I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 4)
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“Every Flavia de Luce novel is a reason to celebrate.”—USA Today
ALAN BRADLEY, AUTHOR OF THE MOST AWARD-WINNING SERIES DEBUT OF ANY YEAR, RETURNS WITH ANOTHER IRRESISTIBLE FLAVIA DE LUCE NOVEL.
“[Alan] Bradley has created one of the most original, charming, devilishly creative and hilarious detectives of any age or any time.”—Bookreporter
It’s Christmastime, and Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.
“[Flavia is] the most intrepid and charming adolescent chemist/detective/busybody in all of rural, post–World War II England.”—The Seattle Times
“Quirky and delightful . . . Flavia is a classic literary character who manages to appeal to both young and old readers equally.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“Bradley’s plot twists and turns delightfully.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES
didn’t mention Cynthia’s coaching lessons. “So you see, Miss Wyvern,” he finished up, “the roof has been more or less at risk since George the Fourth, and time is now of the essence. The verger tells me he’s been finding water in the font, of late, that wasn’t placed there for ecclesiastical purposes, and—” Phyllis Wyvern touched his arm. “Not another word, Vicar. I’d be happy to roll up my sleeves and pitch in. I’ll tell you what; I’ve just had the most marvelous idea. My co-star, Desmond
and turned down, but unoccupied. To the left, on a tubular stand in the shadows, a ciné projector ground on and on, its steady white beam illuminating the surface of a tripod screen on the far side of the room. Although the film had run completely through the machine, its loose end, like a black bullwhip, was still flapping round and round: Slap! Slap! Slap! Slap! Slap! Phyllis Wyvern was slumped in a wing-back chair, her sightless eyes staring intently at the glare of the blank screen.
in the coach house with Dieter, helping him strap the skis to his boots. “Did these belong to your mother?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I said. “I suppose so.” “They are very good skis,” he said. “Madshus. In Norway, they were made. Someone has looked after them.” It must have been Father, I thought. He came here sometimes to sit in Harriet’s old Rolls-Royce, as if it were a glass chapel in a fairy tale. “Well, then,” Dieter said at last. “Off we go.” I followed him as far as the Visto,
pyramid of ammonium dichromate, perhaps—a shower of joyful sparks … “Are you quite sure?” the Inspector was asking. “Well,” I said, lowering my voice and glancing along the corridor in both directions to see that we were not being overheard, “I did have a quick peek into her purse. You spotted the Phyllida Lampman driving license, of course?” I thought the Inspector was going to have an egg. “That will be all,” he said abruptly, and walked away. • SEVENTEEN • “I require your personal
signature. I hadn’t spotted the connection until just now, when you were good enough to provide the missing link.” Maestro, a few triumphant trumpets! Something by Handel, if you please! “Music for the Royal Fireworks”? Yes, that will do nicely. “Dressed for dying,” I said with a touch of the old drama. “Dressed for dying.” Inspector Hewitt smiled. “Do you suppose,” I asked, “that before she became the actress Norma Durance, Miss Trodd might have been employed in a florist’s shop?” “I