Hi everyone, this month of April I will be showcasing a group of historical mystery stories that I came across my many reads that struck a chord with me. The series of books this post features took me not just to those years just before World War II, but also to a delightful girls boarding school! So if either of these have conjured up something for you, then read on!!
Titles: Murder most unladylike, Arsenic for tea, First Class Murder, Jolly Foul Play, Mistletoe & Murder, A spoonful of Murder
Author: Robin Stevens
Genre: Fiction – historical
What these books are about: These stories start off by introducing Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells, two boarding school students from the 1930’s, who have set up their very own secret detective agency. The first book kicks off their adventures when Hazel discovers one of their teachers lying dead on the gym floor, and before she can raise the alarm, the body mysteriously disappears. The two girls find themselves on the hunt for both a murderer and a dead body! And so begins some awesome adventures featuring this impressive detective duo! The second book, Arsenic for tea, brings them to Daisy’s home, Fallingford, for the holidays where Daisy’s mother has thrown a lavish tea party for the whole family. Unfortunately, one of their guests falls seriously, fatally ill – and everything points to poison. When our duo start investigating they find they have to reveal the truth…no matter the consequences. In the third story, First Class Murder,we find Daisy and Hazel on holiday, aboard the Orient Express. As their journey begins a scream is heard and an heiress is found dead. Daisy and Hazel are faced with their first locked-room mystery – and with competition from several other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case. In Jolly Foul Play, Daisy and Hazel are back at school and their new head girl is suddenly found dead after a Bonfire Night fireworks party. Will the Detective Society be able to solve this mystery with their own friendship falling apart? The next full-length story, Mistletoe & Murder takes us to snowy Cambridge where our duo are spending the Christmas holidays with Daisy’s older brother. Two days before Christmas, a brutal accident takes place – but the Detective Society suspect murder. Faced with fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use their cunning and courage to find the killer. The next book, A spoonful of murder, takes the two girls to Hong Kong. Hazel’s grandfather has passed away and Daisy joins Hazel as she returns home to her family’s estate in bustling Hong Kong, but they are greeted with a shock: there’s a new member of the Wong family! Then tragedy strikes; there’s been a murder and a kidnap, and no one is safe from suspicion… not even Hazel. The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs and sinister private detectives to solve the crimes and discover the villain – before it’s too late.
My review: The start to a great series of mystery books. A pair of school girl sleuths and their antics took me back to the days I was in boarding school with prep and house mistresses and midnight feasts!! Not that I took part in the midnight feats mind you!! I really loved Robin Stevens’ writing and the plot-lines of all the books. A cast of great characters which I fell in love with immediately. The tone of the story thanks to their dialogue was very funny and memorable. If you are in search of an excellent read to get into amateur sleuthing then you must follow Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong on their adventures!! I particularly enjoyed First Class Murder and Mistletoe & murder, as they took me on the Orient Express and into a snow-covered Cambridge!! Robin Stevens is an excellent author whose attention to detail describing this time period is by far the best I have read!! There are some short novellas in between a few of the titles reviewed above and a short story compilation Cream buns and Crime, that you might enjoy as well!! An awesome series!! Looking forward to future installments by this talented author!
My rating: 5 ⭐