The Grade: B
Quick Take: It’s Christmas at Buckshaw. A film crew is there to film a movie and when a blizzard strands half the town there, the stage is set for a fine cozy mystery.
Why I Picked It: I’ve gone back and forth with Flavia and her escapades. I quit her third adventure, but I enjoy a nice cozy mystery, so I thought I’d check in with her again.
My Thoughts: For those who are perhaps a bit confused by my term “cozy mystery,” I refer to a mystery in which all the characters are trapped in a setting (think Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None). There are limited suspects, and no escape until the villan is revealed.
In this case, the residents of Bishop’s Lacey have come to Buckshaw (Flavia’s family’s home) to see a benefit performance with the two stars of the film that is being made at Buckshaw. A blizzard strands everyone at the house, and that evening Flavia discovers the murdered victim. Many would seem to have motive, and as Flavia digs into the dead person’s past, she finds more suspects.
I didn’t love this story, but I did enjoy it. I think I fell to the expectation game with Flavia. I’d heard such raves about the Flavia de Luce mysteries, I was expecting to be blown away by their brilliance. I enjoyed the first, but didn’t love it as much as I should have. After my disappointing outing with book #3, I had lowered expectations reading Half-Sick of Shadows. Consequently, I liked it. I didn’t find Flavia as annoying as I previously did, I liked learning more of Dogger’s backstory and I enjoyed the mystery. I’ll still proceed with caution, but I’m no longer half-sick of Flavia.