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Murder Most Unladylike #6

A Spoonful of Murder

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The sixth mystery from the bestselling, award-winning author of Murder Most Unladylike.

When Hazel Wong's beloved grandfather passes away, Daisy Wells is all too happy to accompany her friend (and Detective Society Vice President) to Hazel's family estate in beautiful, bustling Hong Kong.

But when they arrive they discover something they didn't expect: there's a new member of the Wong family. Daisy and Hazel think baby Teddy is enough to deal with, but as always the girls are never far from a mystery. Tragedy strikes very close to home, and this time Hazel isn't just the detective. She's been framed for murder!

The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs, mysterious suspects and sinister private detectives to solve the murder and clear Hazel's name - before it's too late . . .

325 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 4, 2018

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About the author

Robin Stevens

49 books2,057 followers
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 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 going to be able to grow her own spectacular walrus moustache, she decided that Agatha Christie was the more achieveable option.

She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She then went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then worked at a children's publisher.

Robin lives in England with her husband and her pet bearded dragon, Watson.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 423 reviews
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,136 followers
July 13, 2018
Gorgeous setting, great detecting and the shining light that is Hazel Wong. This is almost rivalling First Class Murder as my all time favourite!

Can this series please go on forever?
Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 16 books1,425 followers
February 10, 2018
I'd missed Daisy and Hazel SO MUCH. This was so well researched and intricate and I'm just SO PROUD of Robin. I want 200 more of these books ASAP, please.
Profile Image for Daisy May Johnson.
Author 2 books163 followers
February 2, 2018
There was a point in reading this when the back of my neck started to tingle. It's not often that happens, but when it does, it's the sort of thing you need to pay attention to. And I think you've experienced it too; that little sensation that you are reading something that is kind of superlatively wonderful, and your whole body has realised it. A literary spider sense if you will. The voice that forms afterwards and whispers: this is good.

I had that with A Spoonful Of Murder. I had it in spades. Most specifically I had it with pages 98-103, if you'd like me to be very specific, but this book is just a delight from start to end. I am a fan of Stevens' work. I adored Murder Most Unladylike ( my review is here), and its sequels have been nothing but a vibrant joy. I even wrote about Murder Most Unladylike in my thesis and will bore you to death for hours on its nuanced representation of transgressive girlhood; and I love A Spoonful Of Murder with all my heart.

I really, really do. One of the things I love about my job is that I get to push good books at people. Not, I hasten to add, literally. I do not stand on street corners pushing books. I talk to people in my libraries and I share with them the books that are just classy and good and brilliant things. Stevens is at the top of her game here, because she takes risks and makes them work in a quite wonderful fashion. This isn't the same old same old framework, resting on its laurels. Hazel and Daisy are in Hong Kong and there's a murder and a kidnap to solve.

The relocation means that, for once, it's Daisy who's out of her depth and trying to figure out the ways of the world. It's deliciously done, without ever disempowering her, and can I tell you how difficult an act that is? To write and to never, ever, not even once, devalue nor disempower character? It's a rare, rare thing and one that is kind of beautiful and wonderful to read. It also speaks a lot about Stevens' trust in this series and her work. She doesn't mess this up, not once. Hazel is wonderful throughout, providing an introduction to her home city of Hong Kong and the intricacies of dim sum even as she's wrestling with the thought that she is, herself, a suspect.

Good books make me happy. Good series make me even happier. Stevens manages to make each of these accessible to new readers, but also to old, and every single paragraph is just a joyful and gorgeous thing. It's books like this that make me run out of superlatives.

My thanks to the publishers for a review copy.

Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,691 reviews860 followers
December 14, 2022
#1) Murder Most Unladylike ★★★☆☆
#2) Arsenic for Tea ★★★★☆
#3) First Class Murder ★★★★☆
#4) Jolly Foul Play ★★★★☆
#5) Mistletoe and Murder ★★★★☆
#7) Death in the Spotlight ★★★★★
#8) Top Marks for Murder ★★★★★
#9) Death Sets Sail ★★★★★

Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Hazel (mc) is Chinese; Daisy (mc) is a lesbian; sc with an amputated arm; Chinese scs.

