I Am Half-Sick of Shadows Hardcover – Nov 1 2011
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“With its sharply drawn characters, including the hiss-worthy older de Luce sisters, and an agreeable puzzle playing out against the cozy backdrop of a British village at Christmas, this is a most welcome holiday gift for Flavia fans.”
“That serial charmer Flavia, wreathed in Tennyson and Shakespeare.”
“We find in Flavia an incorrigible and wholly lovable detective; from her chemical experiments in her sanctum sanctorum to her outrage at the idiocy of the adult world, she is unequaled.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
Selected praise for Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books:
“Think of Flavia as a new Sherlock in the making.”
—Booklist, on A Red Herring Without Mustard
“Bradley is a writer of great charm and insight, and he infuses even minor characters with incredible personality . . . Flavia de Luce, both eleven and ageless, is a marvel and a delight.”
—Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, on The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag
”A wickedly clever story, a dead-true and original voice, and an English country house in the summer: Alexander McCall Smith meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Please, please, Mr. Bradley, tell me we’ll be seeing Flavia again soon?”
—Laurie R. King, bestselling author of Pirate King, on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
About the Author
Alan Bradley was born in Toronto and grew up in Cobourg, Ontario. 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, where he worked for twenty-five years before taking early retirement in 1994.
Bradley was the first President of the Saskatoon Writers, and a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild. His children's stories were published in The Canadian Children's Annual and his short story "Meet Miss Mullen" was the first recipient of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Award for Children's Literature.
For a number of years, he regularly taught scriptwriting and television production courses at the University of Saskatchewan. His fiction has been published in literary journals, and he has given many public readings in schools and galleries. His short stories have been broadcast by CBC Radio, and his lifestyle and humour pieces have appeared in The Globe and Mail and The National Post.
Alan Bradley was also a founding member of The Casebook of Saskatoon, a society devoted to the study of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockian writings. There, he met the late Dr. William A.S. Sarjeant, with whom he collaborated on the classic book Ms. Holmes of Baker Street (1989). This work put forth the startling theory that the Great Detective was a woman, and was greeted upon publication with what has been described as "a firestorm of controversy." As he's explained in interviews, Bradley was always an avid reader of mysteries, even as a child, "My grandmother used to press them upon us when we were very young. One of the first books she gave me was Dorothy L. Sayers' Busman's Holiday. I was profoundly influenced by it."
Upon retirement, Bradley began writing full time. His next book, The Shoebox Bible (2006), has been compared with Tuesdays with Morrie and Mr. God, This is Anna. In this beautiful memoir, Bradley tells the story of his early life in southern Ontario and paints a vivid portrait of his mother, a strong and inspirational woman who struggled to raise three children on her own during tough times.
In July of 2007, Bradley won the Debut Dagger Award from the British Crime Writers' Association for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (2009), based on just a few pages that would become the first novel in a series featuring eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce. As Bradley has explained, it was the character of Flavia that inspired him to embark upon the project, "I started to write The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie in the spring of 2006. Flavia had walked into another novel I was writing as an incidental character, and she hijacked the book. Although I didn't finish that book, Flavia stuck with me." The Dagger Award brought international attention to Bradley's fiction debut, and since then he has won numerous awards, including the Agatha, the Macavity, the Dilys, the Barry, and the Arthur Ellis. The second and third books in the Flavia de Luce series - The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag and A Red Herring Without Mustard - were also met with great success, and the release of I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is much anticipated. So far, all of the novels in the series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. They have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold more than half a million copies worldwide.
Alan Bradley lives in Malta with his wife Shirley and two calculating cats. He is currently working on the fifth novel starring Flavia de Luce.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 this series. A great character study and return to the traditional British mystery, Bradley has the Christie flair down to a "T". The book entices us with two mysteries actually as the murder does not take place until 2/3s of the way into the book. While the reader is kept guessing as to who will be murdered for the larger part of the book they are then rewarded with a splendid crime that has members of Flavia's own family on her list of suspects and her own life in danger at the climax. Bradley has outdone himself! If you have mystery lovers on your Christmas list, consider them taken care of!
