First published in hardback April 21st 2015, from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)
But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there’s more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.
Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
A Spring 2015 ABA Indies Introduce pick
Starred review from Kirkus magazine
Starred review from Publishers Weekly magazine
#8 on the Indie Next List for Summer 2015
An ALA Notable Book for 2016
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Reviews for Murder is Bad Manners
- Murder is Bad Manners is an ALA Notable Book - I've had more great news about my American books: the US edition of Murder Most Unladylike, Murder is Bad Manners, has been chosen as an ALA Notable Book for 2016! According to the website, 'Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.' This is a huge vote of confidence in my book, and it's in formidable company.
- Shelf Awareness reviews Murder is Bad Manners - "Wells and Wong solve the case and leave readers eager to read more of their appealing tales." - Shelf Awareness
- School Library Connection reviews Murder is Bad Manners - 'Set in England in 1934, this book takes readers on a delightful romp through the halls of a girls' boarding school . . . Stevens deftly uses familiar stereotypes to create individuals who are engaging and likeable. Beneath the mystery and adventure, the author explores themes of friendship, independence, and personal identity that concern pre-adolescent girls. This book, the first in a series, is a "jolly good read" . . . Recommended' - Marney Welmers, School Library Connection
- Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books review Murder is Bad Manners - 'Stevens’ story, narrated by Hazel, is a first-rate homage to English boarding school adventure and period murder-mystery tales' - Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
- Murder is Bad Manners is #8 on the Indie Next List for Summer 2015 - 'Hong Kong transplant Hazel Wong serves as Watson to Daisy Wells’ Sherlock Holmes in this debut middle-grade mystery series set in 1934 at Deepdean School for Girls. After Hazel finds the body of Miss Bell, the science teacher, it suddenly disappears, setting the Wells and Wong Detective Society on the case. Hazel narrates the story through her casebook, revealing that she is the more analytical of the pair. There are plenty of red herrings and wrong turns, but in the end Wells and Wong solve the case and leave readers eager to read more of their appealing tales.' - Cathy Berner, Indie Next List Summer 2015
- Booklist review of Murder is Bad Manners - 'Here’s a mystery import, set in the 1930s, that does justice to its British roots . . . This is a delightfully designed book, from the throwback cover to the school map inside . . . Nancy Drew, meet Wells and Wong.' - Booklist
- Publishers Weekly starred review for Murder is Bad Manners - 'part murder mystery, part diary, and a pitch-perfect snapshot of adolescent friendship . . . [Daisy and Hazel's] yin-yang friendship, like the camaraderie of Sherlock and Watson, is as integral to the story as the revelation of the murderer. A sharp-witted debut for Stevens, one that will leave readers eagerly awaiting subsequent instalments' - Publishers Weekly
- Kirkus Starred Review for Murder is Bad Manners - "There are clues, red herrings and suspenseful chases galore, as well as heaps of boarding school trivia that amuse and delight. An irresistible English import with sequels to come." - Kirkus magazine, starred review
- School Library Journal reviews Murder is Bad Manners - "Stevens’s engaging tale shines with the reflected charms of its detecting duo, a winsome combination of thoughtfulness and relish." - Robbin E. Friedman, SLJ
- Murder is Bad Manners is an ABA Indies Introduce pick for spring 2015 - Murder is Bad Manners has been chosen by the American Booksellers Association as one of ten Indies Introduce children's and YA picks, to be promoted in independent bookstores across the USA in spring 2015.