‘There’s a clever mystery here, with lots of suspects and a denouement that will take many readers by surprise. Clues abound, although they can be deceiving, and lots of twists and turns in the plot keep the story moving along at a spanking pace . . .
What really makes this book stand out is the picture of life in the 1930s it presents. Hazel, Vice-President and Secretary of the Detective Society and our narrator, is from Hong Kong and frequently has to put up with thoughtless racism from adults. She finds some aspects of life in an English country house quite incomprehensible, but she is an observant girl and does her best to record events as they occur. Despite her obvious gratitude at being befriended by a proper English girl she is not blind to Daisy’s faults: her friend is headstrong and passionate, inclined to twist the evidence to fit her theories and overwhelmingly protective of her family.
Daisy’s desperately-felt anger and hurt as adults let her down and she learns uncomfortable truths about people she loves are vividly portrayed, and even Hazel soon finds she is less of an outsider in this family drama than she expected to be. It is a lively and thrilling tale, full of fascinating details, and the good news is that the third volume in the series is well on its way to publication.’ (4.5 stars)