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Profile Image for Veronique.
1,219 reviews165 followers
October 22, 2020

Seems I’m whizzing through this series, and this sixth instalment turned out to be the best one so far! Hazel is recalled to Hong Kong to mourn her grandfather, but when she arrives back home, with Daisy in tow, she finds that her world has been turned upside down and that danger is lurking very close indeed.

Stevens switches the usual roles here, making Daisy the ‘foreigner’, and one ‘overlooked’, to her great irritation, while poor Hazel has to deal with quite a lot. I loved seeing this reversal, pushing our girls’ relationship further by uncovering an important side of Miss Wong. The Hong Kong of this mid 1930s is fascinating too, and not just in contrast to England. In all, brilliant! :O)
Profile Image for Aleshanee.
1,390 reviews94 followers
April 12, 2019
Ich muss sagen, dass ich diese Krimireihen mit jungen Mädels als "Detektivinnen" mittlerweile echt sehr mag und gerade Daisy Wells und Hazel Wong haben auf eine besondere Weise mein Herz erobert. Eigentlich fast ein bisschen spröde, jede auf ihre Art, aber trotzdem ein unglaublich tolles Duo bei all ihren Ermittlungen, die sich perfekt ergänzen.

Dieser Band war ein kleines bisschen schwächer als die vorhergehenden finde ich, dabei waren die Voraussetzungen sehr spannend, denn dieses Mal ging es für die beiden nach Hongkong. Endlich lernt man die Heimat von Hazel kennen, die ja bisher in England das Gefühl der "Fremdheit" akzeptieren lernen musste - jetzt dafür die selbstbewusste, immer im Vordergrund stehende Daisy an ihrer Seite bzw. in ihrem Schatten zu sehen, ist eine völlig neue Erfahrung: für Hazel, für Daisy und auch für mich als Leser.

Erzählt wird ja wieder aus der Sicht von Hazel, die Schriftführerin der Detektei, und man merkt wie sie auflebt, jetzt, da sie selbst mal im Mittelpunkt steht. Dabei erfährt man aber auch einiges über ihr Leben in Hongkong, das geprägt ist durch Reichtum und einen Vater, für den sie als erstes Kind immer der Nabel der Welt war. Dass es jetzt nicht mehr so ist trifft sie sehr hart - diese Geschwistereifersucht als Thema hat mich nicht so ganz erreichen können, da ich es mit Hazel nicht so sehr in Einklang bringen konnte. Es wurde aber glaubhaft dargestellt und hat die Handlung auch unterstützt.

Die Spannung hat für mich erst so ab der Hälfte eingesetzt, dafür gab es wirklich viel zu entdecken! Gerade für das Lesealter ist ein wirklich interessanter Einblick in die Traditionen von China, die hier immer wieder in Details eingeflossen sind und erklärt wurden. Die Autorin sagt zwar im Nachwort, dass sie ein paar Dinge anpassen musste, aber im großen und ganzen sich an die Tatsachen gehalten hat, die sie aus ihren persönlichen Quellen erfahren hat. Auch für mich gab es noch einiges zu lernen und es war alleine schon ein Abenteuer, diese für uns doch fremde Kultur näher kennenzulernen. Das ist für Kids auf jeden Fall interessant und spannend!

Das Verbrechen betrifft ja dieses Mal Hazels Familie, deren Zusammenstellung schon etwas ungewöhnlich ist. Während Hazel ja hier Heimvorteil hat muss Daisy lernen die zweite Geige zu spielen und fügt sich nur ungerne in diese "niedere" Rolle. Dafür wächst aber auch ihre Achtung vor Hazel und erlebt sie zum ersten Mal auf einem ganz neuen Level. Die ganzen Eindrücke und kulturellen Unterschiede sind aber selbst für die aufgeweckte Daisy ein harter Brocken - natürlich schafft sie es auch hier, in ihrer pragmatischen Art zurecht zu kommen.

Der Fall war sehr verzwickt und es wurde auch richtig gefährlich für die beiden und an einigen Stellen fand ich es auch etwas abwegig - aber ich denke dass man sich da als Erwachsene zehnmal mehr Gedanken macht und es insgesamt auf jeden Fall stimmig war und ein rundes Bild ergeben hat.

Ich hatte jedenfalls wieder viel Spaß und hab mich gefreut, einen etwas tieferen Blick in die asiatisch-chinesische Kultur zu werfen und die Mädchen auf ihren Abenteuern zu begleiten.

