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

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  22,881 Ratings  ·  2,942 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Random House Doubleday (first published 2011)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 25, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
”IN MY ELEVEN YEARS of life I’ve seen a number of corpses. Each of them was interesting in a different way, and this one was no exception.”

Flavia de Luce always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong right time. She doesn’t have to leave her small town of Bishop’s Lacey to find a steady supply of bodies recently discarded by their souls. Due to precarious pecuniary circumstances Flavia’s father has recently rented out the ancestral home of Buckshaw to a film crew. Flavia has been busy in he
Dec 27, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
Mr. Bradley, write faster!
Danielle Young
Jan 02, 2012 Danielle Young rated it really liked it
Probability and reality are not reasons to read a Flavia de Luce book, and that is as true for I Am Half-Sick of Shadows as any of them. I am not looking for a well crafted mystery when I read these books, I am looking to romp around with the characters (especially Flavia) that populate the strange little world of Bishops Lacey. A romp (with a good dash of firework chemistry) is what this book delivers. This book takes place solely in Buckshaw (where pretty much the entire town of BL happens to ...more
Richard Derus
Dec 14, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Report: Flavia de Luce does Christmas. Buckshaw, Bishop's Lacey, is now the scene of Ilium Films's new Phyllis Wyvern extravaganza, The Cry of the Raven. The film company has paid the desperately strapped-for-cash Colonel Haviland de Luce a sizable sum to use Buckshaw as the backdrop for this bound-to-be-mega hit, which means Christmas will be spent with an entire film crew up the family's collective backside. Flavia meets the famous Miss Wyvern as she enters the house
Nov 11, 2011 Tatiana rated it liked it
There is plenty to love in this installment of Flavia de Luce's adventures, especially if you are her existing fan. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is a Christmas story, with a great infusion of some new blood, which is a must for any series focusing on such a tiny place as Bishop's Lacey. Flavia's father is forced to rent out Buckshaw to a movie company to film its new feature. When the star of the movie is found murdered, Flavia is on full alert. Now she has two Christmas cases on her hands - the mu ...more
Jan 09, 2012 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read all four Flavia de Luce novels in the last couple of weeks, I'm all Flavia'd out for the time being. She certainly is unique -- who else would try to capture Father Christmas by coating the roof and chimneys in birdlime? -- but perhaps is best taken in small doses. I don't think I can take much more of her tampering with crime scenes. (Does this bother anybody else? I could understand her looking around, but she disturbs the body, moves things around, and steals evidence for her own ...more
***I won this book from Goodreads as a First Reads giveaway***

I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

I very much enjoyed reading this novel. It is the fourth installment in a series of books about Flavia de Luce. Eleven year old Flavia lives with her sisters Daphne and Ophelia and her father, Colonel Haviland De Luce, in a rambling old mansion in the English countryside. The story is set around Christmas sometime during 1940’s-1950's era.

Flavia is quite a character, someone straight out of the
Dec 27, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
At this point, I've elected not to take these books seriously at all, and just enjoy them for what they are without picking nits. After all, at least it features a curious, resourceful young girl who is interested in chemistry and forensics, who solves murders in a delightfully Blyton-esque way by getting herself all tangled up in them. Of course there're problems with this... fetishisation of an old British country house and ~British spirit~*, etc, Flavia tampering with crime scenes, the nigh-o ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: next in the series.

Oh, the sweet pure pleasure of reading a Flavia de Luce mystery, the witty and wise 11yo chemist with a propensity for poisons. Book 4 in the series is as fresh and original as book 1 and, I think at this point, my favourite in the series. Making a great Christmas gift as our action takes place on Christmas Eve this is sure to please fans and newcomers alike. Fans will be pleased to see familiar faces but newcomers won't miss a thing just jumping in with th
Jan 15, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
These are fun, easy, light, reads. For me, the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley is just for fun. I enjoy Flavia and her adventures. I always say that she never sounds like a little girl, but this one was the closest of her being and acting her own age. I really liked that and it made me smile. I also like her family dynamic. It is her anchor and she knows that, even with the tension with her sisters.
Oct 31, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely spiffing! 4.5/5 stars

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

I listened to the audiobook version of I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, narrated by Sophie Aldred.

I picked up this audiobook from the library because it was the only title in the mp3 range which appealed to me. I didn’t have a clue that it’s number 4 in a series, and I’m very happy to report it made very little difference to my enjoyment of the story.

