I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce, #4) by Alan Bradley Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

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

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

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    Jeffrey Keeten

    Dec 26, 2013

    rated it
    really liked it

    ”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

    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 her long departed Uncle Tar’s laboratory on the upper floors of the home. She is whipping up a batch of chemical substances that will help her catch St. Nicholas once and for all.


     photo StNick_zps554fd634.jpg

    St. Nick has no idea what is waiting for him on the roof of the de Luce house.

    ”Scribbled in the margin of one of Uncle Tar’s notebooks, I had found a quotation from Sir Francis Bacon: ‘We must not then add wings, but rather lead and ballast to the understanding, to prevent its jumping or flying.’
    Precisely what I had in mind for Saint Nicholas! A dose of the old tanglefoot! Later, in bed, my head filled with visions of reindeer stuck fast to the chimney pots like giant bluebottles to flypaper, I realized I was grinning madly in the dark.”

    With the film crew is the famous actress Phyllis Wyvern who is a mixture of niceties and temperamental outbursts. She does make an astute comment about Flavia’s interactions with her older sisters Ophelia (Feely) and Daphne (Daffy).

    ”Older sisters are much alike the world over: half a cup of love and half one of contempt.”

    As Flavia observes Wyvern in action she also discovers most of her secrets and is soon on the trail of others. Flavia is naturally nosy once she gets a whiff of something she doesn’t understand.

    ”I realized at once that a great actress can never be greater than when she’s starring in her own life.”


     photo 623505e4-03c1-4b73-a060-e57bdc67eae2_zps0369a52c.jpg

    Besides an interest in dead bodies.

    ”I noticed at once the way the illuminated cine screen was reflected in her eyeballs, giving the illusion for a moment that she was alive, her eyes sparkling. But even though the eyes had not yet begun to cloud over–she’s not been dead for long, I thought–something had already begun to soften her features, as if her face were being sanded down for repainting.”


     photo StrongPoison_zpsc6d427cb.jpg

    She is also overly fascinated by poisons and fantasizes regularly about implementing them on those that annoy her.

    ”In my mind, Larshaw was already writhing on the floor, his face engorged, his eyes bulging from their sockets, hanging on with both hands to his gut, begging for the antidote to cyanide poisoning.”

    Wahaha, it does keep one sane just indulging in a bit of imaginary homicidal revenge, and you can even wish them a Merry Christmas through gritted teeth at the same time.

    Her oldest sister Feely is popular with the local boys, a source of constant irritation to Flavia.

    ”Feely had more swains than Ulysses’s wife, Penelope, had suitors–I like ‘swains’ better than ‘suitors’ because it sounds like ‘swine’–all of whom, through some strange quirk of fate, had now turned up at Buckshaw at the same time.”

    Her other sister Daffy can rarely be found without a book in her hand. She’s the sister I would be chasing after, for a chat about books, but would probably find that she has little time for me because conversation is just another thing that keeps her from reading another dozen pages in Bleak House or The Way We Live Now.

    ”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.”


     photo WhoisthatGirl_zpsf78ed86c.jpg

    Flavia is busier than any three eleven year old girls put together. She is investigating a murder; trying to avoid the police who are never too happy with her meddling; concocting her chemical trap for Saint Nicholas; and trying to learn as much as she can about the magic of movies. As she puts the pieces together and begins to understand the why and the who she becomes the next target for a very Christmas Murder. This is the fourth in a surprisingly charming and entertaining series.

    If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
    I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten or you can catch some of my reviews on http://www.shelfinflicted.com/.
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    Jenny

    May 15, 2011

    rated it
    liked it

    Mr. Bradley, write faster!

    Danielle Young

    Dec 03, 2011

    rated it
    really liked it

    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

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