© Aleshanee
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.6k reviews360 followers
February 19, 2018
Hazel and Daisy are going to Hong Kong! And you can already guess that their visit will be much more than what they came for!

I was so exciting about this book that I just couldn't wait and bought it during my trip in London. Yay for the book coming out in the week I was going to London. It is just so much fun to buy a book in the bookstore (especially during its release week), I so wish we had some good English bookstores here with the prices as they have in England (and not double, triple or even more of the price like English books are here).

This time our girls are going to Hong Kong. Hazel's grandfather has passed away, and her father would like her to be home for a while. Of course this is 1936, and they don't have all the awesome travel-methods we have these days, so she will miss the funeral + some other things, but she will be home for the mourning period. After a 30 day trip per boat (which to me sounds pretty epic though I may also get bored after a week or 2 :P) they will arrive home.

Of course Hazel quickly finds out that not everything has stayed the same. Her dear city has changed, but also her family. I was very much happy that she had Daisy with her. I am not sure what Hazel would have done if she didn't have her best friend with her during this trying period. Imagine coming home for a mourning period to find out your maid isn't there + not talking to you, to find out you have a little brother, and tons of other things. I can just imagine the shock.

And then the book is just starting, quite quickly things go awry when certain events happen and Hazel must find out who kidnapped her baby brother, who murdered her favourite person, and also clear her name (as something of hers was used in the murder). Yep, our girls are back in full detective mode. Though it isn't as easy as in England. The girls can barely go outside, all sorts of other things prevent them from detecting. But these girls just keep on going on, and will do anything they can to solve the mystery.

I had lots of fun seeing Hong Kong, I still want to go there one day, so imagine how happy I was going sightseeing through the wonderful descriptions of Hong Kong by Robin Stevens! Plus read some facts and interesting titbits about Hong Kong (like how stuff work for instance Western/Chinese medicine). And not only that, but also to read about the delicious foods (though I am not too sure about the chicken legs, but anything else is fair game to try out). I also loved reading about the temples, Hazel's home, and other stuff.

The mystery was a delight, though I didn't guess the real whodunnit until later, but well, at least I guessed one thing (or should I say 3 things) right, but I can't say that because of spoilers. I really loved seeing the mystery unfold (see it escalate), see the girls figure out various things about various suspects, getting timelines straight, and also head into even more danger than ever before (which was very exciting). Plus it was just the best to see Hazel take the reins for once. She deserves that as she is awesome and smart. I hope she will also take the lead in the next books. I get that Daisy is president, but come on, Hazel is just as good, if not better.

I wish I could have seen Daisy's look during the trip, as I am sure she pulled some great faces. :P

I have to say that I disliked the father so much. I get it is also a culture difference (the whole boys are just more important + how he wants to be seen in public), but I still just hated how he sprung Hazel's new halfbrother on her, how he seemed to just not see Hazel any more (and how he acted throughout this book), and I could go on. I really wanted to just smack the guy in his face for all he did. He expected her to just be happy and yay about it, but really, put yourself in her shoes. How would you feel if you come home, thinking it will be a mourning period, only to find out you have a new baby brother, who took your room, your maid, your father's attention, anything really. Would you be happy? Would you smile? Or would you do like Hazel. Be jealous, frustrated, and most of all sad about it.

Daisy, I am still on the fence about her. On the one hand she is a terrific friend, and she cares deeply for Hazel and she was really sweet for her during this book. She knew when to give Hazel time, and when to hold her and talk to her.
But on the other hand I get tired of how she thinks she is better, how she thinks she is everything, how she... well you get the idea. It just tires me out, I wish she would just let Hazel take the spotlight for once without complaining about it.

The ending was perfection and yes, I did cry a bit as I was just so happy with it.

Mm, I think I have said everything I wanted to write about, this was just too much fun to read. Great mystery, Hong Kong was so much fun.

I can't wait to see what the next book will bring and what kind of mystery the girls will have to solve there.

I would recommend this book (and series) to everyone!

