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Murder Most Unladylike: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery Paperback – 18 Feb 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Publisher: Puffin (18 Feb. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141369760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141369761
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Ripping good fun (The Times)

A skilful blend of golden era crime novel and boarding school romp . . . The novel works both as an affectionate satire and an effective murder mystery, and Stevens can go places Enid Blyton never dreamt of . . . Top class (Financial Times)

Friendship, boarding school and a murder worthy of Agatha Christie (The Bookseller)

Plotting is what sets this book apart; this is about who was where at the time of the murder, and it's about finding the chink in the alibi (Telegraph)

An addictive debut, full of wit, panache and iced-bun breaks (Metro)

Enormous fun (Irish Times)

Part murder mystery, part diary, and a pitch-perfect snapshot of adolescent friendship . . . A sharp-witted debut for Stevens, one that will leave readers eagerly awaiting subsequent instalments (Publishers Weekly)

I envy any young reader discovering this enchanting new series and writer. It's such a clever idea to marry the Malory Towers girls' boarding school novel with the Golden Age of detective fiction, and doing it through the eyes of Hong Kong Chinese heroine Hazel Wong is an especially good touch . . . A real treat (Amanda Craig)

Angela Brazil meets Agatha Christie all mixed up with some Sherlockian tips and winks that made me snuggle down and read with a contented smile. It is a jacket potato on a winter's day book; warm, satisfying, filling . . . This is such a glorious book and it is one which has reinterpreted the school story for the contemporary reader and opened it up with a swift moving and accessible plot line. In Star Trek terms, it is the next generation as compared to the original series. It is very, very gorgeous. Daisy is glorious. Hazel is awesome. I want more, please. It's as simple as that (Did You Ever Stop to Think)

Irresistible . . . It feels both delightfully old-fashioned and current - a difficult balance to pull off, but it's been done with style here. Imagine Agatha Christie visiting Malory Towers and add in some modern sensibilities and you are about there. The plot twists and turns like nobody's business and I didn't guess the real culprit for a very long time, but the real draw is the relationship between the two main characters. Daisy and Hazel are like chalk and cheese but they are perfect foils for one another and together, they make a brilliant detective duo (The Bookbag)

I absolutely loved it - it's charming and witty and there's so much in terms of in-jokes and she really grabs hold of all the traditions of this type of story and runs with them. You've got bunbreak, squashed fly biscuits and dormitories . . . but at the same time as this thrilling murder mystery (Susie Day)

Book Description

The first gripping, Agatha Christie-style mystery starring a brilliant new double act: feisty, funny schoolgirl detectives, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First, some housekeeping. The "Wells & Wong Mysteries" are American reissues of the books in the recent British series titled "[The] Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries". The reissues are published by Simon & Schuster. The originals were published by Corgi. That's fine, but, the new publisher has changed at least the first book's title. So, this first book in the reissued series, "Murder Is Bad Manners" is the same book as the first book in the British series, which was titled "Murder Most Unladylike". Books from both series are available for sale on either Amazon or Amazon.co.uk. So, to avoid buying the same book twice, check publishers and book descriptions.

I emphasized the above because I hate it when publishers change titles and make it a chore to collect a complete yet unduplicated set of a favorite series. Moreover, the first Wells & Wong book is so good it is likely you will try to find others.

This book is an entertaining and satisfying combination of a boarding school story, an Agatha Christie style mystery, an historical mystery, (the book is set in the 1930's), and a friendship tale involving two remarkably different but equally appealing girl detective/heroines. Our narrator, Hazel Wong, plays Watson to Daisy Wells' Sherlock, but while Hazel is somewhat in awe of Daisy she is no second banana. Unusual for such a book, Hazel's narrative is conversational and a bit diffident, but bolstered by a keen eye, a touch of an edge, and surprising insight. English rose Daisy is a more complex character, sort of a Russian doll type of character, and effortlessly holds the reader's attention.

The era and the boarding school environment are authentically rendered. There is not a lot of authorly heaving and grunting as the scenes are set.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An equally appealing book cover! There are four books in this series to date and my bookshelf demands them all! I love the design of the front cover and the bright colours used - it makes them very distinctive and they really stand out in the book shops demanding to be read!

These stories are set in 1934 at the Deepdean School for Girls and feature Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong who decide to set up their own detective agency. Initially struggling to find "real" mysteries, they then stumble across the dead body of the Science Teacher, Miss Bell, in the gym, and there they have their first case!

The book is very entertaining, full of vivid characters and events. Daisy is a strong character - sometimes a little overbearing-but her comments and observations are dry and provide much humour for the reader. Constantly interpreting events around her into versions that suit her personal theories she remarks that the problem with the school is that "there are too many secrets wherever you turn and most of them are pointless. It doesn't make it easy for detectives to do their jobs."

Hazel is very likeable and I really empathised with her more retiring and shy personality. You can almost feel her shudder and roll her eyes as Daisy gallops along her lines of investigation which often present themselves as slightly madcap. Hazel has more reserve than Daisy's slightly more frenzied enthusiasm for things like "Hunt the Hiding Place of Miss Bell's Body" which she claims will be like hunt the slipper only with a body. "Oh," replies Hazel, knowing full well that "looking for a body would be nothing like hunting for a slipper.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally published at http://solittletimeforbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

It took me weeks of hearing how charming and fun and utterly wonderful Murder Most Unladylike is before I caved and requested it from NetGalley – it’s just not something I would pick up myself. I am so, so glad I listened to my Twitter feed!

A middle grade murder mystery set in a 1930s all girls boarding school brings too things to mind immediately: Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton – two things I bypassed completely in my childhood. They never appealed to me and now having read Murder Most Unladylike, I have no idea why. I think I missed out. I love the strong sense of place of a boarding school, the subtle differences of a familiar environment set eighty years ago, the intense friendships forged and how easy it is to sneak out in the middle of the night to investigate a murder.

The novel was set out in a way that suited the story perfectly. It was segmented into developments of the Case of Miss Bell as the book itself is Hazel Wong writing up their investigation as the Detective Society Secretary. I really liked the handwritten suspect list which was updated every so often with new evidence, alibis, motives and ruling outs. I especially liked this set up as Hazel is the sidekick in the operation for the most part of the novel, and yet it’s her that’s telling the story.

Daisy is the President of the Detective Society and she calls the shots. I have to admit that I ended up really disliking Daisy at points during the novel. Daisy and Hazel have a very unequal friendship, and though it’s not malicious or purposeful on Daisy’s part, I hate the way she pushed Hazel around and disregarded her opinions and feelings.
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