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Murder Most Unladylike (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries #1)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  2,083 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, 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 b
Paperback, 324 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Corgi
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Robyn I went to and clicked "look inside" the paperback edition of Murder Most Unladylike, then searched for the word "biscuit" and yes, they…moreI went to and clicked "look inside" the paperback edition of Murder Most Unladylike, then searched for the word "biscuit" and yes, they definitely changed that term and I would assume some others that were jarringly American to me. By the way, the "raisin cookies" were "squashed-fly biscuits" in the UK edition.(less)

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Well say hello to a combination of Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars and Blyton's boarding school books. Add to that a touch of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and you've got it made!

Only this time it is 1934. Thirteen-year-old girls Hazel Wong(from Hong Kong) and Daisy Wells (from the English upper classes) have formed their own secret club, the Wells and Wong Detective Society at the Deepdean School for Girls in England. They are quite successful in digging up secrets from everybody in school, with
Wendy Darling
We unveiled the U.S./Canadian cover for MURDER IS BAD MANNERS today at The Midnight Garden!

"Half of the magic of Harry Potter comes from Hogwarts, after all, and I lived the closest thing to Hogwarts there is."
~ Robin Stevens

The author tells us about how her own boarding school experience helped to shape this cozy murder mystery set in the 1930s, plus we have an early ARC giveaway!

Oh, I'm so torn! I liked this book. I liked the story and the characters -- yay for kid British sleuths, yay for a smart, Asian girl main character. But.

This is so very much an American's version of a British school -- the author is constantly going out of the way to explain words to us and then even includes a glossary at the end -- that is overkill, and it feels like a condescending voice in the middle of the story "educating" the audience, since we're too dumb too know what she's talking abou
Dec 04, 2016 Allison marked it as sampled-not-interested  ·  review of another edition
The language in the American version has been Americanized. I read maybe two pages and couldn't take it, it's so pervasive. I can see modifying the spelling (maybe), but it's completely altered so that it sounds like it's taking place in modern America. (The girls are in 7th grade, etc). I'm going to have to try to get the UK version somehow because it's all wrong!

I think it's a shame. Shouldn't American kids have a chance to realize that things are different in other parts of the world, and in
Fun Fun Fun!!!

Mystery Marvelous! Whodunit Wonderful! Young Adult Awesomeness!

Robin Stevens has knocked it out of the park, as we Americans say. If the entire series is as good as this first installment, sign me up! I'll read them all. And you should too.....if you dare to be young at heart.

The series is set in England during the nineteen-thirties, and features two young boarding school ladies, Wells and Wong, a sort of youthful female Holmes and Watson. They are a scream! I mean that in the be
Jan 26, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book!

First of all, the whole 1930's setting really appealed to me and I thought that it was pulled off really well. I don't have much knowledge of boarding school for girls in the 30's, but the language the girls were using and the descriptions of the clothes, food and lessons seemed pretty on point to me. I loved the language they used and it was full of 'rathers', and 'frightfuls', and 'shocking good sport' and so on and it just really amused me! It made the world come al
Katie Lumsden
Jul 21, 2016 Katie Lumsden rated it really liked it
Well this was thoroughly delightful, a well written and entertaining murder mystery with great characterisation. Just such good fun.
I can't complain, as far as just mystery goes. It was fascinating, because there was so much misdirection that I honestly completely neglected to notice the obvious clues as to whom was the murderer. Cleverly written, I'll say that.

However, I found Daisy and Hazel's friendship to be problematic. Daisy manipulates and pushes Hazel around, also placing herself as more important and belittling Hazel's place in their detective "agency" , and Hazel is just so desperate to be friends with her that she
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Jan 29, 2015 Jessica (Jess Hearts Books) rated it really liked it
Delightful! This is exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.
Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures)
Murder Most Unladylike has been all over my Twitter timeline and Goodreads feed for the past… God knows how long. I kept seeing it everywhere. Everyone I talked to, whether online or in person, loved it to bits and were eagerly awaiting the next books in the series. Which, to be honest, is quite rare. I rarely come across books that literally all my bookish friends and fellow bloggers love without exception. I was intrigued.

So, towards the end of my holiday earlier this month, I decided to pick
4.5 stars. Really enjoyed this.

The concept of "children take it upon themselves to solve a murder" is of course hardly original, nor is the historical boarding school setting, but as with every genre story, it's all in the handling - and Murder Most Unladylike was, for me, handled with just the right mixture of clever plotting, amusing writing and a hint of serious issues (bullying, racism) being touched on just enough to keep the reader aware but without turning into a moralising lecture.

As wit
Burgundy Rose
Feb 03, 2015 Burgundy Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to add some thoughts after rereading this book. As much as I enjoyed it this time around, I think that I would have liked a little more humour and fun and overall silliness, which I really missed, especially because I think there were plenty of opportunites for that. I'm also not too fond of the resolution because it should have been the girls' detective work throughout. Bringing a professional detective at the end may be realistic, it's a little too much to ask of me to like him when ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Alexa rated it liked it
Recommended to Alexa by: Daphne (Winged Reviews)
FIRST THOUGHTS: 3.75 stars. What a fun (if scary) middle grade mystery! It took me a little while to start to like main character Hazel Wong and her best friend Daisy Wells, but I wound up really liking those two as the story progressed. The entire novel is presented in casebook form, which is clever and fitting, and I liked getting a glimpse of the present day story and bits of the girls' past. It's very simple (in terms of plot and clues and all of that), which makes it feel like a throwback ...more
Louise O'Neill
Jun 05, 2015 Louise O'Neill rated it it was amazing
Move over Cagney and Lacey, Wells and Wong are my new favourite crime fighting duo! I haven't wanted to go to boarding school this much since my Enid Blyton days...
Apr 28, 2015 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My issue with this book starts and ends with Daisy. As a very obvious Sherlock Holmes fan, I'm going to take a gander and guess that the author really enjoys Sherlock and not Elementary, because Elementary is a show about a steadfast partnership that might not have gotten off on the most perfect of starts but evolves into a friendship that is as equal and understanding of each other's faults and assets. I can tell that this author watches Sherlock because Daisy is Sherlock. Right down from her ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
I really wanted to like this book, solely because at least half the year 5 and 6 kids at school are OBSESSED with this series, and the past few middle grade books that I've read have been fabulous. Unfortunately, this one fell a little flat for me.

- Historical fiction with an Asian protagonist.
- It's a middle grade crime series. I mean, how often do you get that?!
- Lots of insinuation that two female teachers were in a relationship
- Also reference to older girls using supply closets to make
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This is the first volume of a mystery series set in a girls' boarding school, ,Deepdean Academy, in 1930s Britain. The narrator is Hazel Wong, a girl from Hong Kong. Like us, she finds '30s Britain a strange, exotic place, yet one that is familiar through books. Her best friend, Daisy Wells,is an aristocratic English girl, all blonde curls, gung-ho on the sports field, so-so at studies.

The most popular girl in their class, or form, she is drawn to Hazel because she realises what they have in co
Kerry Leonard
Feb 25, 2016 Kerry Leonard rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. Although it was a little long winded in places I really enjoyed the storyline for it's plot twists. I also liked how the story was written from Hazel's perspective and her take on her friendship with Daisy and her inner thoughts about English life. The setting of the novel really reminded me of the Twins at St. Clares books which as a child I adored.
Aug 30, 2016 Laura rated it liked it
Plutôt 3,5. Début malheureusement assez laborieux et lent. Je suis vraiment entrée dans l'histoire dans le dernier tiers du livre. C'est un peu tard, dommage... Je verrai si je décide de continuer la série ou pas (vu que la fin m'a malgré tout bien enthousiasmée).
Oct 20, 2016 Clarabel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage, cozy-read
Hiver 1934. Un crime a eu lieu à Deepdean, le pensionnat anglais où Daisy Wells et Hazel Wong ont fondé leur club de détectives, mais hélas le corps de la victime a aussitôt disparu. Commence une enquête compliquée pour des demoiselles de treize ans, obligées à une discipline rigoureuse. L'intrigue est pourtant conduite avec entrain et fraîcheur, même si elle se positionne dans un contexte austère et une ambiance inquiétante, où l'on ressent tout le poids des traditions et de la rigueur morale. ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Yuko86 rated it really liked it
"The problem with this place,” said Daisy, pausing in the stairwell to wriggle out of her old pyjama jacket and into her new one, “is that there are far too many secrets wherever you turn. And most of them are so pointless. It doesn’t make it easy for two detectives to do their jobs.”

Murder most unladylike è un giallo vecchio stampo destinato ai giovani lettori. Romanzo d’esordio di Robin Stevens, è stato una piacevolissima lettura e mi ha strappato più volte un sorriso. Rappresenta il primo vol
Sep 20, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
*4.5 stars*

If you like 1930s mysteries, sharp, spiky girls, and British boarding school stories, you have to read this book (and series)! It is utterly delicious. The writing style is beautifully resonant of Dorothy Sayers, the humor is wry, the characters are fabulous, and the solution of the mystery genuinely surprised me (in a very good way).

