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 solving mysteries. In fact, outspoken Daisy is a self-described Sherlock Holmes, and she appoints wallflower Hazel as her own personal Watson when they form their own (secret!) detective agency. The only problem? They have nothing to investigate.
But that changes once Hazel discovers the body of their science teacher, Miss Bell—and the body subsequently disappears. She and Daisy are certain a murder must have taken place, and they can think of more than one person with a motive.
Determined to get to the bottom of the crime—and to prove that it happened—before the killer strikes again, Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects, and use all the cunning, scheming, and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
Previously published as Murder Most Unladylike in the UK.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|
|Series:||Wells & Wong Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Lexile:||910L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
About the Author
Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in Oxford, England, across the road from the house where Alice of Alice in Wonderland lived. Robin has been making up stories all her life. She spent her teenage years at boarding school, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She studied crime fiction in college and then worked in children’s publishing. Robin now lives in London with her pet bearded dragon, Watson.
Read an Excerpt
Murder Is Bad Manners
This is the first murder that the Wells & Wong Detective Society has ever investigated, so it is a good thing Daisy bought me a new casebook. The last one was finished after we solved The Case of Lavinia’s Missing Tie. The solution to that, of course, was that Clementine stole it in revenge for Lavinia punching her in the stomach during lacrosse, which was Lavinia’s revenge for Clementine telling everyone Lavinia came from a broken home. I suspect the solution to this new case may be more complex.
I suppose I ought to give some explanation of ourselves, in honor of the new casebook. Daisy Wells is the president of the Detective Society, and I, Hazel Wong, am its secretary. Daisy says that this makes her Sherlock Holmes, and me Watson. This is probably fair. After all, I am much too short to be the heroine of this story, and who ever heard of a Chinese Sherlock Holmes?
That’s why it’s so funny that it was me who found Miss Bell’s dead body. In fact, I think Daisy is still upset about it, though of course she pretends not to be. You see, Daisy is a heroine-like kind of person, and so it should be her that these things happen to.
Look at Daisy and you think you know exactly the sort of person she is—one of those dainty, absolutely English girls with blue eyes and golden hair; the kind who’ll gallop across muddy fields in the rain clutching a hockey stick and then sit down and eat ten cinnamon rolls at tea. I, on the other hand, bulge all over like Bibendum the Michelin Man; my cheeks are moony-round and my hair and eyes are stubbornly dark brown.
I arrived from Hong Kong partway through seventh grade, and even then, when we were all still shrimps (shrimps, for this new casebook, is what we call the little sixth- and seventh-grade girls), Daisy was already famous throughout Deepdean School. She rode horses, was part of the lacrosse team, and was a member of the Drama Club. The Big Girls, which is what we call the girls in the top grades, took notice of her, and by May the entire school knew that the head girl herself—Deepdean’s most important Big Girl—had called Daisy a “good sport.”
But that is only the outside of Daisy, the jolly-good-show part that everyone sees. The inside of her is not jolly-good-show at all.
It took me quite a while to discover that.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book as soon as I heard of it because it’s a middle-grade murder mystery set in the 1930s and I can’t think of anything more perfect! I’m not even sure if he’s read it yet, but I loved it. First, let me mention the cover, because, hello, it’s lovely! I love the color scheme and the graphic style and the fun fonts. Had I seen this in a store, I never would have been able to resist taking it home with me that day. Hazel Wong narrates the story – this is her second year at Deepdean School and she is the secretary of the Wells and Wong Detective Society. Hazel is smart and a sincere friend to Daisy, despite Daisy’s tendency to take advantage of her friend and be a total prat at times (though at least Hazel is aware of this!) I wasn’t keen on Hazel being so down on her self-image, but it’s not hard to imagine an eighth-grader from China feeling like she doesn’t fit in with a bunch of English girls. Daisy Wells is headstrong, clever and smart, though she is careful to hide her intelligence because no one likes a brain and she often finds it useful to glide under the radar. She’s beautiful, popular and manipulative, especially with Hazel, but in the end, she proves that she values their friendship and Hazel’s devotion to Daisy brought me around to her side. The plot kept me guessing as we learn about the various teachers at the school and the alibis the girls seek out for them. In hindsight, if I’d really given it thought, I could have figured out who the murderer was, but I was content to ride along with the girls and no one jumped out at me until the story revealed it. I loved the 1930s boarding school setting (please tell me I’m not the only one who used to fantasize about boarding school as a kid) and it was interesting to read about some of the prejudices Hazel faces because of her Chinese heritage. I look forward to the next book in the series and I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a fun murder mystery (yes, murder can be fun? I mean, like, not real murder of course! But there aren’t a lot of gory details!) and an overall light, but engrossing read.