Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Alan Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2811276,134 (3.99)189
Title:I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
Authors:Alan Bradley
Info:Orion Publishing Ome (2012), Paperback
Collections:To read, Your library

Work details

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (2011)

  1. 40
    The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (ErisofDiscord)
    ErisofDiscord: A heroine with a very similar temperament to Flavia; Enola Holmes solves mysteries and finds missing persons, all while evading her very capable brother: Sherlock Holmes.
  2. 40
    The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King (47degreesnorth)
  3. 00
    A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows and A Fatal Grace are cozy mysteries set in small towns. In each, the victim is disliked by many; thus, many have motives to kill. It is up to the ingenious protagonists to solve the crime.
  4. 00
    The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (47degreesnorth)
  5. 13
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Yells)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 189 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
I adore this series! As long as Mr. Bradley goes on writing of Flavia's adventures, I will be along for the ride. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
Enjoyable, light-hearted read about Flavia and her bizarre family. who are badly in need of some extra income, so her father invites a movie company in to film in their atmospheric house. Murder, as usual, ensues.
Flavia is at her delightful best as she finds clues in her own insightful way, despite a jaundiced police presence. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
I really enjoy Flavia de Luce's narrative style. No one else has quite these similes or observations. I listened to this as an audiobook, which is perfect. One proof that this is a good book is I listened to some tracks a couple times accidentally and each time I chuckled and reveled in some entertaining or poignant comment even the second time around. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
This is the fourth book in the wonderfully endearing Flavia de Luce mystery series. It's close to Christmas and eleven year old Flavia is still working in her chemistry lab, whipping up her own preparation of birdlime that she intends to spread all over the chimney. Once Father Christmas attempts to slide down he'll get stuck and she can finally prove he really exists. She also plans to set off a huge fireworks show to entertain the entire countryside.

Her father has finally realized the financial trouble they are in and has given permission for Ilium Films to use Buckshaw as the location for their newest film. They will be shooting a movie starring the beautiful and famous Phyllis Wyvern. Phyllis agrees to help the local church raise money for a new roof and to put on a benefit at Buckshaw for the local villagers. During the event a blizzard hits, and everyone attending the benefit is trapped in the mansion. Before the night is over, someone is found dead, strangled by a strip of film. Flavia immediately begins her investigation into the crime, hoping to solve it before Inspector Hewitt. She desperately wants him to take notice of her brilliant deductive skills.

I love this series and so far this is my favorite book. It's funny and dry, yet sweet and touching at the same time. Alan Bradley has made a cast of wonderful recurring characters and there's more emphasis on them in this particular story. We get a clue into the former life of Dogger, Colonel de Luce's batman in the war and a former POW who now serves as Buckshaw's caretaker. Flavia's father, Colonel de Luce, is obviously still very much in love with his dead wife, Harriet, and her presence has never been so alive in the other books of this series.

Jayne Entwhistle, as always, in stellar in her depiction of Flavia as well as the rest of the characters. I have been enthralled with Flavia since the very first adventure and I can't wait to read the next one.

( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Audio performed by Jayne Entwhistle

In this 4th installment of the Flavia DeLuce series we find Buckshaw overrun with a cinema crew just at Christmas. It’s the perfect setting for the film and they’ll pay handsomely (keeping the estate afloat for another year). Flavia, however, is much more concerned with whether Father Christmas is real. In an effort to settle the question once and for all, she concocts a chemical trap – her own sort of SuperGlue – which she spreads around the chimneys. Meantime, half the village has come to Buckshaw in a snowstorm for a benefit performance featuring the film’s two stars. As the snow turns to a blizzard they are all trapped on the estate, without phone or a means to travel back to town. It’s the perfect setting for a murder!

Bradley is stretching the plot rather thin in this book. The murder doesn’t happen until half-way through the book. As much as I love Flavia, I read the series for the mysteries and her efforts to solve them. While Flavia certainly helps to identify the killer, she spends much more time on her elaborate schemes for Christmas (she’s made fireworks as well at the trap for Santa). One thing I definitely did appreciate was the somewhat improved behavior of her sisters; they were far less cruel to her in this book than in previous installments. I also liked the additional information about Dogger, Colonel DeLuce and Flavia’s deceased mother.

As usual, Jayne Entwhistle is marvelous voicing Flavia and the other characters on the audio version. She is simply perfect!
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
The novel opens with Flavia skating past paintings of her long-dead relatives in Buckshaw’s portrait gallery. The east wing of her sprawling, ancestral home is unheated, she reminds us, so it was no trouble to flood the room and create her own private arena. As she skates she daydreams about a photographer stumbling upon her and snapping her photo, landing her in a famous magazine and simultaneously making her older sisters jealous and her widower father proud. The dream is burst, however, by the very real cold of her bedroom. Flavia, of course, is dreaming, and with that Bradley launches us into life at Buckshaw a few days before Christmas.

