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Murder Most Unladylike

(Murder Most Unladylike #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  17,920 ratings  ·  2,130 reviews
1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up a secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find a truly exciting mystery to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't.)

But then Hazel discovers the body of the Science Mistress, Miss Bell - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disapp
Paperback, 350 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Corgi Books
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Robyn I went to Amazon.co.uk and clicked "look inside" the paperback edition of Murder Most Unladylike, then searched for the word "biscuit" and yes, they d…moreI went to Amazon.co.uk 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)
KatForsyth Yep, they age as the books progress (though not too much, as the books are set quite close together in time - at least so far!)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  17,920 ratings  ·  2,130 reviews

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Mar 02, 2014 marked it as tried-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: published-2010s
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
Alice, as in Wonderland
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 a ...more
Gavin Hetherington
You can watch my interview with author Robin Stevens on my YouTube channel here, where we talk spoiler-free about the series: https://youtu.be/NZBWsJBsgRs

A thoroughly enjoyable and promising start to a middle grade mystery series!

Daisy and Hazel are students at Deepdean School for Girls and run their own Detective agency. One day, Hazel comes across the body of one of her teachers, and after going for help, discovers the body has gone! Not only do Daisy and Hazel have to solve the murder mystery
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
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
This started off as a 5 star read. This predates A Girl Called Justice and I could see how much this book had inspired Elly Griffith's A Girl Called Justice in many ways and we were so please this book, unlike the Justice books had plenty of slang words and references to the time period it was set in. Unfortunately the US version has had all these words replaced by US terms which would completely ruin it for me, luckily I read a UK version.

After a great start this became way too drawn out, too
Lisa Vegan
This review is for the edition I read, the edition published specifically for readers in the United States.

The title was changed from the originally published English edition. The original title is Murder Most Unladylike. Much of the vocabulary in the story has also been Americanized from the original British English. I hate when this is done. When I’m reading an English boarding school story I want to feel as though it is taking place in England. Readers are being underestimated in what they’l
The idea of setting a murder mystery in a boarding school is not the most original one, but thanks to the constrain of the setting and Steven’s clear knowledge of the genre, it works quite well.

A boarding school is a closed environment ruled by a strict order. Within such a place, the pupils, girls in this case, live by the toll of the bell, moving from bedroom to classroom to dinner room all at once and without delay. Yet, like any place where humans, even young ones, lived bounded by rules, t
Middle Grade Monthly pick for June 2020.

An interesting little cosy middle grade mystery that isn't without its problems. It's a story of Sherlock and Holmes for the younger reader as we join school friends Daisy and Hazel as they try to unlock the mysteries surrounding a teacher's untimely demise.

I found Daisy quite irritating as a character. She's an awful friend, often bullying Hazel into doing things she doesn't want to do and being rather unsympathetic towards her peers in her pursuit of a
rachel ☾
#2) Arsenic for Tea ★★★★☆
#3) First Class Murder ★★★★☆
#4) Jolly Foul Play ★★★★☆
#5) Mistletoe and Murder ★★★★☆
#6) A Spoonful of Murder ★★★★☆
#7) Death in the Spotlight ★★★★★
#8) Top Marks for Murder ★★★★★
#9) Death Sets Sail ★★★★★

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Representation: Hazel (mc) is Chinese
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
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!

April (Aprilius Maximus)
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
representation: Chinese MC, dyslexic side character.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


This was fun but I definitely had to suspend my disbelief a lot! As if they wouldn't be absolutely shitting buckets if people kept getting murdered around them. Instead they were OMG LET'S INVESTIGATE THIS IS SOOO FUN. lol wtf. It was a fun historical mystery that kept me guessing, none the less!

trigger warnings: murder (obviously lol), brief mention of suic
Jul 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: child-books, mystery
This book was quite a surprise to me. I haven't read books in this age category for quite a long time and probably that's why I was so surprised by what I found here.

This is a book that is suitable for both children and adult readers. There are many things that will be appreciated and valued primarily by mature readers, but at the same time there is no fear that this book will be boring for children. I like how many quite adult themes the author has casually put into this story. We have here, fo
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully charming crime story accessible to readers of all ages.

We are introduced to Daisy and Hazel, two pupils who attended Deepdean School for Girls. They're curious in solving mystery and set up their own detective agency.

When Hazel discovers the body of Science Mistress, Miss Bell in the school gym. It gives the girls their first opportunity to try and solve a case.

