At the end of a series, you want a big finish. Something to make the series go out with a bang. Well, Robin Stevens did just that with Death Sets Sail. Packed with suspense throughout, and unimaginable twists and turns, Death Sets Sail was without a doubt the best book in the Murder Most Unladylike series.
March 1st seems a long time ago now … but on that day I was lucky enough to be interviewed by brilliant bloggers Helene, Emma, Philippe and Louise. Their interview is up now on their site Books.Ink, and I think you should all go and read it!
Lisa Nabel from School Library Journal calls Poison is Not Polite: ‘An English import with a good mystery that will keep readers’ attention, this second volume of the trilogy is strong enough to be a standalone title.’
We’ve had a few more lovely reviews of Poison is Not Polite (the US edition of Arsenic for Tea)! The first is from Shelf Awareness, in a review called (wonderfully) The Pleasure of Cosy-Dangerous.
Ali Davis writes:
‘It’s just a few steps from the cozy-dangerous boarding school of Harry Potter to the cozy-dangerous drawing rooms of classic British murder mysteries, via the witty, thoughtfully plotted middle-grade Wells & Wong novels… the U.S. versions retain their agreeable British flavor… Though solving the crime is always the bottom line, Stevens’s books satisfyingly explore the forging of a friendship between the two girls, and quietly make the point that adulthood involves facing uncomfortable facts. Even if you’re an adult fan of classic mysteries, these lightly gruesome tales are highly enjoyable bunbreak reading.’
‘In my opinion, there is one person who is well ahead of the pack in the race to be crowned queen/king of kidlit mystery writing, and that is Robin Stevens . . . Robin Stevens doesn’t just write outstanding mystery stories, her writing is among the very best for middle grade readers in the UK this year. For this third book, Stevens has taken on her greatest challenge to date by setting her mystery on the Orient Express in 1935, only a year after the original release date of the great Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. However, the author has met this challenge with seemingly consummate ease, and has produced a mystery story that will keep young readers guessing until the dramatic denouement.’ – Darren, Bookzone4Boys
‘I am extremely glad that I rushed out to buy this book on the day of its publication because it kept me hooked the whole way through, and although I thought I knew who the murderer was, there was a massive twist in the story that I was not expecting. I love the way that Robin Stevens has written this book, because it has short chapters which keep the action fast paced, and you never know more information than the girls, so you work out the clues at the same time that they do. . . To sum up the case for First Class Murder: I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who loves the challenge of unravelling a good mystery.’ – BookieCookie, Guardian children’s books site
‘The mysteries themselves are beautiful concoctions that owe obvious debts to the golden age of British crime fiction, and are unravelled beautifully. The atmosphere of the settings – boarding school, old English heirloom property – are captured exceptionally well, with the boarding school vocab giving me flashbacks to reading about Malory Towers with envy.’ (raremediumwelldone)
‘Arsenic For Tea is a joy. A multi-layered sandwich cake of joy. There’s really very little else to be said other than this book is gorgeous and it’s something rather special’ – LH Johnson, didyoueverstoptothink.wordpress.com
“Not only is [Arsenic for Tea] a great sequel, but it is also a book that is even better then its predecessor . . .
the stage for this brilliant murder mystery story is Fallingford, a country mansion with obligatory sprawling grounds, and the cast a group of people with a plethora of eccentricities and foibles, most of whom just happen to be members of Daisy’s family. For Fallingford is the Wells family home, and Daisy and Hazel are there for the holidays. This makes for the perfect setting for our story . . .” (Darren from Book Zone for Boys)
“Murder Most Unladylike is an absolutely fabulous book for 9+ years – with a fantastic setting, gorgeous characters, a gripping plot and tons of humour.” (Abi Elphinstone at Moontrug.com)