Rated Reads

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

by Alan Bradley

Rated: Mild

Eleven-year-old sleuth and chemist Flavia de Luce is ready for Christmas. This year, she’s determined to figure out if Father Christmas is real — using chemistry, of course! She has a foolproof plan to trap him. But other goings-on at the crumbling family estate also keep Flavia busy — her father, ever trying to pay his debtors, has allowed a film crew to use Buckshaw as the set of a new film, and a famous director and actors are descending on the home right at the start of the holiday season.

Naturally, someone turns up dead, and Flavia must elude the inspectors, who have all been warned about her youthful curiosity, if she is going to help snag the murderer.

This fourth outing in the ongoing series never fails to charm and amuse. Numerous passages had me laughing out loud at Flavia’s exploits and quirky observations. One quote sums up the book and Flavia’s personality: “Although it is pleasant to think about poison at any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.”

Again, the mystery itself isn’t the point of the book, and I wasn’t surprised to find out who the murderer was, and I wasn’t even surprised how said murderer was caught; the reason to read these stories is purely the delight in tagging along with our hilarious heroine. This was a really fun read for my Christmas season.

Rated: Mild, for a few uses of mild language and mild violence. These books are generally quite clean.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

Comments are closed.

  • I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce, #4)
  • by Alan Bradley
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: