Doreen's Reviews > I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
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's review
Nov 05, 2015

it was ok
Read in November, 2011

This is the fourth Flavia de Luce mystery set in 1950s England. This time a film crew is shooting a movie at Buckshaw around Christmas. Virtually the entire village of Bishop's Lacey gathers at the estate to see the film stars. The evening concludes with a body being discovered while everyone is stranded at the estate because of a blizzard. Flavia, the eleven-year-old sleuth, sets out to find the identity of the killer.

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the three previous books in the series, I anxiously awaited release of this installment. Unfortunately I was disappointed. Although Flavia remains as enchanting as ever and the book does have some of the humour, charm, mischief, and whimsy of the others, it takes a great deal of time for something to actually happen. The murder doesn't take place until about half way through the book. There are pointless cameos by characters from previous books, and many of the members of the film crew lurk about just to add to the list of suspects. Flavia's pre-occupation with capturing Saint Nicholas consumes more time than her attempts to solve the mystery. Then, when the mystery is solved, the motive for the murder is very weak.

Although I highly recommend the first three books in the series, I would not do the same for this one. The quality I had come to expect just isn't there.

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