This book reminded me very much of Agatha Christie´s Miss Marple. Only that I LOVE Miss Marple and how she solves her criminal cases. Murder Most Unladylike was either not for me, or I read it at the wrong time. It took me a very long time to read it, which is quite unusual for me, and in the end, I was not convinced. I missed the special something. Sure, you will find some very hilarious dialogues and scenes in this book, but else?

Murder Most Unladylike
by Robin Stevens
Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries#1
Publisher Puffin on February 18, 2016
Genre Crime
Pages 368
Format Hardcover
Source Library

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have started their own detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, but they´re struggling to find any real mysteries to solve. (Lavinia´s missing tie doesn´t count). All that is about to change when Hazel discovers the Science Mistress lying dead in the Gym.  And the mystery only deepens when the body disappears before the girls can alert anyone. Can the detective duo not only solve the murder but prove that there was a murder in the first place – before the police get there first? Will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
Hazel and her friend Daisy love to investigate things. No matter if it is something that went missing like a pair of shoes or a tie or a human. But when Hazel realizes at what she is looking beside her feet, she knows by instinct that something really bad has happened at her school. The only thing is, minutes later it looks as if nothing ever happened. There is no corps and her friend Daisy is close to her opinion that nothing had happened. But what about the blood?

If you are a fan of Miss Marple, this novel could be something for you. Good, the writing style is a bit dry, there are words in it that sound strange although they might have been quite normal around the time this story is set, but other than that? Not really funny or thrilling. Robin Stevens writes about two girls at a boarding in England who love nothing more but to solve crime mysteries. But don´t think that they would be equal. Sure, they both have parents who have money, but else?

Life around 1900 was completely different from what we know today. But some things apparently never change. And so is the lifestyle, that is shown in this novel, not only a bit weird, but also sometimes more than strange. The figures behave and speak in the way people used to do it back then and that sounds, on one hand, strange, on the other, it is very authentic. But it couldn´t save the book from becoming more and more boring and dull. I was, to be honest, glad the moment I had finished it.

Daisy and Hazel couldn´t be more opposite as they are. While Daisy is a rich, blond beauty (yep, the cliché is calling) who is used to get everything she wants the way she wants it and in an instant. Is Hazel the grey mouse nobody bothers to look at twice. But there is also something you, as a reader, notice almost immediately. Between the two girls seems to be some kind of rivalry. Daisy needs to know everything right away and gets really upset if she finds out that Hazel knows something before her.

The more I watched those two, the more I´ve got the impression that, at first sight, they might be friends, but on second sight, you notice that Daisy uses Hazel to do all the things she doesn´t like to do herself. And with the rules to obey in 1934 and the fact, that not every girl is from society or even equal to the rest, that impression became a sad and bitter undertone.

Well, again. Either this style isn´t mine, or it was just not the right time for me to read it. I know that some are very thrilled that this series does exist, but I am not among those. At least not after reading this novel. To dry, too boring, and sometimes way too confusing. So, for now, I stopped reading the Wells & Wong series. But who knows? I might go back to it another time. For now, no recommendation from my side. Sorry.

Happy reading

Deutsche Rezension

Die ganze Geschichte hat mich sehr an die Miss Marple Fälle erinnert. Nur das mir diese deutlich besser gefallen und mich auch weit mehr unterhalten haben. Zugegeben, es gibt in diesem Buch mehrere köstliche Dialoge und ebenso gelungene Szenen. Aber sonst ist das Ganze doch eher langezogen und wenig überraschend. Eher langweilig. Trocken und alles andere als spannend. Ja, es passiert viel und gemessen an dem Fakt, das die Handlung um 1930 herumspielt, der Ausdruck und Stil auch absolut passend. Aber mir hat das gewisse Etwas gefehlt. Das Leichte, dass Unterhaltsame das sich aus den Situationen heraus normalerweise von ganz allein ergibt. Das ist hier nicht der Fall.

Daisy und Hazel werden als Freundinnen bezeichnet. Doch je mehr man sich in die Geschichte liest, umso deutlicher wird: Hier sind eigentlich zwei Rivalinnen am Werk. Bei Daisy hat man immer das Gefühl, sie muss nicht nur alles und jeden in ihrer Umgebung kontrollieren, sondern auch dass sie alles und jeden um sich herum ausnutzt. Alles, was sie selbst nicht tun will, delegiert sie an andere. Aber nicht auf die freundliche Art. Und dass Hazel oftmals Dinge weiß, die Daisy noch nicht weiß, das treibt sie förmlich zur Weißglut. Hat mir nicht gerade gefallen. Zumal es dem Roman eine etwas bitteren Beigeschmack gibt.

Das Hazel und Daisy noch dazu als charakterlich und vom Aussehen her als totale Gegenstücke beschrieben werden, das war nur am Anfang interessant. Später wurde es zum reinsten Klischee. Denn Daisy ist die reiche, adelige und blonde Schönheit, während Hazel, eher als graue Maus dargestellt wird, schade. Wirklich schade.

Entweder war der Stil einfach nichts für mich, oder ich hab das Buch zum falschen Zeitpunkt gelesen. Na ja, vielleicht greif ich in der Zukunft noch mal zu einem Titel aus dieser Serie. Jetzt kann ich leider keine Empfehlung für das Buch aussprechen. Traurig, aber vielleicht klappt es beim nächsten Buch. Wann auch immer das gelesen wird.

Robin Stevens
Robin Stevens ©Alexandra Dao

Although born in California, Robin Stevens grew up in a college in Oxford, next to the home of Alice in Wonderland. 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 realized that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. 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 something detecting herself (she didn´t). She went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then she worked at a children´s publisher. Robin is now a full-time author, and her books are both award-winning and bestselling. She lives in Oxford.



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