I LOVED this. It took a while to get used to Flavia’s incredibly idiosy
There is but one word that appositely describes this book and its predecessors, "delightful." The plot, the setting, and the wonderful character of Flavia de Luce take the word "delightful" and fill it out to its bursting seams. I want to read these stories as fast as I can, and, yet, I want them to never end. I highly recommend this book and the others to anyone who needs a smile, a tug of the heart, a warm fuzzy feeling of comfort and joy. In this latest tale, Flavia's beloved Buckshaw, decayi ...more
Jan 02, 2017 Kevin rated it it was amazing
The only disappointment I found in this book was that it ended at 300 pages instead of at 3000. I adore Flavia De Luce. She is one of my favorite characters in all fiction.

A couple of quotes from this series:

“Tell them we may not be praying with them," Father told the Vicar, "but we are at least not actively praying against them.”

“Books are like oxygen to a deep-sea diver," she had once said. "Take them away and you might as well begin counting the bubbles.”

“Anyone who knew the word slattern wa
Ihmelapsi Flavia de Luce on 11-vuotias, mutta uskoo vielä joulupukkiin ja siihen, että joulupukki tulee savupiipun kautta tuomaan lahjat. Tuo ei mene oikein läpi, mutta onneksi hän alkaa epäillä asian oikeaa laitaa, jo oli aikakin. No sitä ennen hän oli ajatellut pyydystää joulupukin kiinni ja kehitteli erikoisliimaa ja liimasi kartanon kattoa sieltä sun täältä, mutta liimaan ei tarttunut joulupukki, vaan ihan eri tyyppi...
Tämä hurmaava myrkynkeittäjäneitokainen on ilahduttanut jo neljässä suome
Jan 18, 2012 Carl rated it it was ok
I am half-sick of Flavia de Luce. Yes, in this series she's been a precocious narrator of her own brilliant, amateur sleuthing as well as infatuation with chemistry, especially concerning poisons. There's been a good amount of good humor, as well as violent denouements which don't fit the overall setting.
The setting, a large, old estate in a small town, must have been begging for the full blown "cozy" treatment, because this one delivers that, in your face, to the point that in the end, the Insp
Chance Lee
Oct 28, 2011 Chance Lee rated it liked it
I liked this one, but not as much as the others in the series. It took a while to get going.

The entire book is set in Buckshaw, Flavia's epic estate. This incredible mansion would be a fine enough setting, but I missed Flavia zipping around Bishop's Lacey on her trusty bicycle, Gladys. At the half-way point, the residents Bishop's Lacey comes to Buckshaw for a show. Ah-ha, Flavia doesn't need to travel to Bishop's Lacey; Bishop's Lacey will come to her! This is when I finally became invested in
J. Brook
Dec 24, 2011 J. Brook rated it it was ok
This novel lacks the wit and descriptive brilliance of the previous installments. Perhaps it was hastily written to meet the Christmastime deadline? It was a quick read, as were the others, but I did not find myself as amused or deliciously satisfied as I had been with its predecessors. Dogger (my favorite) is still the most mysterious and complex character in the series, and I am glad to get a better glimpse into his psyche. However, I would like to see more significant maturation in the charac ...more
Tämä oli tasoltaan yhtä hyvä kuin edellisetkin kirjat. Viihdyin loistavasti Flavian veikeässä ja tottelemattomassa seurassa, tunnelma oli mainio ja Agathamainen. Miinusta siitä, ettei kirjasarja kokonaisuudessa tuntunut kehittyvän tässä kirjassa mihinkään suuntaan. Flavian ja hänen siskojensa välinen ainainen huono suhde meinasi jo vähän kyllästyttää.
Apr 02, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective, 2012
Review from Badelynge.
The de Luce family have suspended their usual Christmas preparations in order to try to generate some much needed cash, hiring out Buckshaw to a film company. Usually Christmas is the one time of the year that the warring sisters declare a temporary truce for the celebrations but that seems unlikely amongst the uproar of visiting film royalty. It's not long before things start going wrong and most of the population of Bishop's Lacy is camped out in the halls, pretty much s
Book Concierge
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. Mean
Jan 08, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I have truly enjoyed this series. (I say “enjoyed” since this is the fourth and latest book in the series. I hope there are more.)

Flavia de Luce is an 11 year old, precocious, independent, and intelligent young girl and an amateur detective. I wouldn’t want to have her as a daughter; she’d be too much for me to handle. As a character in book, however; she is a delight.

