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

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

I picked this one up expecting only to read a few pages and to put it aside again in favour of something else but found myself once again sucked into Flavia’s world right away. Obviously, I got a bit impatient at the repeated background information as I was eager to get on with the story. Yes, yes, it’s needed for the readers who dive into the middle of the series, I know.

Flavia is still an adorable protagonist. The supporting characters are just as intriguing and peculiar as in the previous adventures. Everyone seems to be surrounded by a mystery of their own and Bradley adds more layers to them with every new novel. Superbly done.

I admit that I am a bit worried about Flavia’s apparent lack of personal attachment. She cares deeply for Dogger, that much is clear. Her sisters are an altogether different topic. Even though she would never admit it, she yearns for her sisters’ acceptance and love, but neither of them would ever allow themselves to show affection for the other, which is explained away by way of upbringing and a bit “stiff upper-lippiness”. Flavia also seemed to get on well and have a connection with actress Phyllis Wyvern, who came to Buckshaw for the filming of a movie. However, as soon as Flavia gets into the sleuthing she seems to detach herself from every personal emotion. This is most likely a trait of every great detective, but it seems a bit disturbing in one so young: treating someone as a surrogate mother figure one moment and only taking a scientific interest in a murder victim the next.

All in all, it was great fun. I couldn’t put it down and I vow to devour whatever Bradley churns out next.