Like most 11-year-old girls, Flavia is teetering on the question of Father Christmas. Her older sisters, Daphne and Ophelia, have horridly told her there’s no such person, but Flavia can’t quite believe it. So, to prove her sisters wrong she has devised a plan to catch the jolly old elf. Being the chemical whiz that she is, Flavia eschews amateur tricks such as nets and instead decides to brew a batch of birdlime, an extra-sticky glue used to hunt songbirds. Her preparations are interrupted, however, by the arrival of a film crew.

Bradley’s novels are, ostensibly, mysteries. Certainly, each one builds up to a murder, allowing Flavia to insert herself into the investigation so she can, with Miss Marple-esque skills, solve the case either before or at just the same moment as the police. Usually, her investigations involve sly interviews with villagers and many trips on Gladys, her bicycle. This time around, though, the murder is at Buckshaw and much of her sleuthing can be done by snooping through guest bedrooms and strategically overhearing conversations.

Despite the murder and subsequent investigation, Shadows is more about the de Luce family than anything else. It’s Christmas, after all, and along with the holiday’s religious implications are its familial ones. The de Luce family is an uncomfortable one, though, and filled with more than its share of secrets and things left unsaid. As Bradley’s series progresses, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the real plot revolves around Flavia’s simultaneous desire to understand more about the de Luces and nervousness about what she might learn.

Certainly Flavia can solve a murder, but matters of love and relationships continue to puzzle her and engage us, giving Bradley’s novels a much more emotional edge than your average drawing room mystery.
added by VivienneR | editThe National Post, Angela Hickman (Dec 23, 2011)
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is a delicious, lighthearted holiday read best served by a crackling fireplace with warm eggnog – but please, hold the noxious compounds.
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.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Amy Nolan (Oct 15, 2011)
The book is beautifully written, with fully fleshed characters, even the minor ones such as odd-job man Dogger and Mrs. Mullet, who rules in the kitchen.
Flavia de Luce may belong to a different time period, but mostly she belongs to the world of imagination, both restricting and expansive enough to allow many more visits to Buckshaw — as well as the laboratory of criminal concoctions still stewing in their juices, waiting to be unbottled in future books.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradley, Alanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bassett, JeffAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Entwistle, JayneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbing, DianeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perini, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
...She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirrored magic sights
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights,
And music, went to Camelot;
Or, when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half-sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.
- Alfred Tennyson, "The Lady of Shalott"
For Shirley
First words
Tendrils of raw fog floated up from the ice like agonized spirits departing their bodies.
Feely and Daffy didn't believe in Father Christmas, which, I suppose, is precisely the reason he always brought them such dud gifts: scented soap, generally, and dressing gowns and slipper sets that looked and felt as if they had been cut from Turkey carpet.
Father Christmas, they had told me, again and again, was for children.

'He's no more than a cruel hoax perpetrated by parents who wish to shower gifts upon their icky offspring without having to actually touch them,' Daffy had insisted last year. 'He's a myth. Take my word for it. I am, after all, older than you, and I know about these things.'

Did I believe her? I wasn't sure. When I was able to get away on my own and think about it without tears springing to my eyes, I had applied my rather considerable deductive skills to the problem, and come to the conclusion that my sisters were lying. Someone, after all, had brought the glassware, hadn't they?
COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES (for the hardcover first edition):

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication data are provided.

First printing of first edition line: 2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3 1
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"The title of the fourth Flavia de Luce Mystery has been announced by Random House. It is … “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows”... This title supercedes the previously-announced “Death In Camera”.
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Eleven-year-old detective Flavia de Luce's family allows a film crew to shoot a movie on their estate. When the lead actress turns up dead, Flavia sorts through clues, trying to solve the murder.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw over to a film company. They will be shooting a movie over the Christmas holidays, filming scenes in the stately manse with a famous and reclusive star. She is widely despised, so it is to no one's surprise when she turns up murdered, strangled by a length of film from her own movies! With the snow raging outside and Buckshaw locked in, the house is full of suspects. But Flavia de Luce is more than ready to solve the wintry country-house murder. She'll have to be quick-witted, though, to negotiate the volatile chemicals of a cast and crew starting to crack--and locked in a house with a murderer!"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
353 wanted
5 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.99)
1 1
1.5 1
2 12
2.5 6
3 89
3.5 59
4 234
4.5 35
5 133


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,195,932 books! | Top bar: Always visible