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Murder Is Bad Manners

(Murder Most Unladylike Mystery #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  6,731 ratings  ·  969 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
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published June 5th 2014)
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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)
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.

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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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
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
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 ...more
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!

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
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
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 ...more
Lidya Amalia Rahmania

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 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
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.
Kate (infinitelynovel)
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...
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
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Delightful! This is exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.
Katie Lumsden
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this was thoroughly delightful, a well written and entertaining murder mystery with great characterisation. Just such good fun.
Michelle Harrison
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
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
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
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.

L.H. Johnson
You may know by now that I have a thing for school stories. School stories are one of the great joys of children's literature in that they do what they do so well. They tell a story in a frame which is familiar to the majority of children, and they do it with a sort of glorious constancy irrespective of date of publication. There is a part of me that wants to see Murder Most Unladylike read with books like The Princess of the Chalet School or Beswitched because it fits so comfortably and solidly ...more
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 ...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.
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alexa by: Daphne (Illumicrate)
Shelves: read-in-2016
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
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting for 'Murder Most Unladylike' is 1934 at Deepdean School for Girls, where Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are two third form pupils.

Daisy, 'one of those dainty, absolutely English girls with blue eyes and golden hair', and Hazel, an arrival from Hong Kong part way through the second term, decide, on the initiative of the former, to form a Detective Society to investigate any untoward incidents that might happen at the school.

They kept the venture secret and even their friends in the same
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not resist starting my mystery reading early. An absolute treat, dynamic writing combined with excellent characters and the dramas of a girls boarding school in the 1930s. The murder mystery aspect was rather exciting too, and the characters did not act completely outside the realm of cunning thirteen year olds.
✨leena (bookaholic)✨
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, the ending of this book just got an extra star.

This book was just so fun to read, and I loved how the mystery was plotted.
I also loved the friendship between Hazel and Daisy, and I will definitely read the next one.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This honestly wasn’t as bad as it felt like it was at some points. It’s a 4 star story but the historical inaccuracies and weird messages it gives to younger readers, I needed to drop a star.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Sat and read the whole of this in one go - such a lazy day today! Great fun.
AJ Hurst
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started this, I was full of trepidation. After all, I love Agatha Christie and devoured them as a child and had read that Robin was heavily influenced by her writing. Initially I was worried, I didn't like the start ... but then ... Oh my word, I was captivated by Hazel and Daisy's adventures and their unravelling of the murders at Deepdean. The writing is captivating and the story is so cleverly woven together with clues. The 1930s setting is brilliant and the writing uses vocabulary ...more
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
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Around the Year i...: Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens 1 23 Apr 15, 2016 04:14PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Murder Most Unladylike Mystery (9 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)
  • A Spoonful of Murder (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #6)
  • Death in the Spotlight (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #7)
  • Top Marks for Murder (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #8)
  • Murder Most Unladylike Book 9
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