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I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce…

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 4) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Alan Bradley (Author)

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1,4791415,031 (3.96)214
Title:I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 4)
Authors:Alan Bradley (Author)
Info:Bantam (2012), Edition: Reprint, 315 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2017
Tags:READ 2017

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)

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» See also 214 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Of course, Alan Bradley always writes the best opening lines: “Tendrils of raw fog floated up from the ice like agonized spirits departing their bodies. The cold air was a hazy, writhing mist.”

I enjoyed this book just as much as all the others in the series. It takes place during the Christmas season, and Father has sold out the use of Buckshaw to a film studio. The lead performers agree to do a scene from Romeo & Juliet as a church fundraiser, and nearly the whole town shows up at Buckshaw. Of course, snow arrives and they get completely snowed in. That night there is a murder, and Flavia of course if immediately on the case.

The only drawback was that the entire story took place in the Buckshaw estate. I was a little disappointed that Flavia couldn’t hop on Gladys and ride throughout the town. The mystery was pretty good, but of course the main appeal of this series are the characters. My favorite character aside from Flavia is Dogger. Flavia can be quite the brat with all other characters, but she is never disrespectful to Dogger and in one scene helps him to get through one of his flashback episodes; I loved how gentle she was with him. And Dogger seems to be the only one who appreciates Flavia and her unique gifts, and accepts her the way she is.

I enjoy the scenes between Flavia and Inspector Hewitt as well, but I have more trouble figuring out just what he thinks of her. He seems to resent her quite a bit and goes to lengths not to give her any advantage or praise. Perhaps because he knows just how she'd run with it (grin). ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
I reallly wanted to love this series but after a 2nd try, I am aborting. I didn't care for the main character - see was a bratty kid to some extent. There were plenty of references to previous story lines so I feel if you read the series in order you had the advantage. The setting is a large drafty English estate, snowy and Christmas time. Should have been right up my alley.....I tried to read the 1st in the series some time ago. Gave the book away and then ordered the book again so time later because again I reallllly wanted to love the series.

I gave this book 125 pages - meh. ( )
  anglophile65 | May 23, 2017 |
Unlike the previous three, this story deals more with Flavia and her interactions with the people around her, particularly her family, and not so much on the solving of the mystery. Although Flavia isn't about to let her family dynamics get in the way of some clever sleuthing. With her usual flair and boldness, she goes about "assisting" the local constabulary - much to their dismay. Flavia has a delightful and heart-breaking mix of maturity and innocence. She is growing up, and has many truths about life to face, which as a reader and adult, I both dread and look forward to seeing her mature. The mystery of her mother, and the past of her family got even more tangled and twisted. Like the previous three, I listened to this via Audiobook, read by the incomparable Jane Entwistle. Entwistle gives such a lively voice to Flavia, It's enchanting to listen to her speak the story. I highly recommend this story, either by book or audiobook. ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 19, 2017 |
While Flavia de Luce is fun, it's now a not so must read as it was in the beginning of the series. Yes, Flavia is precocious. Yes, Flavia will do battle with Daffy and Fee. Yes, Dogger will be having PTSD in the corner somewhere and the father wil be absent. There will be a murder to solve and it will require her overly sharp Sherlockian sense of deduction to solve it. Flavia is a perpetual 10 year old who runs around in intelligent hellion delight much to her family's chagrin, but to the acceptance of the local inspector.

I want Flavia, hell the whole family, to move forward - emotionally, chronologically, geographically, all the -ly words you can find. Even her interest in chemistry is seemingly lagging. Every book is _the same_. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is no better nor no worse then the previous three titles except you may get slightly bored while reading it because you know it's the same plot, hook line and sinker, you've read three times before. Let Fee get married! Let Daffy become an actress! Explore more of Dogger's story! Explore more of Harriet's disappearance and presumed death! Something! Anything! Just move the story foreward and stop using the same plot and side stories over and over again.

Alan Bradley is technically a good if not great writer, he gets points for style and ability but loses points for style and lack of originality.

I will read book #5 and if it hasn't changed from book #4, I'm done with this series. ( )
1 vote byshieldmaiden | Jan 17, 2017 |
En un intento por salvar Backshaw de las deudas, el padre de Flavia acepta arrendar la Mansión a una productora que va a grabar una película con la actriz más famosa del momento. De ahí, en solo un par de días Flavia se las arregla para estar en medio de un accidente grave, un homicidio y un intento de asesinato. Cosas que sólo le pasan a Flavia, por supuesto :)

( )
  Danyspike | Jan 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (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
Heikinheimo, MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbing, DianeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perini, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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...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?
...To Father we were, Daffy had once said, a three-headed Hydra, each one of our faces a misty mirror of his past.

Daffy's a romantic, but I knew what she meant: We were fleeting images of Harriet.

Perhaps that was why Father spent his days and nights among his postage stamps: surrounded by thousands of companionable, comforting, unquestioning countenances, not one of which, like those of his daughters, mocked him from morning to night. (chapter 3)
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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”.
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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.
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"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)

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