I really liked the time setting of 1930's, it gives a real authentic feel.
The author clearly is a fan of Agatha Christie.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was just a whole book of fun. It had a murder mystery, of course, was set in a border school and had a POC narrator! What more could you ask for? I loved the atmosphere and the 1930s setting (despite the what would now be considered politically incorrect terms used in regards to Hazel). I'd love to read the other books in the series, now that the characters have been established, and I'll definitely be scanning my local libraries for the sequel! What an excellent book to ring in the new yea ...more
Katie Lumsden
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well this was thoroughly delightful, a well written and entertaining murder mystery with great characterisation. Just such good fun.
Jan 01, 2016 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
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful, fun read! Murder Most Unladylike gave me serious Sherlock and Watson vibes (which was obviously intentional, since both main characters affectionately call one another "Sherlock" and "Watson"). The only thing stopping me from rating this 5 stars was Daisy: she was really rather arrogant, and spent a lot of the novel manipulating Hazel. That doesn't quite scream friendship to me... ...more
Lidya Amalia Rahmania
Rating: 3.8/5

This is not retelling of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, instead an inspired by Conan Doyle’s character, imprinted into two young girls from 1934. A timeline before World War I, a rather peaceful time for young adults learning in boarding school typically built across the UK. I like both protagonist’ characterizations. Daisy Wells is a privileged stuck up aristocrat girl with too many admirers. Making her object of the envy of the sidekick, Hazel Wong.

Daisy was probably thinking

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
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, ebooks
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
Janete on hiatus due health issues
A very good first book in the series. Scribd.com English text, and translation for Portuguese + audio in English from Google Translate.

Synopsys: "Two friends form a detective agency—and must solve their first murder case—in this “sharp-witted debut” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) that is the first adventure in a brand-new middle grade mystery series set at a 1930s boarding school.

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends at Deepdean School for Girls, and they both have a penchant for solv
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming school mystery, but perhaps Daisy, the white protagonist, should be reminded that Racism Is Bad Manners, too. Sadly, Hazel, the Watson character, is portrayed as an unattractive, "self-hating" Chinese girl who has a school girl crush on the beautiful, brilliant, blonde haired, blue-eyed Daisy. While the arrogant Daisy finally comes to appreciate Hazel's detecting skills, Hazel never confronts the sometimes cruel abuse Daisy and the other white girls dish out. The only thing Ha ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, middle-grade
Even as a white person myself, I get really uncomfortable when white people write about characters with internalized racism. That was almost enough to make me stop, but I decided to go on, hoping that since it was a middle grade book, there would be a good enough turn out.

I simply had to stop when a bisexual woman left her lesbian lover for a man, and was then promptly murdered. I could see both ways this turned out, and as a lesbian, I didn't want to deal with either one of them. The idea that
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
3 stars.

I really enjoyed this book. I'd been wanting to read it for a long time, but I always forgot and started reading some other book. Some of it wasn't as I expected (more on that later), hence the 4.5 rating, but it was still a great book.

I had only one real problem: their "friendship". Daisy bosses Hazel around and treats her like a servant. Hazel just worships her and goes along with what Daisy says. Which is why I was happy when Hazel finally (sorta) stood up for herself. Daisy even actu
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it

What a great Holmes-Watson style of story, especially since it takes place in a girls school in the 1930s! Stevens has a visible love for the Golden Age of Crime fiction, and the tradition of boarding school stories, and uses these to create a brilliant story with a pair a compelling leads.

Hazel's voice caught me from the beginning, and although their investigation is great and expertly orchestrated by the author, I loved even more the relationship between the two girls, and how it trans
I appreciate that this is being faithful to the attitudes of the 1930s in the way its characters think about themselves and various cultures, but I'm also not sure that middle grade readers are best served by lines (written by the Chinese character) such as "Who ever heard of a Chinese Sherlock Holmes?". ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Would totally have DNF’ed if it wasn’t June’s pick for middle grade monthly. I really disliked everything about this book. The story was so ridiculous to me. The setting, an all girls boarding school, is my worst nightmare and those girls were absolutely horrible without ANY consequenties. Keeping the target audience in mind... kids may think this is normal behaviour and therefore the book was terrible problematic to me.
Gouri Verma
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved it!
One of my favourite things was the author’s writing style😊
This book kept me gripped from the start to the finish. And you will not be able to put it down once you start reading it❤️
There are a very few books which are unpredictable in case of murder mysteries! And this was one them!
I liked it very much!
Go for it...❤️😇
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Robin's books are: Murder Most Unladylike (Murder is Bad Manners in the USA), Arsenic for Tea (Poison is Not Polite in the USA), First Class Murder, Jolly Foul Play, Mistletoe and Murder, Cream Buns and Crime, A Spoonful of Murder, Death in the Spotlight and Top Marks for Murder. She is also the author of The Guggenheim Mystery, the sequel to Siobhan Dowd's The London Eye Mystery.

Robin was born i

Other books in the series

Murder Most Unladylike (9 books)
  • Arsenic for Tea (Murder Most Unladylike, #2)
  • First Class Murder (Murder Most Unladylike, #3)
  • Jolly Foul Play (Murder Most Unladylike, #4)
  • Mistletoe and Murder (Murder Most Unladylike, #5)
  • A Spoonful of Murder (Murder Most Unladylike, #6)
  • Death in the Spotlight (Murder Most Unladylike, #7)
  • Top Marks for Murder (Murder Most Unladylike, #8)
  • Death Sets Sail (Murder Most Unladylike #9)

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