Bradley's characters are all rich, particularly if you've read the earlier books, but even if you haven't this book will be a very pleasant diversion. Flavia is presently one of my favourite characters from any medium. Give it a chance, give the book to to your 9 and up kids or adults in your life and help them find an intelligent but fun way to spend their time. I do think any Harry Potter fan should give this series a chance, there is no magic but there is Alchemy and you will love the characters as much as you loved those from that series; frankly, I prefer Flavia.
I'M BUYING THE HARD COPIES AND THEY ARE GOING IN MY LIBRARY ALONG SIDE MY OTHER FAVORITES AND ICONS SUCH AS MARTHA GRIMES, AGATHA CHRISTIE, CONON DOYLE, JACK WHYTE, AND HUBBARDS SCIENCE FICTION, WHICH IS SOME OF THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION I HAVE EVER READ.
THANKS MR. BRADLEY. YOUR AWESOME.
This story starts just before Christmas, with the usual dysfunctional family affairs, money problems and ghosts of the past - though, this time round, a film crew is about to take over Buckshaw (home of our teenage sleuth) in order to stimulate the cash flow. As the cast and crew arrive, the reader is treated to introductions of several of the main players in fair detail, while others remain murky borderline and thus suspect already.
It is not until almost half-way through the tale that the unavoidable crime occurs - nonetheless, the story itself and all the characters involved keep the reader gripped and virtually unable to put the book down. And, as usual, of course, there are plenty of sub-plots going on - is there a Father Christmas? Can I catch him? - to keep the mystery going and the tale to be told interesting and intriguing.
As always, the family members keep bickering at each other - stiff upper lip and all that - but, deep down, they would never let anything happen to one another ... just like in real life families.
Our heroine, Flavia de Luce, is definitely a 'different breed' to the others, an individual - even at her very young age - who will go her way, no matter what. And, quite frankly, I do hope, she'll never grow out of it! And - yes - author Alan Bradley is now working on Flavia's next adventure, I, for one, cannot wait to read it!
Young Flavia de Luce, in an effort to win the attention and affection of her family, works in her chemistry lab on a plan to capture Santa. Her family, struggling for means to maintain their family home, has rented portions of the house out as a set and housing for a film crew. But a death strangulation by celluloid film has Flavia looking for a killer.
Atmospheric descriptions immediately take us to a completely unexpected locale and introduce us to truly unique characters. Flavia is smart, clever and wonderfully imaginative. I love the relationship she has with Gladys, her bicycle, and Dogger, the houseman. Her two sisters are as emotionally cruel as only sisters can be.
The chemical information is fascinating. Bradley communicates the magic of science, as well as the majesty of those who believe science is separate from God. The facts about WWII, and those civilians who fought behind the scenes, exemplified British pride 'She was more than brave.' She said. 'She was British.'
Bradley's writing is visual, involving and at times, emotionally touching. His characters are ones for whom you come to care deeply. 'I Am Half-Sick of Shadows' is a wonderful book in a completely enchanting series.
I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS (Ama Sleuth-Flavia de Luce-England-Contemp) ' VG+
Bradley, Alan ' 4th in series
Delacorte Press, 2011
Most recent customer reviews
A film company descends on Buckshaw, having leased the hall for filming a movie. Meanwhile, Flavia is intent on creating a trap for Father Christmas in order to prove to her... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amy Bradley
Eleven year old sleuth, Flavia de Luce embarks upon solving a mysterious death that the local bumbling constabulary cannot. A few good twists and turns.Published on Jan. 27 2014 by G. M. Barz
I read the first book in this series and was captivated. I have now read all the books in the series and am waiting on more to come. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2013 by Margaret Reiber
Another great read with unexpected twists. Buckshaws is cut off by a huge snow storm with a film cast and the village all present in time for the inevitable murder. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2013 by DavidN
I totally loved this book... and the fact that it's part of an ongoing series is a bonus.
I've read them all and enjoyed each one immensely.
How can one child experience so many murders in a small village in one year? Really, it's ok to let her grow up.Published on Dec 11 2012 by family@118