Audiobook Review: I am Half-Sick of Shadows

FlaviaLoved, loved, loved, absolutely loved and adored having this story read to me by the incredibly fabulous and absolutely brilliant Jayne Entwistle. I fear I will never be able to read another Flavia de Luce story without having Jayne read them to me. Thankfully she is the voice for the whole of the series, I just have to lay my hands on them! She absolutely and brilliantly lives Flavia. Jayne perfectly embodies the precocious and charming Flavia, providing the reader with pure listening delight during all of Flavia’s adventures. To gush more, RandomHouse audio could not have found a more perfect voice for the role!

Bradley has created a completely lovable and very charming character in Flavia de Luce. Her love for chemistry, her plight in dealing with two older sisters, her love and caring for the members in the Buchshaw household and her wonderful sleuthing ways makes Flavia one of the best heroines to come along in quite some time! My favourite, favourite parts were when she would say things like “It’s snowing like stink!” , or dishing on her beloved chemistry concoctions or thinking of potions and poisons to feed her sisters. (For example, water is her favourite liquid, gas and solid and will easily regale all of its glorious properties and forms.)

I am Half Sick of Shadows was a great and also my final audio book, finishing out 2012. A synopsis from Goodreads about this quick and charming story: It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—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, past midnight, 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 use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.

So not too much of a spoiler, as it is Phyllis Wyvern that is murdered following a brief and thrown together Shakespeare scene from Romeo and Juliet for the village of Bishop Lacey. There is any number of possible suspects in the crowd that gathers that night at Buckshaw. Could it be her chauffeur, whom Flavia notices looks upon Phyllis with disdain? Her personal assistant of whom Phyllis treats miserably and is seen lurking about and listening in on conversations? Those same conversations that Flavia just happens to stumble upon? What about the director of the film and of this hasty performance whom does not shine the spotlight fast enough on Phyllis resulting in a resounding slap to the face in front of all? For while Phyllis is a wonderful delight to Flavia, she is not all that she appears to be and Flavia is on the case bringing clues to the surface not detected by the local police!

Extremely enjoyable and I’m most certainly looking forward to (hopefully listening) reading more of Alan Bradley and his wonderful character Flavia. I do have A Red Herring without Mustard on my Kobo, bought ages, and ages ago so I could start there…. :-) But I will more than likely find ways to grab that title on audio instead!

1000px-Jayne_Entwistle(Here is a pic of Jayne Entwistle. Jayne apparently played on Desperate Housewives as well)