She is a bane in the side of the local inspector, since she can’t seem to control her impulses and her curiosity enough to not l
Oct 06, 2015 Trisha rated it liked it
another great audio book. The girl reading it is so great at really bringing out Flavia.

honestly what is Flavia's sister's issues though. They are so cruel to her.
Racheli Zusiman
Nov 26, 2015 Racheli Zusiman rated it really liked it
תענוג. אני מתה על הסדרה הזו. פלביה דה לוס שולטתתתתת!!!!!11
Vampress Bathory
Jan 06, 2017 Vampress Bathory rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite mystery series ever. I love everything about this series and I'm so happy that I've discovered it. In my opinion this can easily stand with Agatha Christie's and any other good, classic mysteries. When you read a Flavia de Luce novel you get a cosy feeling even if the mysteries she has to solve are far from being cosy.
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows happens around Christmas time in a very cold and harsh winter. Flavia is busy with a project that will reveal her who is Fathe
Aug 02, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Christmas at Buckshaw is just what I wanted. Only Flavia de Luce would think of flooding an entire portrait gallery to create an indoor ice skating rink. The amateur chemist and detective is back for a holiday adventure. Her overly-logical brain has worked out a plot to “catch” Santa with a sticky chemical solution applied to the roof. She’s so clever it’s easy to forget that she’s still a little girl, wondering if Santa exists.

As the de Luce family’s finances dwindle, Flavia’s father decides t
An Odd1
Apr 01, 2012 An Odd1 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
"I am half-sick of shadows" (Flavia 4) by Alan Bradley is from Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott", the red cover and Santa hat, is Flavia de Luce, precocious 11, using her superb chemist skill to test the presence of Father Xmas with birdlime glue on the chimney pot, and celebrate the night with extra-dose gunpowder firecrackers off the roof. For much needed funds, her widowed father Haviland rents their magnificent manor Buckshaw to famous 1950s British movie director Val Lampman. He brings star Phyl ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Allan rated it liked it
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, the fourth in Alan Bradley’s series of mystery novels featuring the precocious eleven year old sleuth Flavia de Luce is one too many — many times over. This is at least the fourth murder that Flavia has solved within the environs of Buckshaw, the decrepit and crumbling family estate, and since she is eleven years old in all these books, seemingly within a very short span of time. Statistically at least, the dump is a death trap! Even Miss Marple traveled to encounter h ...more
Dec 29, 2011 Ginger rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Every year at Christmas my friend and I listen to a "Christmas Mystery Novel" in the car while driving across the country to visit our families. She was pretty excited about this choice; the detective in question is an 11 year old girl chemist who lives in her family's ancient manor home and solves murders. The "Christmas" element of this novel is that it's set over the holidays and the child becomes obsessed with the idea of capturing Father Christmas through Chemistry as a side plot. In typica ...more
May 23, 2012 Marialyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: may-2012
Flavia, you are a rip. I adore you and all your genius, inquisitiveness, and that wonderful ability to get under the skin of your older sisters.

This time Flavia is involved with a group of actors who use the mansion as a backdrop for a movie being made staring the famous Phyllis Wyvern. Of course there is murder but not much mayhem as someone is killed and Flavia using her multiple powers of intellect and a smattering of chemistry ferrets out the murderer. Along the way, Flavia does try to capt
Aug 23, 2015 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not the best Flavia book for me, but I liked it. It was an easy read, and it kept my interest. I wish "the good stuff" happened sooner and built up more, though, as for me, the climax wasn't very climactic. I also think Bradley sacrificed plot for story again. I love the characters and the town, but the main action was too repetitive. Maybe because this was a Christmas novel, he wanted to keep it simple. Anyway, I like it, but it's not something I would recommend unless you've already ...more
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  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes, #5)
  • A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs, #8)
  • Eleven Pipers Piping (Father Christmas Mystery #2)
  • Locked Rooms (Mary Russell, #8)
  • Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5)
  • Full Dark House (Bryant & May, #1)
  • A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1)
  • A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries #5)
  • The Sibyl in Her Grave (Hilary Tamar, #4)
  • Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr. Siri Paiboun #5)
  • The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where
More about Alan Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Flavia de Luce (9 books)
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)
  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2)
  • A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3)
  • Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5)
  • The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6)
  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7)
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce, #8)
  • The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce, #9)

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“Books are like oxygen to a deep-sea diver," she had once said. "Take them away and you might as well begin counting the bubbles.” 136 likes
“Although it is pleasant to think about poison at any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.” 18 likes
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