I Am Half Sick of Shadows is just and cute and endearing as all of Alan Bradley’s other books in the Flavia de Luce series. I like this kid sleuth.
This is a Christmas themed book. This time Flavia’s perpetually struggling father has leased their ancestral home to a film crew, and everyone gets trapped in the mansion for Christmas. Of course there’s on Agatha Christie style murder, and of course young Flavia is the one to figure it out first. It doesn’t hurt that she’s simultaneously constructing traps for Father Christmas to prove to her older sisters that he is real. Her traps come in handy.
I think these books are really intended for adults who just want something safe to read, a good old-style murder mystery without the relentless violence of so many of today’s thrillers. They are absolutely kid-friendly, though. They are also educational, considering that Flavia has a fascination for chemistry, and her sister has a fascination for literature. I’d give them to teenage girls to read, and I’d consider that a far cry above Twilight and the like.
Overall, though, these are just light reading, purely simply indulgence. But go ahead. It’s okay. Indulge. You’ll be glad you did.