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
January 14, 2023
Man I love this series so much. Each book just made me more attached to the characters. The writing is amazing. I can almost hear Daisy’s dialogue, with her amazing way of speaking, clearly in my head. The plot & location of this 1 was SUPERB. It was so nice being on Hazel’s home turf for once. We’ve seen her father before, but this was completely different & incredible. Hazel really shined while at home. She became the focus, & Daisy was NOT used to being ignored lol. It was good for her though. The whole story of this 1, & the connecting parts of the whole bigger mystery/crime were blended together effortlessly, & came about at a brilliant pace. Things that we learn even more about with Hazel’s family, her culture, Hong Kong itself..just gripping, & so engrossing. Was so shocked at the outcome. Daisy & Hazel may seem so different with their very different personalities, but now having books at both girls homes..you see how alike in many ways they & their lives/families are in some ways. HIGHLY recommend of course! BEAUTIFUL cover by Nina Tara too!💜
Profile Image for Peter.
Author 12 books305 followers
January 18, 2019
This is the fourth of the Murder Most Unladylike series I've read (although not the fourth in the series - naughty!). It is possibly my favourite so far. I love the Hong Kong setting and all the meticulously researched detail that Robin has got into the story. None of that weighs down what is another great murder mystery and whodunnit. And Hazel taking the lead as the chief detective, much to Daisy's chagrin!
Profile Image for Gaby.
300 reviews30 followers
February 27, 2021
Jedna z lepszych części moim zdaniem, urozmaicona bardzo odczuwalną kulturą chińską. Brawa dla autorki za research - polecam przeczytać notę na samym końcu, wiele wyjaśnia - bo odwaliła kawał dobrej roboty i w dużym stopniu oddała zachowanie ludzi, kulturę, kuchnię, nawyki i tradycje. Bardzo ciekawym zabiegiem było również wprowadzenie samego wątku powrotu do domu Hazel, przez co dziewczyna w końcu przestaje być popychadłem Daisy - mam nadzieję, że to nie spojler.

Jeszcze jedna sprawa - jak wcześniej pisałam, że zakończenie jest niezwykle szybko ucinane, tak tutaj było moim zdaniem trochę rozciągnięte (ze skrajności w skrajność, no pani autorko! ;P), ale zabieg jest zrozumiały ze względu na rozwój wypadków i rozwiązanie sprawy.
Profile Image for Gouri Verma.
139 reviews
April 22, 2021
Another superb mystery by our talented author “Robin Stevens”😇 This book was so good! The mystery was really good amd there was a twist in the starting too. This book sets in Hong Kong and to be frank I didn’t quite much liked the atmosphere of this book as compared to the other ones.....but that doesn’t makes this book any less good😊

I loved it❤️ This book took a bit of time to settle but once it did, I wasn’t able to put it down. The ending was unpredictable and there was a twist too.The twist will shakeeeee youuuu!
I really liked it❤️
Go for it....
Profile Image for Melanie.
69 reviews
February 10, 2018
Stevens’s best mystery so far! Seeing Hazel & Daisy in Hong Kong was an absolute joy. I loved that Hazel was able to take the lead when she would normally be in Daisy’s shadow and Daisy being forced to experience the role of the ‘sidekick’. Utterly wonderful.
Profile Image for Lotte.
245 reviews12 followers
May 8, 2018
Dit was echt mijn favoriet van de serie tot nu toe. (Echt, ook als je geen tien jaar bent is dit een fantastische reeks)
Profile Image for Il Filo di Arianna.
123 reviews334 followers
March 3, 2022
Finalmente ho ripreso a leggere questa serie, dopo anni che l'avevo lasciata in sospeso.
È stato bello ritornare nel mondo di Miss Detective, assieme a Hazel e Daisy, soprattutto con un cambio di scenario incredibile.
Questa volta siamo ad Hong Kong, e non più in Gran Bretagna, e questo cambiamento si è visto non solo nei luoghi e nelle tradizioni cinesi, ma anche nel capovolgimento del rapporto fra le due investigatrici: è Hazel ad essere la vera protagonista, solo lei parla e capisce il cantonese, e Daisy si ritrova, suo malgrado, ad essere la spalla.
Anche se non sempre le ha fatto piacere, si nota che il suo atteggiamento sta migliorando sempre più, ed è capace di stare al fianco di Hazel, quando ce n'è bisogno, mettendo (quasi) da parte il suo orgoglio.

Il libro è diviso in 6 parti e composto da capitoli molto brevi e scorrevoli, che si leggono senza problemi.
La risoluzione del caso è imprevedibile, ma, nel momento in cui si è capito tutto, ho in effetti notato che c'erano degli indizi all'inizio che potevano far capire il vero colpevole.

