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 Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.
©2011 Alan Bradley (P)2011 Random House
"If ever there was a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce.” (USA Today)
I love Flavia!
This series is enjoyable, engaging, and well written. Flavia and friends are a unique group of characters that always entertain.
I've not been disappointed with any of the books in the Flavia de Luce series. And Jayne Entwistle (narrator) is perfect! She really brings the characters to life.
A definite MUST LISTEN!
Oh, I love Flavia!!! This was my favorite so far. ( I think I may have said that for every one of these books.) Flavia is a riot and I think Alan Bradley is a genius for creating such a unique character.
The mystery is okay but the book is more enjoyable for Flavia's actions than for actually figuring out who-done-it. Was that a thawing in the sister relationship I detected? And Flavia's attempt to capture Father Christmas was ingenious.
As usual, the narration was perfection. It adds so much to these books.
I just love these stories! I often listen three-times over and each time I hear something new! I really enjoy Flavia and her whole family. Towards the end of this book we seem to be getting hints that the relationship between Flavia and her sisters is maturing... Nice ending to a fun read! Can't wait to get into the next one!
Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series. Have enjoyed all of the books so far.
Quirky plots, unforgettable characters, and superb narration make this series of mysteries some of the best I've heard on audible. Pig-tailed prodgy, 11 yr. old chemist/detective Flabia deLuce has become one of my literary heroines and I add her to my other favorite, Scout Finch, as children I wish I had known and had as friends when I was a child.
"I am half-sick of shadows" is the fourth in the Flavia deLuce novels but hasn't lost steam as some series do after the first few books. Alan Bradley is brilliant in his portrayals of the tender relationship between Flavia and Dogger, the faithful household servant suffering from PTS, the hilarious and often hostile sibling rivalry among the 3 de Luce sisters, and the competitive friendship between Flavia and Inspector Hewitt.
Alan Bradley, please keep Flavia forever 11. Long live Flavia deLuce.
I enjoy this series and the characters very much. This particular book had some great character moments, however the mystery itself did not hold together very well. If you are a devotee of the series, then by all means read this. Otherwise you can skip it.
Librarian, reader, commuter. I got tired of the radio and CDs and switched to audio books. Now I listen to books while I quilt, clean, etc
Flavia is the precocious youngest daughter of the family de Luce and lives in a large manor house with a long history. The death duties from her mother's death ten years earlier are having a deleterious effect of the family's resources in this novel just after WWII. Her father, the Colonel, decides to rent out the house to a film crew. The film's star, Phyllis Wyvern is a bright star of film and everyone is excited.
In the meantime, Flavia is trying to disprove her two older sisters' assertion that Father Christmas is made-up. Using her chemistry lab, she has concocted an elaborate trap on the roof.
The commotion of the film crew grows when the Vicar cons the two movie stars to enact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet as a fundraiser for the church roof. The whole village attends and, alas, gets snowed in.
Late that night, Phyllis Wyvern is brutally murdered and Flavia discovers the body. With her curiosity, annoying persistence, she and the police solve the case with an exciting and stunning conclusion. I am always amused at the discussion between the police inspector and Flavia. Each gets it almost-right and when they put their theories together, each one thinks they solved it!
Another delicious audio book with flawless and terrific narration.
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