *Virus grunted, slashing his claws across Sun-Wolf's eyes*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Tiger

    CaptureS misty

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Crystalstar

    Grabbed Misty's scruff and slapped her in a cage. "Listen up, Omega!" She snarled. "Shadowstalker will treat to your wounds after we hurt you." She took the pup to the first result. <p>
    Shadow gagged but followed

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    BlackSoul

    Gets some of her rage out and pads back

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Intrepid detective Flavia is again on a case....

    With her trusty bike to guide her and her cinderellaesk sisters to spurn her on Flavia falls into a murder case during christmas and this one once again cuts close to home and loved ones.
    So taking to her sanctum lab and using her quick wit and keen observation Flavia rallys to save St. Nick while whipping up hilarious potions in her lab! Well done series makes you laugh and truly feel the london after world war two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Loved it! The whole series is great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    This was a pleeasure to read.

    This was a fascinating story, honestly, and being around flavia's age gives me a good point of view. I could compare the story to one of Agatha Christie's novels. Flavia DeLuce is just as fascinating and clever as Monsieur Poirot.

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    Flavia is a must read! For anyone who has ever battled with siblings, been drawn into a mystery as a child, or just wants a good escape. Alan Bradley, keep Flavia coming!

    Alan Bradley makes the reader want to jump into this book and become Flavias best friend, mixing fireworks in her lab and then setting them off on the rooftop. To be eleven again and have your sisters as arch enemies! I can't wait for the next book. Will Flavia discover more about her Mother? What kind of poisen will she mix next and who will she use it on?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews

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