"What, after all, would life be without puzzling death?"
It's Christmastime and Buckshaw is abuzz with excitement. A film crew has arrived at the de Luce family home to shoot a movie starring the famous Phyllis Wyvern. While there, Phyllis agrees to give a benefit performance at Buckshaw for the local villagers; the whole town comes to Buckshaw to see her play Juliet one last time. As always, eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce is right in the middle of everything, from pestering the film crew (and her sisters!), to concocting her own homemade fireworks, to setting a trap on Christmas Eve to catch Father Christmas. All her plans change when one of their visitors turns up dead. Everyone is suspect. With a blizzard outside and a murderer within, it's up to Flavia (and Inspector Hewitt) to figure out who did it.
What a perfect December mystery. I think Alan Bradley's I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is my favorite Flavia de Luce novel so far. Flavia is as delightfully incorrigible as ever. Her plans to trap Father Christmas and prove his existence made me laugh, and I loved how she puzzled out the who and why of this Christmas murder. This is definitely a fun yuletime read.
The first Flavia de Luce mystery: