Friday, January 6, 2012
Review: I Am Half-Sick Of Shadows: A Flavia De Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
Publisher: Delacorte Press
It’s Christmas time, and Colonel de Luce has decided to allow a movie crew to use the house as a film set. In an attempt to avoid bankruptcy for a little longer, the film crew begins to take over the house. Flavia is confronted by her sisters and told that Father Christmas does not exist. She devises a plan to capture Father Christmas and solve this mystery herself, she’s whipping up a super-sticky concoction that she’ll coat the chimney with and prove to her sisters that he does exist. Christmas-eve will be the day St Nick comes down the chimney, and he’ll get stuck- Flavia will be able to prove to her sister that they are wrong. The family must accommodate the film crew and not have a Christmas tree this year, eleven- year-old Flavia is a little upset with having no tree but her new visitors bring entertainment to her. The famous Phyllis Wyvern is bathing in her home, and she plans to observe these people as much as possible. During the filming of the production, one of the stars is murdered and Flavia discovers the body. She decides to use her skills to catch the killer. Flavia is courageous, curious, and imaginative.
The book was the fourth installment, and I was able to read it as a standalone novel. This was my first Alan Bradley novel, and I really want to start from the beginning and get to know Flavia a little better. She’s an amazing character, armed with her chemistry set and holding a grudge against her sisters. While she is brilliant and intriguing, she maintains her childhood innocence. The writing is very good, and Alan Bradley has me waiting to read the first three books. I’ve heard a lot of good things about his books. According to reviews that I have read, Bradley’s previous books are more traditional mysteries. I loved Flavia’s character. Her mind is very curious, and readers will fall in love with her scheming and her propensity for poisons. This book will appeal to the mystery lover, and is more than just a holiday read.