May, sorella di Hazel, dice che un giorno vorrà avere la sua società investigativa, ed è bello averlo letto ora, sapendo che Robin sta lavorando ad una serie con lei protagonista.
Ammiro la capacità della scrittrice di unire vari elementi molto importanti in una serie per ragazzi: il crimine, discorsi femministi, e tanta, tanta ricerca (la serie è ambientata negli anni Trenta del Novecento).

Non vedo l'ora di leggere il prossimo libro!
Profile Image for Sophie Crane.
3,612 reviews116 followers
March 31, 2021
In a Spoonful of Murder the girls get a boat back to Hong Kong because Hazel's granddad has dies, when they get there everything has changed and her maid has been murdered. So daisy and Hazel need to investigate.

I really like this series and in this one we get to know Hazel much better as she grows in confidence.
Profile Image for igusia.
148 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2021
Książka baaaaaaaaaardzo mi się podobała jednak brakowało mi tam tego czegoś co skradło by moje serce w całości. Bardzo polecam.
Profile Image for Iona Sharma.
Author 19 books110 followers
November 2, 2018
I had read the first in this series, Murder Most Unladylike, back in 2016, and thought it was ok but not overwhelming. The main reason I put the series down was a deep distaste for how Daisy treats Hazel. Several years and books later, I tried this one -- and it's very, very good! In this one, Hazel returns to Hong Kong with Daisy in tow to attend the mourning of her grandfather, and of course, a murder occurs. The murder mystery is compelling, but so is the setting - lovingly research 1930s Hong Kong - and the dynamics of Hazel's family, which is again depicted with loving care and attention. There's also a lot of beautiful character stuff about Hazel's return to Hong Kong: how she breathes out and relaxes at home, out of the all-white environment, among her own culture and people, and how she has nevertheless grown and changed for her time away, so she doesn't quite fit in the space she left behind.

I still think Daisy treats Hazel very badly and long for Hazel to come out from under her shadow! But this book convinces me that the author knows perfectly well that Daisy is loving and brave, but also amoral, egotistical and in this book particularly, fecklessly racist in the manner of clueless white people everywhere. It's a carefully-observed, well-written dynamic, and while I find it uncomfortable -- particularly as I have been, as Hazel is, the only non-white immigrant girl in a girls' public school -- I absolutely appreciate how well it's been done.
Profile Image for Linniegayl.
819 reviews21 followers
July 6, 2019
I absolutely loved the sixth entry in the series. It's an A for me, so five stars here. In this book Hazel and Daisy go far away from their English boarding school, all the way to Hong Kong. Hazel's grandfather has died, and though she will miss the funeral (travel by ship from England to Hong Kong does take awhile), she will be there to mourn with her family. And of course, Daisy goes along with Hazel.

When the two arrive at the family home Hazel has an unpleasant surprise. Her father's second wife (yes, he has two) has just given him a baby boy, Teddy. Hazel loves her two little half-sisters, but takes an immediate dislike to Teddy. All of her father's focus is now on Teddy, and her beloved maid has been given to Teddy.

Of course, as in the rest of the series, a murder occurs, and this one hits very close to home, as it appears someone may be framing Hazel for the murder.

I loved getting to meet all of Hazel's family. I also liked how things got turned about with Hazel and Daisy's detecting, as Hazel was the one familiar with the area, and could speak the language.

