Books

I Am Half Sick of Shadows

I Am Half Sick of Shadows

I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, Orion, $32.99.

Flavia de Luce may be a delightful innocent, but she’s well acquainted with murder and easy in its company.

In her well-stocked chemistry laboratory in a wing of her crumbling family estate, neglected Flavia explores the fascinating world of poisons, while her older sisters read, flirt and think up new ways to torture her.

When the house is turned upside down by a film crew and a famous actress, Flavia’s scientific and investigative talents come into their own, and this 11-year-old girl steadily outpaces the local constabulary.

Will Flavia find out too late that murder is not a game? Clever Canadian writer Alan Bradley has created a fresh forensic scientist and investigator in young Flavia, and his world of snowy 1950s rural Britain is bittersweet.

I Am Half Sick of Shadows won’t demand too much of you, it’s an easy escape into the world of a crafty young eccentric and has lashings of charm.

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