Thursday 3 February 2022

'MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE' by Robin Stevens. Reviewed by Sharon Tregenza


This poor book had been sitting on my TBR pile for ages but this week it provided some light relief, sandwiched as it was between two harrowing stories.

It's a Middle Grade historical detective novel. Think Agatha Christie for kids, set in the 1930s, in a Mallory Towers type environment, and you've about got it.

Third-formers Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells set up a detective agency complete with secret handshakes and passwords as most of us did at some point in our childhood (I also remember spending a LOT of time pressing knobs and flicking levers, convinced there were secret passages hidden in the depths of our small terraced council house. 😂) 

These two get lucky, though. They don't find a secret tunnel but they do find a lifeless body. Poor Miss Bell, one of the teachers at the school. When the body disappears it's up to the two girls to investigate and discover who did the dastardly deed.

This is the first book in a series featuring the intrepid pair. Murder Most Unladylike is an entertaining, pacey book with likeable characters and a whole school of red herrings. Although I did guess "who dunnit" it didn't spoil the story and I would certainly read more from this author.

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01B3ZGPD6
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Puffin (25 Feb. 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 311 pages


Penny Dolan said...

Thanks for mentionng this series, Sharon. I enjoyed all the titles, and the almost mathematical crime-mystery format used in each story made them very popular with groups of Upper KS2 girls, in addition to the two most admirable heroines and variety of locations.

Although they are set in the thirties, the books is not stuck there. With outsider Hazel Wong as the note-taking "Watson" to the brilliant and daring Daisy, Stevens often - as the series progresses - offers "her" observations on racism, stereotyping and other attitudes both then and now.

Lynne Benton said...

I gave this book to my 11 year-old granddaughter for Christmas, and her eyes lit up. "OOH good," she said, "my friend's got this!" Which meant I'd got it right! (They are good books, though - I'd read them myself first.)