I can't wait to read the next in the series, and hope that eventually we'll get to see Hazel's two little sisters again.
January 2, 2022
My first book of the year!🤩🥳
This time Daisy and Hazel are on Hazel’s home turf - Hong Kong, and solving a complex case connected to her family. Hazel being deeply invested in the case and Daisy being out if her depth might hinder their deductions a bit but in the end the girls will triumph and the truth will be revealed.😉
As one of the previous cases was connected to Daisy’s family then I was waiting for a book set in Hong Kong. It was quite inevitable for us to better understand Hazel and her background. I love that the author has greatly researched 1930s Hong Kong and has drawn a wonderful picture of the life and atmosphere back in that time. I found the setting and culture rather interesting and well imagined!😊
It’s already my 7th book in W&W world and the inevitable ending of the series is looming nearer…Sad to see it end but can’t really help speeding through this fun middle grade murder mystery series…😰
Profile Image for marysia.
20 reviews3 followers
February 24, 2022
Książka „Zabrodnia na receptę” jest równie wspaniała, co inne tomy z serii „Zbrodnia niezbyt elegancka” (przynajmniej te, które czytałam). Charakterystyczne dla tej serii, krótkie rozdziały powodują szybkość czytania. Cieszę się, że na ostatnich stronach są wyjaśnienia, niektórych wyrazów. Bardzo ciekawa fabuła sprawia, że od lektury nie można się oderwać. Zagadka jaką główne bohaterki mają do rozwiązania jest niezwykle ciekawa. Akcja w tej książęce jest tak wspaniale opisana, że aż brak mi słów. Pod koniec był wyczekiwany przeze mnie zwrot akcji. Ogromnie polecam tą książkę wszystkim, którzy lubią kryminały, ale także tym ,którzy dopiero zaczynaja swoją przygodę z książkami kryminalnymi.
Profile Image for Ashley Lambert-Maberly.
1,175 reviews6 followers
December 26, 2022
This seemed much more grown-up than the prior books (as befits its aging protagonists, I suppose), and the new setting of Hong Kong and a much greater prominence for Hazel certainly helps. It's yet another one I tore through, anxious to find out what happened. Nothing like a baby in jeopardy to help amp up the tension!

(Note: I'm a writer, so I suffer when I offer fewer than five stars. But these aren't ratings of quality, they're a subjective account of how much I liked the book: 5* = an unalloyed pleasure from start to finish, 4* = enjoyed it, 3* = readable but not thrilling, 2* = disappointing, and 1* = hated it.)
Profile Image for wikula.
89 reviews9 followers
July 22, 2022
Ta część podobała mi się najmniej ze wszystkich, które do tej pory przeczytałam :((
Doceniam bardzo przybliżenie kultury Hazel! Odkrywanie chińskich zwyczajów było wielką przyjemnością. Z radością obserwuje to jak bohaterki dorastają na przestrzeni tych wszystkich tomów. Jak zawsze bawiłam się świetnie i bardzo polecam tą serię.
Profile Image for Natalie.
90 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2022
5/5 to było takie dobre... Zupełnie inne niz poprzednie dlatego że tutaj narratorką Hazel mogła przedstawić nam bardziej siebie swoje uczucia i zdanie bo na tym się ta książka skupiała I DZIĘKI BOGU ŻE TAK BYŁO OH MY GOD
Profile Image for Nina Hayes.
43 reviews
July 31, 2021
I really enjoyed this book as it has a really good mystery!☺️I also loved the way it was set in Hong Kong🇭🇰🎎⛩
Profile Image for Jenthe.
379 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2022
I just love this series, it is so much fun. Great to see Hazel coming into her own in this story, and to be introduced to Hong Kong and its culture by her!
Profile Image for Prudence and the Crow.
120 reviews39 followers
March 13, 2018

How Robin Stevens keeps these coming at such pace, and yet still with such depth, development and detail, I can't imagine, but this is a wonderful continuation of the adventures of Hazel and Daisy, and I absolutely adored it.

Hong Kong flies off the page as deftly as Deepdean and Cambridge did in the earlier novels - Hazel comes absolutely into her own in a way that shows perfectly the value of first person narration - everything about her tone and behaviour sits that much more comfortably when she has this opportunity to investigate things literally on her home turf. The ways in which her relationship with Daisy evolves as a result of this switching places are not always obvious, and are often more subtle even than Hazel herself realises, which, for the overthinking reader, is a real bonus.

For that though, I'm also astonished at how much Stevens does in terms of plot. The sizeable cast of characters are each perfectly drawn, and the list of suspects is broad and varied. It kept me guessing, even when I thought I had a fair suspicion, and to deal with some frankly rather nasty things in what is, still, a book aimed at young people, in the way that it does is basically genius.

This is detective fiction at the top of its authorial game, with characters I can't wait to read more about. On top of that, to be able to trust in the history and authority of the voice, knowing that Stevens really, truly does her homework and has excellent sources behind everything (and tells you all about this part of the process at the end of the book), makes this, for all its thrills, also a strangely relaxing read. Just, really well done. I can't wait for Book 7.

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