Now that there are eleven days until the publication of Death Sets Sail, the final book in the Murder Most Unladylike series, I will be posting a review for each book in the series until August the 6th, when Death Sets Sail is released. The only exception to this is Mistletoe and Murder, which I will review at Christmas.
|July 27th||Murder Most Unladylike Review|
|July 28th||Arsenic for Tea Review|
|July 29th||First Class Murder Review|
|July 30th||Jolly Foul Play Review|
|July 31st||Cream Buns and Crime Review|
|August 1st||A Spoonful of Murder Review|
|August 2nd||The Case of the Missing Treasure Review|
|August 3rd||Death in the Spotlight Review|
|August 4th||Top Marks for Murder Review|
|August 5th||The Case of the Drowned Pearl Review|
|August 6th||My Predictions for Death Sets Sail – dissecting the blurb|
|August ???||Death Sets Sail Review|
Trigger Warnings: Ableism; Blood; Biphobia; Cheating; Bullying; Drowning (brief mention); Emesis; Fat shaming; Murder; Racism; Suicide (brief mention)
Although this book is officially a ‘children’s’ book, I do believe that any age can read it – I enjoy it as much now as I did five years ago, when I first read the series. In some ways, I feel like I understood and enjoyed the book more now that I am older than Daisy and Hazel in the series. When I first read the book, I was younger than Daisy and Hazel, but now that I am older than them, I can understand the story from both the ‘shrimps’ and the ‘big girls” perspectives.
Firstly, I love how this book is packed with suspense all the way through, from when Hazel first discovers the body to the scene in the cloakroom and the confrontation at the end of the book. Despite me knowing how the book will end, and the full solution to the murder of Miss Bell, I was still gripped all the way through, and I still suspected each suspect throughout. As I have read this book more than once, I could draw new connections throughout the book, which I haven’t been able to before. Although this is a very complex mystery, I still managed to guess the murderer very early on into the book the first time I read it (not that I expected it to become true – it was a wild guess, and to be honest, I was very shocked when the girls found it to be true!). Now, by re-reading the book, I do question how Daisy and Hazel didn’t add up the clues around the murderer quicker, as they did behave what I believe to be suspiciously after Miss Bell’s murder.
I know that this isn’t part of the plot, but I do think that the cover deserves a lot of attention. I love how it is so simple, yet so effective – the title with sillouhettes of important parts of the book. I do love it how any book in this series is always easy to spot in a bookstore! It was always so much fun walking into a bookstore, knowing that the next Murder Most Unladylike novel was out, and trying to spot the bright cover.
I do also love how we as readers are introduced to Deepdean in a way that makes us feel like we have always been a part of the school – not long after starting the book, I felt like I was familiar with all the girls, ‘shrimps’ and ‘big girls’ mentioned, which is really nice, especially progressing through the series when characters are relevant in more than one of the books. The map of Deepdean at the front of the book also helps me to visualise the route Daisy and Hazel take when they sneak around the school to detect.
Now that I have read most of the books in this series, I can see how Robin Stevens has dropped clues to what will happen in future books. For example, Hazel’s family dynamics are mentioned (which is very important in A Spoonful of Murder) and the Cheng family, who are very significant in Mistletoe and Murder (review coming at Christmas).
Overall, I really enjoyed this book – I loved how it was packed with suspense all the way through, even when Daisy and Hazel are writing down the first suspect list and grabbing motives out of thin air.
I would recommend this book to any mystery fans of any age – although murder is a big theme of this book, the actual murder itself is not described graphically, the girls make sense of it in their heads, as opposed to the murderer describing the murder.
Tomorrow will be my review on Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens.
Thank you for reading this post.