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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer charm!
If you put Nancy Drew in a boarding school, set it in the 1930s and sprinkle heavily with Sherlock references, bunbreaks and Cluedo, you’re getting close to describing the sheer charm that is Murder Most Unladylike. I absolutely adored Robin Stevens’ debut novel featuring the first case of the Wells & Wong Detective Society. As a warning, you will definitely...
Published 6 months ago by Daphne (Winged Reviews)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Really Wanted To Like This Book
In the interests of full disclosure I should admit that I’m no longer anywhere near 9 years old so I’m aware I’m probably not the target audience for this book!

I really wanted to like Murder Most Unladylike but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I absolutely loved Beswitched by Kate Saunders which had a similar setting but in my...
Published 5 months ago by squoosh


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer charm!, 21 July 2014
If you put Nancy Drew in a boarding school, set it in the 1930s and sprinkle heavily with Sherlock references, bunbreaks and Cluedo, you’re getting close to describing the sheer charm that is Murder Most Unladylike. I absolutely adored Robin Stevens’ debut novel featuring the first case of the Wells & Wong Detective Society. As a warning, you will definitely want to read this book with a cup of tea and baked goods within arm’s reach.

And if you need more to sell you on this book, there is a map (!) of the Deepdean School for Girls and a cast list up front so you can follow along as the girls try to convince everyone their teacher was murdered and also solve the whodunit. Plus, the cover is gorgeously blue with striking graphics and typography and would look great on your shelves. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I love this book so much but everything about it is simply lovely.

The main girls are wonderfully likable and memorable. Popular girl Daisy Wells is full of confidence and bravado, president and leader with her shiny blonde hair and ease about life. You definitely want to be her friend, although sometimes her ego and determined attitude gets in the way of the truth. My favourite of the two was definitely narrator Hazel Wong, the thoughtful and quiet Watson to Daisy’s Sherlock and secretary of the society. She starts off a foreigner and outsider, but becomes Daisy’s closest confidant and her smarts and intuition eventually save the day. Their friendship was strong, and I loved that it wasn’t perfect, that they argued and disagreed. It made it feel more real.

The story is smartly written and read like a true detective story. The girls were very meticulous about solving the case, and the book shows glimpses of Hazel’s casebook throughout the story, with an updates on each piece of evidence and alibi carefully recorded within. It was clever, engaging, and best of all a very realistic way for two 13-year-olds to solve the mystery.

Basically, I can't recommend this enough—it's got friendship, mystery, intrigue—everything you want in a middle grade book that is thoroughly enjoyable for young and old alike. It will also introduce you to bunbreaks, the glorious mid-afternoon tea and cake time that I think should definitely be brought back into fashion. (At work. Everywhere.) I absolutely can’t wait for the sequel, Arsenic for Tea, for more of Daisy and Hazel’s adventures!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Disappearing Body, 5 Jun. 2014
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery (Paperback)
Welcome to Deepdean School. The year is 1934 and we are presented here with the ‘The Case of the Murder of Miss Bell’ undertaken by the Wells and Wong Detective Society. The detective society consists of just these two people, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, both of them only thirteen years old. The story is narrated by Hazel Wong.

When Hazel finds the body of Miss Bell lying dead in the gym she hurries off to get some assistance, but by the time she returns with others in tow the body has disappeared. Believing it to be a prank Hazel and her friend Daisy are sent to their dorm without any dinner. But when it is announced that Miss Bell has apparently resigned Hazel and Daisy believe that a murder is being covered up. Although their detective society has solved some petty things, this case is definitely looking to be something altogether different, and much bigger, and thus our intrepid duo investigates.

As this is narrated by Hazel Wong we read about her experiences when she first came to board at Deepdean, especially as she is clever and Chinese, and how she goes about fitting in. Along with this we see how the two girls go about solving the disappearance of Miss Bell, and especially how things start to become even more complicated when it looks like another teacher may have committed suicide. Trying to find clues and work out if alibis tie up the two girls have a lot of things to handle and this makes for a really good mystery.

Boarding school has always been a popular setting for children’s books but nothing has been that particularly good probably since Hogwarts and Harry Potter, and then along comes this. The setting is believable and the mystery is a solid one that should keep most children, and indeed adults engrossed. There are lots of things going on at the school, what with relationships and secrets, which makes this very realistic in feel. There is a glossary in this as well so that if you are unaware of what prep and other expressions mean you are able to look them up. In all this is a solid read and is sure to be a hit.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful school mystery, 1 July 2014
A delightful combination of 1930s school story and murder mystery. Miss Bell has been murdered, her body is missing and the teachers all seem to believe she's resigned suddenly. It's up to Daisy and Hazel to prove that a murder has been committed and find the guilty party.

