I’m Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Review by Karla Block
Eleven year old Flavia is determined to discover if there really is a “Father Christmas”. As he climbs down the chimney, surely she can trap him with her special sticky birdlime mixture concocted in her own chemical laboratory and put a stop to her two older sister’s torturous teasing. Meanwhile, Flavia is occupied with the “intruders”…a film studio that arrives at Buckshaw Manor a week before Christmas and will pay enough to keep the financially troubled deLuce family estate solvent and away from the dreaded tax collectors, for a while. As Flavia keeps an eye on the various actors and actresses, she discovers some unfriendly undercurrents among them and soon a suspicious death beckons for her sleuthing abilities. Will she be so busy helping dear Inspector Hewitt that she won’t have enough time to create her fire works display? Or, will he need to work at least some of it out on his own? Will the vicar get his new roof and will the snowstorm keep the townspeople stuck at Buckshaw all Christmas Eve? And what about the new baby? Does Feely care more for Carl, Dieter or Ned? Will Romeo and Juliet save the manor? Most of all, who or what will Flavia actually trap on the roof? Will it be Father Christmas bringing her some much longed for scientific glassware? Merry Christmas Flavia, you deserve it!
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