Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 into the genre. Because it is, quite possibly, the start of a very new and very lovely and very contemporary spin on the school story, despite the setting of 1930s England and tea houses and pashes.
Murder Most Unladylike is a (Daisy) Wells and (Hazel) Wong story. It’s a sort of hybrid of Angela Brazil meets Agatha Christie all mixed up with some Sherlockian tips and winks that made me snuggle down and read with a contented smile. It is a jacket potato on a winters day book; warm, satisfying, filling.
And can I tell you what I loved most about it? What made me actually adore and fall in love with it? It is Stevens’ kind and funny and lovely writing which features references to pashes and to Angela Brazil, but does it with a sort of love and respect and belief in the genre and what it can do when it’s done well (which it is here, very much so).
This is such a glorious book and it is one which has reinterpreted the school story for the contemporary reader and opened it up with a swift moving and accessible plot line. In Star Trek terms, it is the next generation as compared to the original series. It is very, very gorgeous. Daisy is glorious. Hazel is awesome. I want more, please. It’s as simple as that.
Murder Most Unladylike is published on June 5th by Random House, I would suggest we all save the date, yeah? I think that Wells and Wong are very definitely worth keeping an eye on.
15 thoughts on “Murder Most Unladylike : Robin Stevens”
That sounds right up my alley! Novels that combine school stories and mysteries are my drug of choice. Thanks for mentioning this! I’m so excited!
Yay! I’ve had wind of it for a while and just thought well that book sounds ideal. And it is!
Definitely putting this on my to-be-read list. Also adding it to my list of ‘cosy crime’ titles for a display at work. That way I can trick people into reading Girls Own without them even realising it 😉
I can’t tell you how much I love the idea of hidden Girls Own! Nice work 😉
Sounds like my kind of book.
Can’t wait to read this book, and I loved your review. “It is a jacket potato on a winters day book; warm, satisfying, filling.” Love it.
Can you tell I was hungry when I wrote it? 😉