Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Audio Book Review: I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

I am Half-Sick of Shadows
by Alan Bradley
Narrated by Jayne Entwistle
Random House Audio
Buy from Indigo

Description: What better Christmas surprise for detective-in-training Flavia de Luce than a dreadful murder under Buckshaw's roof - and a snowbound house full of suspects!

It's Christmas time, and our beloved Flavia is tucked away in her laboratory whipping up a sticky concoction to trap that infamous sneak, Saint Nick, and thereby prove once and for all - despite the claims of her evil sisters - that he does exist. But she is soon distracted from her task: Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, has rented the family's crumbling manor house to a film company for the holidays. When its crew arrives from London to shoot a movie starring the reclusive and renowned actress, Phyllis Wyvern, there's no end to the disruptions - and dramas - demanding Flavia's attention.

When Wyvern is convinced to perform a famous scene to help raise funds for the local church, it is decided that Buckshaw Manor is the only suitable location. Its foyer alone is bigger than the parish hall, and could fit every man, woman, and child in Bishop's Lacey, to a soul. It's almost Christmas Eve, but - to no one's surprise - all of the village inhabitants fight their way through a raging snowstorm to be in the audience that magical night.

As the actors take to the stage, however, the blizzard sets in, and it becomes clear that the villagers will have to hunker down at Buckshaw for the night. Sleeping head to toe in the de Luces' foyer seems amenable to most, until word spreads of the evening's shocking conclusion - Phyllis Wyvern is found strangled to death in the Blue Bedroom, with a length of film from one of her movies tied in an elaborate bow around her neck.

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 her chemical cleverness and crime-solving prowess to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight. But when she does piece the puzzle together and deduce who has committed this twisted crime, will Flavia be able to escape in one piece?

Random Thoughts
  •  Delightful little holiday interlude into the life of my favorite little imp Flavia De Luce
  • Absolutely delighted by Flavia's observations about the difference between birth and death
  • Way too short - when it was done, I wanted more, but alas someone else had the next installment on hold at the library and I now must wait (Ok, I just got the notification before I typed this out that the audio book is now available - hmm when the hell do the kids go to bed so I can listen to this & hmm wonder if I need to read would be the new I'm not in the mood for the DH LOL!)
  • It is totally adorable how Flavia still believes in Father Christmas and actually tries to set up a trap so that she can prove he is real
  • Liked the sweet moments between Flavia and her sis
  • Adore the relationships between Flavia and the local police detectives - especially Inspector Hewitt (The scene where he catches her in mischief is pure fun)
  • Nice to see Nia again
  • Exciting scene at the climax of the mystery - was on the edge of my seat
  • Irritating my co-workers by speaking in a Flavia voice while at work 
  • Once again must mention that Ms Entwistle is the PERFECT voice for Flavia. Thanks Jen L. for introducing me to the audio version of this series. Unfortunately I cannot read them anymore - can only now listen because Entwistle truly embodies the sweet wickedness of the scamp Flavia
  • Loved the backstory about Flavia's aunt - now I am even more intrigued
  Memorable Quotes

 “Books are like oxygen to a deep-sea diver," she had once said. "Take them away and you might as well begin counting the bubbles.”

“Impertinent children ought to be given six coats of shellac and set up in public places as a warning to others.” 

“Although it is pleasant to think about poison at any season, there is something special about Christmas, and I found myself grinning.”  

Didn't want to type out the whole thing but the scene where SPOILER - Nia gives birth is laugh out loud funny yet so sweet at the same time 

4.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from the Calgary Public Library

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