Tag Archives: Murder Most Unladylike

Death sets Sail – Robin Stevens

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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.

Murder Most Unladylike #8: Top Marks for Murder – Robin Stevens

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9780241348383

Penguin

August 2019

ISBN: 9780241348383

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $16.99

Yes there are seven previous books but this series has been somewhat of a ‘sleeper’ in my library. Now, however, due to the enthusiasm of several devoted fans it is steadily growing in its popularity. I know that this newest volume will be avidly sought after and the reservation list will be frustrating for some of my girls.

Deepdean School for Girls might seem to be an innocent place but that’s never the case and the current state of affairs is no exception. When Daisy and Hazel return after their absence the place is humming with anticipation of the Anniversary Weekend but parents begin to arrive and poisoning sends shock ripples throughout the school. Everything seems to point to a parent being the guilty party and the girls are fearful that if the perpetrator is not caught, Deepdean might cease to exist altogether.

As always this is almost like a very dark and deadly Malory Towers but the power of ‘school stories’ is always evident. When some murder is thrown in amongst a gang of smart and sassy girls there’s bound to be loads of excitement, suspense and clever detection work to be had – an irresistible combination for my middle school readers!