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I Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel (2011 original; edició 2011)
de Alan Bradley (Autor)
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I Am Half-Sick of Shadows de Alan Bradley (2011)
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Historical Fiction (195)
» 11 més
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Fourth in the Flavia de Luce country house mystery series where the Jane Marple character is replaced by a young girl. This instalment sees a film company infest the house in order for Flavia’s father to raise money for some much needed repairs and running costs. The crew along with most of the village who’ve come to witness an impromptu performance from the production’s two stars get snowed in when the weather takes a nasty turn and it’s not long before a murder ensues. With so many people in residence the local police (and also Flavia, of course) will have plenty to do to catch the murderer. Flavia also wants to prove/disprove the existence of Father Christmas. Can she unmask the killer and find out if Santa is real or not?
I’ve been picking at this series on occasion as it’s very endearing and looks at the genre from an unusual perspective. I did feel though that some of the charm had gone missing in this one. All the usual elements seemed to be there but it just wasn’t quite as captivating as the previous stories for me.
Short and not as good as the others in the series, unfortunately. Can easily read it in an afternoon.
Three and half stars.
I loved how young this detective was! Miss Marple proves that you are never too old to solve a mystery and, at the opposite end of the age spectrum, so does Flavia de Luce. You go girl!
I've reviewed this book, and lots of other murder mysteries at my blog, John C Adams Reviews.
Es mostren 1-5 de 165 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The novel opens with Flavia skating past paintings of her long-dead relatives in Buckshaw’s portrait gallery. The east wing of her sprawling, ancestral home is unheated, she reminds us, so it was no trouble to flood the room and create her own private arena. As she skates she daydreams about a photographer stumbling upon her and snapping her photo, landing her in a famous magazine and simultaneously making her older sisters jealous and her widower father proud. The dream is burst, however, by the very real cold of her bedroom. Flavia, of course, is dreaming, and with that Bradley launches us into life at Buckshaw a few days before Christmas.
Like most 11-year-old girls, Flavia is teetering on the question of Father Christmas. Her older sisters, Daphne and Ophelia, have horridly told her there’s no such person, but Flavia can’t quite believe it. So, to prove her sisters wrong she has devised a plan to catch the jolly old elf. Being the chemical whiz that she is, Flavia eschews amateur tricks such as nets and instead decides to brew a batch of birdlime, an extra-sticky glue used to hunt songbirds. Her preparations are interrupted, however, by the arrival of a film crew.
Bradley’s novels are, ostensibly, mysteries. Certainly, each one builds up to a murder, allowing Flavia to insert herself into the investigation so she can, with Miss Marple-esque skills, solve the case either before or at just the same moment as the police. Usually, her investigations involve sly interviews with villagers and many trips on Gladys, her bicycle. This time around, though, the murder is at Buckshaw and much of her sleuthing can be done by snooping through guest bedrooms and strategically overhearing conversations.
Despite the murder and subsequent investigation, Shadows is more about the de Luce family than anything else. It’s Christmas, after all, and along with the holiday’s religious implications are its familial ones. The de Luce family is an uncomfortable one, though, and filled with more than its share of secrets and things left unsaid. As Bradley’s series progresses, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the real plot revolves around Flavia’s simultaneous desire to understand more about the de Luces and nervousness about what she might learn.
Certainly Flavia can solve a murder, but matters of love and relationships continue to puzzle her and engage us, giving Bradley’s novels a much more emotional edge than your average drawing room mystery.
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is a delicious, lighthearted holiday read best served by a crackling fireplace with warm eggnog – but please, hold the noxious compounds.
This is a delightful read through and through. 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. Charming as a stand-alone novel and a guaranteed smash with series followers.
The book is beautifully written, with fully fleshed characters, even the minor ones such as odd-job man Dogger and Mrs. Mullet, who rules in the kitchen.
Flavia de Luce may belong to a different time period, but mostly she belongs to the world of imagination, both restricting and expansive enough to allow many more visits to Buckshaw — as well as the laboratory of criminal concoctions still stewing in their juices, waiting to be unbottled in future books.
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"Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw over to a film company. They will be shooting a movie over the Christmas holidays, filming scenes in the stately manse with a famous and reclusive star. She is widely despised, so it is to no one's surprise when she turns up murdered, strangled by a length of film from her own movies! With the snow raging outside and Buckshaw locked in, the house is full of suspects. But Flavia de Luce is more than ready to solve the wintry country-house murder. She'll have to be quick-witted, though, to negotiate the volatile chemicals of a cast and crew starting to crack--and locked in a house with a murderer!"--
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El llibre de Alan Bradley I Am Half-Sick of Shadows estava disponible a LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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Brilliant and self-confident Flavia is always fun, but who would have guessed that an eleven year-old would be so comfortable handling a corpse? ( )