I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley
Author: Alan Bradley
Published: 2012 (originally published 2011)
Challenges: Christmas Spirit
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Source: Personal library
Description: Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw to a film company. They will be shooting a movie over the Christmas holidays, filming scenes in the decaying manse with a reclusive star. She is widely despised, so it is to no one's surprise when she turns up murdered, strangled by a length of film from her own movies! With a blizzard raging outside and Buckshaw locked in, the house is full of suspects. But Flavia de Luce is more than ready to put aside her investigations into the true identity of Father Christmas to solve this yuletide country-house murder. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: Really liked it, as usual. I am a big fan of this series and so glad I have made the effort to catch up with the series. I like how the author has used characters from the previous book in this one and how he incorporated each of a portion of the characters from the previous 3 books, but there is enough that one doesn't really have to read the other books, but it is strongly suggested that one does read the other 3 previous books to understand the characters a little better than if one jumps in right away.
Once I got into the book, which was pretty quick, I found it fairly easy to get into the book and finish it quickly (I got sick towards the end of the book and had to put it aside for a bit as I for some reason am unable to read lots while I am not feeling well; I had a cold, if you are wondering). And also loved the fact that it took place around Christmas Day.
Bottom line: While the story is a stand-alone, there are elements of the previous three books, that while not exactly crucial to the book, are somewhat important to have a background of (I had forgot some of them). I would recommend the book to those individuals that like cozy mystery series books and like something light and fairly easy to read at times and also to those that have read the previous Flavia books. Recommended.
Pages for 2013: 17,953