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I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

(Flavia de Luce #4)

by
4.09  ·  Rating details ·  28,432 ratings  ·  3,373 reviews
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. Amid a blizzard, the village gathers at Buckshaw to watch famed Phyllis Wyvern perform. After midnight, a body is found strangled by film. Flavia investigates.
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 7 pages
Published November 2011 by Random House Audio
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A P You probably would enjoy it more and know more about Flavia if you read the books in order.
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  28,432 ratings  ·  3,373 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 26, 2013 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
...more
Jenny
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Bradley, write faster!
Danielle Young
Dec 03, 2011 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
Carolyn
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this might be my favourite of Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series yet. She still gets herself into scrapes (and just wait until you see what she is cooking up for Santa Claus in her chemistry lab) but she seems to be growing up and is less an annoying child and more an insightful, but nosy (and still precocious) pre-adolescent.

In the week before Christmas, Flavia's impoverished father, Colonel Haviland de Luce has rented out the use of their stately home, Buckshaw House, to a film comp
...more
Chris Mara
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flavia de Luce is an 11 year old alchemist and super sleuth. She actually has her own laboratory in the de Luce country estate, thanks to her deceased Uncle Tar. She is quite precocious. She is brilliant and not afraid of anything and is very observant and nosy, which gets her in a lot of trouble. She does get herself back out of trouble because she is able to figure out and manipulate how. I know, I’m describing an 11 year old girl and those characteristics just don’t seem normal for an 11 year ...more
Emma
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Really enjoyed this one! We get some hints about Dogger and Aunt Felicity’s past and Flavia attempts to prove the existence of Father Christmas by scientific means. This one has a slightly Agatha Christie vibe to it. Loved the ice rink at the beginning of the book!
Tatiana
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
Richard Derus
Dec 14, 2011 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
...more
Nikki
Dec 26, 2013 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
Josie
Jan 09, 2012 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
Laima
***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
...more
Carl
Jan 18, 2012 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
...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
...more
Lata
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really don't care that much about the mysteries in this series. I read these books to spend time with the inimitable Flavia de Luce. She's often hilarious as she goes about her home and Bishop's Lacey while commenting on everything and everyone, and while plotting new ways to respond to Feely's and Daffy's taunts and put-downs. Though she doesn't spend much time on it, Flavia shows us how her sisters' behaviour hurts her deeply.
This installment, Flavia wants to find proof of Father Christmas a
...more
Donna
Jan 04, 2015 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.
Netta
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
A witty homage to the Golden Age of detective fiction and its dame Agatha Christie, though, honestly, having read four books of the series, I'm so in love with Flavia, that I would not mind this book being just a story of de Luce family with bits of a decent detective. Flavia is Conan Doyle-ish sort of a detective, and yet she's a very touching 11 year old girl, who hunts down not only murderers but Father Christmas too. I'd love to conclude this mess of a review with a quote that nearly made me ...more
Claire
Oct 31, 2016 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
...more
Kathy
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
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 4 of the Flavia de Luce series, this was actually the third I’ve read since I haven’t yet got my hands on book 3. In this one, it is Christmas time at Bishop’s Lacey, and Colonel de Luce, in even more dire straits has decided to let out Buckshaw to a film crew. To her surprise the famous actress Phyllis Wyvern has heard of Flavia (her success as a detective previously), and they strike up something of a friendship, Ms Wyvern seeming to understand Flavia more than others do. But before long ...more
Kevin
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
...more
Mai Laakso
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
...more
Aletheia//Johanna
Ihana, ihana Flavia. Tuo nuori ja nokkela myrkynkeittäjä ratkoo jälleen murhaa, joita tuntuu mahtuvan kummallisen paljon pieneen englantilaiseen kylään. Tällä kertaa tapahtumat sijoittuvat Buckshawiin suljettu huone -tyylisessä astelemassa, kun lumimyrsky saartaa joukon ihmisiä kartanoon ja kuuluisa näyttelijätär löytyy murhattuna huoneestaan. Oli ihana tutustua tuohon ränsistyneeseen de Lucejen kotipaikkaan lähemmin viimein. Flavialla on jälleen myös omat pikku projektit meneillään sillä hän ha ...more
Heather
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
One of my favorites of the series so far. The audio version of this series is just wonderful. The narrator does a fantastic job bringing precocious Flavia to life. Takes a little longer to listen instead of just read, but I wouldn't miss a chance to hear her read the story!
Book Concierge
Audio performed by Jayne Entwhistle
3***

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
...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
...more
Emilie
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.
SheriC (PM)
I’ve been in a reading funk lately, trying to read some holiday themed books to put me in the Christmas spirit and finding myself left more Grinchy than jolly by the experience. So I decided to take a break from the holiday stories and get in some light entertainment in the form of my favorite little scamp, Flavia deLuce. Only to find that the next book in the series is… set at Christmas! In retrospect, the cover art featuring a dancing skeleton in a Santa hat should have been a dead giveway, bu ...more
Deanna
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, mystery, uno-red
It's Christmas time at Buckshaw in the fifth Flavia du Luce mystery, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows; but this Christmas promises to be quite different. In order to earn money to pay off the family's debts, Colonel du Luce has rented our the use of Buckshaw to a film company. The whole village is excited about the imminent arrival of the famous film star, Phyllis Wyvern. The vicar asks the actress if she would be willing to do a short scene in order to help raise money for roof repair, and she quickly ...more
Michael
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, detective, mystery
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
...more
Barbara
Jan 08, 2012 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
...more
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6,608 followers
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

Other books in the series

Flavia de Luce (10 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)
  • The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce #10)
“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.” 153 likes
“Although it is pleasant to think about poison at any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.” 24 likes
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