Title: Murder Most Unladylike
Author: Robin Stevens
Published: June 5th 2014
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical, Crime
Length: 324 pages
I bought a copy of this book from my local Waterstones.
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)
But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there’s more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.
Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a really great murder mystery, nevermind one that was geared towards younger readers. Enid Blyton was a favourite of mine when I was younger and Murder Most Unladylike had a similar feel to the old Famous Five kind of stories, yet was completely refreshing and new at the same time.
Wells and Wong are two boarding school girls from England in the 1930s who have decided to set up a detective agency and solve crimes – mostly small cases. When Hazel Wong discovers their Science mistress dead in the Gym, the detective society stumbles upon their first big case and Daisy Wells is determined to see it solved.
The mystery of this case is amazing. I didn’t know who to believe or trust. There were so many secrets flying around the place, revelations were coming out all over the place. It was exciting to follow along as Daisy and Hazel unraveled the clues and pieced things together. I didn’t even managed to guess who had done it and why! I’m usually quite good at that.
With a great cast of characters making up the school’s mistresses, all with their own secrets, things are never dull at the Deepdean school. A wild ride from start to finish.
About the Author
Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life.
When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. When it occurred to her that she was never going to be able to grow her own spectacular walrus moustache, she decided that Agatha Christie was the more achieveable option.
She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She then went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and now she works at a children’s publisher, which is pretty much the best day job she can imagine.
Robin now lives near London with her boyfriend and her pet bearded dragon, Watson.
You can find out more about Robin through her Twitter.