Death sets Sail – Robin Stevens

Standard

Penguin Australia

  • September 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241419809
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $16.99

All good things must come to an end – even great things must – and I foresee there will be gnashing of teeth amongst my readers who are so dedicated to this series as they realise this is the final chapter. Robin Stevens has turned detective/murder mystery fiction into a best-selling and thoroughly exciting adventure for readers from around middle primary to secondary. Her two star detectives, the irrepressible Daisy Wells and the slightly awkward Hazel Wong, have become the darlings of their readership and rightly so.

The books are full of lively personalities, creative thinkers and assured self-confident young people and while I’m quite sure that none of my readers would actually like to be involved in a murder investigation, they would love to test out their sleuthing skills.

This final novel in the ten part series pays homage to Stevens’ inspiration, the great Agatha Christie, taking the Detective Society girls along with the Junior Pinkertons to Egypt for a cruise on the Nile. Each part takes its title from Christie novels which is a lovely nod to the Queen of Crime and the whole intentionally has the same feel and atmosphere of Death on the Nile.

Hazel and Daisy are off to Egypt as the guests of their friend Amina El Maghrabi and Hazel’s long-suffering father decides to join them with her little sisters, Rose and May. Of course, Hazel manages to have the Junior Pinkertons, Alexander and George, coincidentally in the right place at the right time as well. The jolly party does not, however, reckon on the inclusion of a particularly nasty group called Breath of Life, pretentious and dangerous foolish adults who believe they are the reincarnations of Egyptian pharoahs. When the head of this outwardly genteel, but inwardly scurrilous group, the odious Theodora, is found brutally murdered it’s time for the Detective Society to leap into action. Could this be the work of an innocent and put-upon sleepwalking daughter or was it the act of a calculating and cold mind?

With as many twists and turns as previous adventures, readers will be wildly trying to match the wits of Daisy and Hazel, along with their able assistants, as first one then another passenger comes under suspicion.

It would be unfair for me to spoil the most shocking revelation so I won’t but suffice to say, there will be howls of outrage and despair, which fortunately will be mollified.

The book concludes with some interesting factual information about Ancient Egypt and – praise the reading gods! – the teaser of a new forthcoming series. Never fear readers – you have not heard the last of Daisy and Hazel!!

Amongst my keen beans there is no need for recommendation for this highly entertaining series but if you have not yet picked up on it for your mob, do yourself and them a favour and put it on your orders list.

Highly recommended for readers from around ten years upwards.

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