Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (A Flavia de Luce Mystery #4)” as Want to Read:
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (A Flavia de Luce Mystery #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,988 Ratings  ·  2,777 Reviews

All I want for Christmas is Flavia! Just in time for the holidays comes the fourth book in the New York Times bestselling series that is one of the most lauded mystery debuts—starring "one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature" (USA Today).

Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw to a film company. They will be shoot

Hardcover, 275 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Doubleday Canada (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 18, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”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  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Bradley, write faster!
Danielle Young
Jan 02, 2012 Danielle Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2011 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
J. Brook
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
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
Chance Lee
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
Jan 18, 2012 Carl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2016 Emilie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-the-cover
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.
Jan 08, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Oct 06, 2015 Trisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
תענוג. אני מתה על הסדרה הזו. פלביה דה לוס שולטתתתתת!!!!!11
An Odd1
Apr 01, 2012 An Odd1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2011 Ginger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2012 Allan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Rating : 4,5 out 5 stars.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is the fourth installment in the Flavia de Luce series. A Red Herring Without Mustard failed to convince me so I expected the next volume to be better. And it was. I laughed and I cried, which hasn't happened to me in a long time. I have grown very fond of Flavia: though she is only 11, she is smart, she is witty, and her interest for chemistry has something appealing. The greatness of this book lies in its main character, but also in the way Al
I am going to be so sad when I'm done with this series. I'm not kidding. I am enjoying each of these books so very much. I love the broad cast of characters. I love how Flavia is adorable one minute and the most obnoxious 11 yr old ever the very next. I love how each story is both self-contained and also tracing the edges of a larger mystery. I'm literally having to force myself to stretch these out and not just binge them as fast as possible. I cannot wait to start the next book!
Mar 08, 2016 Twig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to cry at the end, I love the characters so much and this lovely situation at the end was so heartwarming that I couldnt resist.
Feb 28, 2014 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on Audible and what an absolute pleasure! Alan Bradley is so flirtatious and playful with his prose, I'm totally in awe of his significant talent. Flavia deLuce is one of my all time favorite heroines and I especially love her inner monologues. This mystery wasn't as twisty as some of his earlier works, but I still found it thoroughly enjoyable and utterly delightful from beginning to end!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley 2 17 Jan 29, 2015 08:35AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: I Am Half Sick of Shadows 1 2 Feb 04, 2013 06:09PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: I Am Half Sick of Shadows 1 3 Feb 22, 2012 10:06AM  
English Mysteries...: This topic has been closed to new comments. New Flavia de Luce book 7 45 Feb 13, 2012 05:50AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: I Am Half Sick of Shadows 1 3 Jan 24, 2012 06:26PM  
English Mysteries...: This topic has been closed to new comments. New Flavia de Luce book 1 19 Nov 22, 2011 01:37PM  
  • Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5)
  • Eleven Pipers Piping (Father Christmas Mystery #2)
  • A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs, #8)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-Bye (Enola Holmes, #6)
  • A Fatal Winter (A Max Tudor Mystery, #2)
  • Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood (Bryant & May, #9)
  • Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #3)
  • Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6)
  • A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)
  • The Sibyl in Her Grave (Hilary Tamar, #4)
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 (8 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)

Share This Book

“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.” 130 likes
“Although it is pleasant to think about poison at any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.” 17 likes
More quotes…