Jolly Foul Play – SLJ US review!

March 9, 2018


If you’re a reader in the USA or Canada, there’s not long to wait until the fourth book in the Wells & Wong Mysteries series is released where you live!

Jolly Foul Play has kept its title for its American edition, which I’m very pleased about. It’s publishing on April 17th from Simon and Schuster, and you can pre-order it from It’s got another gorgeous cover from Elizabeth Baddeley – I love the way she illustrates Daisy and Hazel!

It’s also been given a wonderful review by the School Library Journal. Their reviewer Katherine Barr says:

For the first time since the “Wells & Wong” series debut, sleuths Daisy and Hazel are back at Deepdean School with friends Beanie, Kitty, and Lavinia in 1935: their ninth-grade year. During the Guy Fawkes Day bonfire at school, the Detective Society encounters their newest case: Head Girl Elizabeth has been killed, and the only possible suspects are her five closest friends… As in prior installments in the series, Steven’s storytelling and suspense-building are top-notch… The fast-changing nature of friendship between girls is a constant theme throughout; the gossipy secrets Elizabeth uses to blackmail other students and Daisy’s insecurity when Hazel shows interest in a boy are prime examples. This realistic depiction of student life may make the 1935 setting a little more relatable for readers, while also providing appeal to an older audience than previous books.

VERDICT An appropriately complex depiction of adolescent friendship gives this well-crafted mystery appeal beyond its genre alone.–Katherine Barr, Cameron Village Regional Library, Raleigh, NC

I’m really delighted – what a great review!

More posts to explore

I’m very pleased to say that my Behind the Book video, featuring a Q&A, a workspace tour and a reading from the last two chapters of Death Sets Sail, is available to watch NOW on the Puffin YouTube channel. There’s a link below – I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve got a new video on the way! Behind the Book with Robin Stevens will premiere on the Puffin YouTube Channel on Friday 18th September at 6pm BST.
For the rest of September, your prompt will be resolutions. This was suggested by Detective Society member Neve – and it seems like a great choice, since this is the beginning of the school year, a time full of new challenges and big decisions.
I’ve got good news for Scottish fans – I may not be able to come visit you in person this autumn, but I’ll be able to be with you virtually! I’m teaming up with the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour and Book Week Scotland for a week of absolutely FREE events for Scottish schools.
You have until the 6th of September to send all of your questions about the MMU series, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, Howl the puppy or anything else you might want to know to a special email address that my publisher Puffin has set up: I’m going to be answering my very favourites on a new ‘Behind the Book’ video, premiering on the 18th of September on the Puffin YouTube channel.

14 Responses

  1. Hi Robin!
    The cover is fabulous! And it’s amazing that Daisy and Hazel are travelling even further around the world!

  2. Hey Robin!

    Amazing news! This may seem like a question that has come out of thin air: But will we be seeing Hazel and Daisy in a movie or even better a TV series. I think that would be awesome!!

  3. Hi Robin,
    What an amazing review! And the cover illustration is beautiful.

    I posted this in the ‘Happy World Book Day 2018-enjoy the snow!’ post on the 02.03.18, but I don’t know whether it successfully posted? Here it is:

    Hi Robin,
    On Wednesday, I started reading Mistletoe and Murder again, maybe that is why it started snowing on Thursday?

    Also, on Wednesday I presented my The Guggenheim Mystery theatre programme, which had a front cover looking like the cover of the book, a blurb, a synopsis of the story, a cast list, a bit about you, a bit about The London Eye Mystery and The Guggenheim Mystery and a wordsearch I made all about The Guggenheim Mystery. I think people liked it ? How do I show you a photo?

    Also, today is a snow day so we went sledging on sledge on the sledge my grandad made when my mum and uncle were children!


    1. Hi Colette, I would LOVE to see that programme! Please do email me it! I’m really glad you enjoyed the snow … Mistletoe and Murder is the perfect companion!

  4. Ms. Stevens, it was so easy to give this book a positive review! I had always seen your books at the library where I work (I am not responsible for collection development) and been interested in them as a fan of Golden Age mysteries, but given them a pass due to having so many other books to read. I was so excited when the galley of Jolly Foul Play landed in my mailbox as it gave me motivation to read the books that came before it! I loved reading all the Wells & Wong adventures and am sad it’s taking so long for the rest to come out over here! Can’t wait to read more about Hazel and Daisy.

    1. Gosh, thank you so much for commenting – and thank you again for a wonderful, thoughtful review. I’m a fellow Golden Age fan (of course) and I’m delighted that my books are reaching readers in the US. The next is out in the fall, so there isn’t long to wait. I hope you enjoy that one too!

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