I absolutely loved Hazel Wong, the heroine of this book, and her best-friendship with Daisy Wells (the founder and president of their secret detective s
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I love murder mysteries and boarding school stories. Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens delivers brilliantly on both.

It is the 1930s and Deepdean School is a place where wealthy young ladies are sent for education and betterment. Hazel Wong is one such young lady. She is from Hong Kong, and her father sent her to England to be schooled because of his own enjoyable school boy day there. Soon after her arrival, Hazel is befriended by Da
Ahh, a boarding school book. I love books set at boarding schools--especially British ones! I love the whole mini-cosmos created by some crenellated walls and a sensibly-shod headmistress. Also, this whole field hockey thing, which seems like rugby with sticks for Proper Young Ladies of Quality.

So I was delighted to finally get a copy of Robin Stevens' Murder Is Bad Manners, originally published in the UK as Murder Most Unladylike (which I personally prefer, but more on that later). It's first i
Jul 15, 2014 Pili rated it really liked it
I don't usually read that much MG (middle grade) but when I do, it usually wonderful and delightful stories that make me want to read more.

I first heard about this lil gem thanks to Wendy from The Midnight Garden, when they did a reveal of the US cover and title (Murder is Bad Manners) and when I read what this book was about, I knew wouldn't wait till 2015 for the US edition and upon checking TBD, I quickly grabbed the UK edition (my anglophilia might be showing, cause I think I like this cover
Jul 16, 2016 JM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1930s English girls' school murder mystery. When Daisy Wells came back to school for third form burning to begin a secret Detective Society, her best friend Hazel Wong loyally agreed to be the Watson to her Holmes - but neither girl anticipated that they would discover a real murder in their own school.

Really charming run at both the girls' school story genre and the cozy mystery. It's junior fiction so the mystery isn't the most brilliant and baffling ever, but it's not overly simple either - y
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I LOVED this story! I'm pretty sure this middle-school murder mystery was better than most of the adult murder mysteries I've read. The characters jumped right off the page and each one was so unique with their own voice and personality. The setting is also a character in its own right and it definitely helped that the author included a "child's" sketch of what the Deepdean school looked like which really made it take shape in my mind. It also made me wish I had gone to an English Bording School ...more
Daphne (Winged Reviews)
4.5 stars

If you put Nancy Drew in a boarding school, set it in the 1930s and sprinkle heavily with Sherlock references, bunbreaks and Cluedo, you’re getting close to describing the sheer charm that is Murder Most Unladylike. I absolutely adored Robin Stevens’ debut novel featuring the first case of the Wells & Wong Detective Society. As a warning, you will definitely want to read this book with a cup of tea and baked goods within arm’s reach.

And if you need more to sell you on this book, th
Monica Edinger
Apr 28, 2015 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder is Bad Manners,winner of the 2015 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, is set firmly in a 20th century past. It is 1934 and 8th grader HazelWong has been sent from her Hong Kong home to the very English Deepdean School for Girls where she encountersthelivelyDaisy Wells. After a teacher literally drops dead, Daisyorganizes the Wells & Wong Detective Society, determined to find the murder. The timid Watson-like Hazel writes of their efforts, fretting asDaisy, very much the Sherlock of th ...more
Feb 11, 2016 Kalilah rated it did not like it
I've been trying to read this book for a while now. At first the narrator's voice was deceptively charming and quite humorous but after a while it lost its spark and I found myself uninspired and uninterested in absolutely everything that happened.
None of the characters appeal to me, the plot doesn't excite me, the prose doesn't grip me - it's no wonder that I am not eager to pick the book up once I've put it down and when I do pick it up by force - down it goes again in a jiffy. At best I've m
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Around the Year i...: Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens 1 13 Apr 15, 2016 04:14PM  
  • The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (The Sinclair’s Mysteries #1)
  • The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, #1)
  • Nooks & Crannies
  • Twelve Minutes to Midnight (Twelve Minutes to Midnight, #1)
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
  • Frost Hollow Hall
  • The Detective's Assistant
  • Mars Evacuees (Mars Evacuees #1)
  • Greenglass House (Greenglass House, #1)
  • Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave (The Shakespeare Mysteries, #1)
  • Operation Bunny (Wings & Co, #1)
  • Oliver and the Seawigs
  • Five Children on the Western Front
  • Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries, #1)
  • Jewel of the Thames (Portia Adams Adventures, #1)
  • Under the Egg
  • Vanished
  • Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness
Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life.

When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. When it occurred to her that she was never
More about Robin Stevens...

Other Books in the Series

Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries (5 books)
  • Arsenic for Tea (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #2)
  • First Class Murder (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #3)
  • Jolly Foul Play (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #4)
  • Mistletoe and Murder (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #5)

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