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Murder Most Unladylike

(Murder Most Unladylike #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  11,746 ratings  ·  1,430 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 and clicked "look inside" the paperback edition of Murder Most Unladylike, then searched for the word "biscuit" and yes, they d…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)
hhertzof Each book covers a single term or a single holiday or trip, so they're aging maybe a little faster than the Chalet School girls.…moreEach book covers a single term or a single holiday or trip, so they're aging maybe a little faster than the Chalet School girls.(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  11,746 ratings  ·  1,430 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
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
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
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, but they have to prove that a murder happened in the first place.

This was a fast read and so easy to fall into, making it such an enjoyable reading expe
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  (not getting friends updates) 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
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
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!

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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
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
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.
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 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: ebooks, read-in-2015
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
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
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Delightful! This is exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.
Michelle Harrison
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this first foray into Deepdean School for Girls. In Murder Most Unladylike, Robin Stevens has recreated everything I found so addictive, as a younger reader, about the Malory Towers and St Clere's books, but with a fresh detective twist.

I loved the characters of Hazel and Daisy who team up to solve their first serious mystery together: the murder of a teacher, Miss Bell. As a 'foreign girl', Hazel's perceptions of the mad English girls waving around hockey sticks and trying to
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are students at the Deepdean School for Girls in 1934, where nothing very interesting happens. Just in case, Daisy has formed a secret detective agency with her best friend Hazel as Watson to Daisy's Sherlock Holmes. At first the only case they solve is the mystery of Lavinia's tie but they have their eye on the teachers' love lives, specifically following their handsome art teacher, known as "The One" by his devoted students. Then Hazel discovers Science Mistress and ...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.
This book is a perfect mix of the classic crime fiction of Christie and the fun of the Chalet School books (a classic). This is clearly the start of a classic series that I can't wait to continue reading. Great female characters - reference to so many classic crime novels - and beautiful storytelling. ...more
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
Daphne (Illumicrate)
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, there
Emma Rose Ribbons
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 a ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, mystery
This was delightful! Hazel and Daisy are such lovable characters. I didn’t want to put this down and I will definitely be proceeding with the series.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong start a detective society, they never expect to have a real case, that is until Hazel finds the dead body of their former science teacher, Ms. Bell lying on the gym floor.
What I liked about this book:
The mystery was well-developed, complex, and took a variety of twists and turns.
The friendship dynamic between Daisy and Hazel was interesting and realistic.
The main and secondary characters had unique personalities and were all interesting in their own way.
The writi
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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 (Wells & Wong, #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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