I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Set at Christmastime in 1950 England, Flavia de Luce is a precocious 11 year old who lives with her father and two sisters in their huge old estate, Buckshaw. Alas, it is in decline and with no funds to aid them, they resort to renting out to a film crew who arrives to shoot a movie.
As bright as Flavia is concerning chemicals and poisons and making concoctions, she also still hovers on the edge of believing in Father Christmas and sets out to catch him in the act on Christmas Eve. A murder disrupts her plans, but she uses her detective skills to help ferret out the killer.
There is appropriate snowing and blizzarding and a cast of interesting characters to make this a lively read. We feel sad for motherless Flavia, whose sisters are rather mean to her, but also find her knowledge and abilities incredible.
A fun read with little bits of learning about chemicals and their uses along the way.
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