I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
21 June, 2012
Although it is pleasant enough to think about poison in any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.
In Flavia de Luce, Alan Bradley has created an inquisitive little sleuth with a love of chemistry rivalling that of Sherlock Holmes. It’s always such a pleasure to read about her antics.
In the fourth book in the series, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, it is almost Christmas and Flavia is busy plotting how to trap Santa Claus to discover his existance once and for all. However, Flavia’s father, Havilland has let a part of Buckshaw, their ancestral home, to a cinema crew for lucre to pay the taxman and as Buckshaw is turned into a film set, the stage is set for murder. For Phyllis Wyvern, the grand-dame of British film is found dead in her room by Flavia after a dramatic charity performance of Romeo and Juliet for the parish church, St. Tancred’s. As the snow has been piling up, all the guests have had to remain at Buckshaw and are suspects. Flavia is determined to find out whodunnit before Inspector Hewitt and goes about her investigations undercover. Will she unravel the mystery? And can she keep herself out of trouble? And can she trap Father Christmas?
Once again it’s a cosy country house mystery with the added bonus of seeing Flavia’s interactions with her father, still grief-stricken after his wife Harriet’s demise in Tibet, her two sisters Feely and Daffy who seem to be always finding ways of hurting her and of course, Dogger, their faithful retainer still racked by memories of the war but who is more than what he seems.
I love this series with Bradley’s signature playful prose and can’t wait to read the next book, Speaking from Among the Bones, which is due out next year.
And apparently the series has been optioned for TV by none other than Sam Mendes’ production company. YAY.
A big thank you to Orion Books for kindly sending me a copy of this book to review.