Daisy and Hazel are wonderful characters with personalities that complement each other whilst also leading to conflict between them as the story develops. The plot is fast-paced with plenty of twists and turns and the period detail is lovely - midnight feasts and hockey games abound. I can't wait for the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, 6 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery (Paperback)
I couldn't put this book down! Between the wonderfully crafted mystery, the well-researched historical details and the engaging characters, I easily missed my tube stop more than once. I only wished I could have spent more time with Hazel and Daisy. Bring on book two!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful new voice for children's books, 5 Jun. 2014
This book contains almost all of my absolute favourite story things: a 1930s boarding school, a murder mystery and squashed fly biscuits. Hazel Wong is the most delightful narrator - her voice is pitch perfect as a non-English girl in the most English of environments. The friendship between Daisy and Hazel is fantastic - not always easy, but always believable and entertaining. And the way their Detective Society sets about solving the murder of Miss Bell - even when no one else knows there has been a murder - is perfect. I can't wait for more from Wells and Wong!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Marple, 12 Aug. 2014
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Utterly charming mystery for middle grade readers. The author has created wonderful crime-fighting duo in Wells & Wong. Long may they continue to solve mysteries!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!, 18 July 2014
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what a book!!!

the entire time I was reading it, it felt so real. robin Stevens is a awesome author. there is also a sequel to this saga, and its called arsenic for tea. I have not read it yet but cannot wait to! honestly, BUY THIS BOOK!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Read!, 6 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very different to anything I'd read before. I love the time it is set in - the 1930s, and all the historical details. I liked the references to Sherlock Holmes too, they were very interesting! It reminded me of Cluedo, one of my favourite games. The plot had lots of twists and turns which made it exciting and the characters were believable and intriguing. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! I would highly recommend this book. By Alice, age 11, using my mum's amazon account as I don't have one of my own.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hazel was a believable and sympathetic heroine and I loved Daisy too (even though I wanted to shake her ..., 18 Aug. 2014
MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE is a boarding school story set in the 1930s, written in a fresh, modern style that will appeal to readers young and old. The mystery at its heart kept me guessing to the very end, and even though I thought I knew at times 'whodunit' – I didn't! Hazel was a believable and sympathetic heroine and I loved Daisy too (even though I wanted to shake her at times!). The characterisation was brilliant throughout and I can't wait for the next book in the series. Fantastic
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crisp and delicious - recommended for fans of school stories and mysteries, 13 Oct. 2014
By 
Mrs. B. S. Kemp "Beth Kemp" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery (Paperback)
This really is a delight and I’m looking forward to the second in the series, Arsenic for Tea. Set in the 1930s in Deepdean Academy, it beautifully captures everything that’s magical about boarding school tales, while also cleverly including all the key ingredients of a cosy mystery with the flavour of Agatha Christie. If Blyton and Christie had collaborated on a book, this – or something very like it – would be the result. It fulfils both genres and is a gorgeous reading experience.

My 10 year old daughter and I both read and enjoyed this one. Aside from the book’s obvious charms, I also particularly appreciated the subtlety of its representations, using the character of Hazel Wong to introduce the experience of an Asian immigrant (as she goes about her Dr Watson-like business of documenting the case). I also, of course, enjoyed the mystery itself and the warm familiarity of many elements from the school story genre. This is a comfort read if ever I encountered one.

One of the book’s strengths is its characterisation – not only Daisy and Hazel, but the secondary characters are clearly delineated and carefully crafted. My daughter was especially fond of the French mistress and the school nurse. It’s also a joy to see how Daisy and Hazel’s relationship develops and is tested by their detective work. Firm friends with quite different personalities, it’s refreshing and realistic to see them debate and at times argue.

As with all school stories, one of the things readers will love is the food. Who hasn’t read a boarding school story and wanted their very own tuck box? This series’ addition to the genre is the concept of bunbreak, which has certainly caused plenty of excitement on Twitter.

Overall, this book is highly recommended, both for its 9-12 target audience, and for older readers (much older readers who enjoyed boarding school stories in their youth very much included!).
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Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery
Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery by Robin Stevens (Paperback - 5 Jun. 2014)
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