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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"If ever there was a sleuth who’s bold, brilliant, and yes, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce.” ( USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Character who brought me back to Cozy Mystery

Jayne Entwhistle is the perfect voice for Flavia! These books brought me back to the genre after many years, and what an experience! A series that I immediately had to hear in total, and have given as gifts and recommended so many times. A brilliant setting, interesting characters and charm, not to mention a good mystery make it great. 7 hours goes entirely too fast.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't Get Enough of this Series!

We need more! Flavia de Luce has stolen my heart. I have listened to the entire series and cannot wait for the next installment. Jayne Entwistle does an excellent job of narration. Be sure to listen to these in sequence as you will miss some of the more subtle nuances if you don't.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Regina
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 05-14-12

Flavia is still great, but the stories are sliding

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes

What does Jayne Entwistle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She's excellent. I really enjoy her voices.

Was I Am Half-Sick of Shadows worth the listening time?

sure

Any additional comments?

the first two Flavia stories were great, but this one just didn't seem to hook me as much. I think it was too much of the same without as much drama. It's a bit of a rerun. He needs Flavia to get into different kinds of trouble.

GREAT narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sasha
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 11-13-11

It just keeps getting better

Jayne Entwistle gives her usual excellent reading in this, the latest Flavia De Luce adventure, it's an ice cold holiday romp as the village of Bishops Lacey and a film company prepare to spend Christmas with De Luces, and with Flavia about, all this company can only lead to murder most foul.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cara
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 12-12-11

An Exciting Christmas Mystery!

The stories of the detective skills of Flavia de Luce are fun, thrilling, and comical adventures, and they are brought to life perfectly by Jayne Entwistle. I could not imagine a better narrator for Flavia; she voices her gleeful fascination with poisons and murder exactly as I imagined it. This particular Flavia de Luce novel was no exception, and is filled with family love, vengeance, murder (of course), and holiday cheer! I eagerly await the next Flavia novel!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another winner!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I'm back into Flavia!

The review I wrote for the previous Flavia de Luce novel was "I'm Flaviaed out". Well I took a break from Flavia , came back and found myself in love again. Although these novels are mysteries it is not the mystery that keeps you interested, Its the characters in Flavia's world that grab you. There is always humor and the narration is spot on!
The timeline to me is frustrating that the first 4 books happen while she is eternally "11" . I'm hoping she makes 12 in a future book. If you can get passed the fact that she has been involved in witnessing and investigating 4+ murder mysteries at her house all in the same year then these books are delightful. I am going to take a break before downloading the next one but I am looking forward to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

the perfect Christmas "cozy"

Would you consider the audio edition of I Am Half-Sick of Shadows to be better than the print version?

the narrator does a superb job of conveying the precocious eleven-year-old protagonist, Flavia. the plot was predictable, rather like vintage Agatha Christie or Nancy Drew, but the setting in a mouldering English country house and the first-person narration by the exasperating and delightful Flavia made this a captivating bit of holiday escapism.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely. Almost did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C.
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 03-16-12

Another Great Flavia de Luce Adventure

Alan Bradley's precocious heroine, Flavia de Luce is refreshing. His books are definitely originals, including the titles. I have enjoyed all of Mr. Bradley's books, both in print and audio, and Jayne Entwistle's narration is flawless and perfect for all the characters, especially Flavia's. Please, whoever decided narrators, I beg you to do all possible to keep Ms. Entwistle as the narrator of this series.

For anyone who has not read any of the Flavia de Luce books by Mr. Bradley, I recommend starting with the first one, "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" and continue to read/listen to them in order. While each book can stand alone, a deeper appreciation for the characters is achieved by reading each book in the order they were written.

Previous Flavia adventures had her riding all over the countryside around Bishop's Lacy on her trusty bicycle, Gladys. I am Half Sick of Shadows is set almost entirely in the big, deteriorating mansion the de Luce's call home and Gladys has been put away for the winter. A parade of strangers and locals find themselves trapped in the mansion on Christmas Eve due to a huge snowstorm....and there is a murder to solve! Flavia does her usual magic with chemical concoctions and her keen deductive mind to come up with the answers, but not without some hard knocks along the way.

If there had been more stars to add to the ratings, I would have done so.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jocelyn
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 01-02-12

I can't get enough of Flavia de Luce

This is the fourth book by Alan Bradley featuring young Flavia. I love her constant desire to poison or otherwise injure her older sisters. It is wonderful to see her relationships continue to develop.
I am amazed that Alan Bradley is not an Englishman born and bred. He has so wonderfully captured english country life at it's best... And worst.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful