Alan Bradley’s I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is the best Flavia de Luce story yet.
To make money, eleven-year-old Flavia’s impoverished father rents Buckshaw, their run-down mansion, for a movie-shoot at Christmas.
Movie star Phyllis Wyvern, there to take the movie’s lead, agrees to perform a scene from Romeo and Juliet. The vicar sells tickets to half the town, raising money for the roof fund at his church.
The snow sets in, stranding the whole group, town and all, at Buckshaw. Then there is a murder.
As usual, Flavia is up to her chemical shenanigans. She is trying to trap Father Christmas with a sticky substance painted on the main chimney. That substance, and her secretly-planned fireworks display, brings the story to a crashing climax.
If it all sounds fantastic (in the dictionary sense of "fanciful and unrealistic"), it is, but that didn't matter much to me.
This is a fun story, the kind of story I’ve come to expect from Flavia de Luce.
I ordered this book from The Mystery Guild.