Friday, 6 June 2014

Review: Murder Most Unladylike

Murder Most Unladylike
Publication Date: June 5th 2014           
Publisher: Corgi Childrens     
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there's more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), 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?


Oh, Murder Most Unladylike, you were fun. Think a mix of a younger Veronica Mars and Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. Although it's totally different from Veronica Mars in various ways (investigation skills, for a start), it just had that little snark and humour to it that reminded me of the essence of the show. But, I'd say it was more Nancy Drew and Gallagher Girls because of the easy reading. the writing style flowed well, and continued to flow well, there was no stop and starts, it kept me entertained the whole way and the humour, that's usually there to break it up a little, just added to the story and made it even better. I don't even know if it was unintentional or not, but either way, it worked.

The whole thing just worked, and I really did love everything about it. But, you know I love mysteries and crime and murder most, and if I'm honest, I've never read one quite like this. We're stuck in a boarding school for girls in 1934, it has an old-school vibe and feels pretty authentic, it had this buzz to it and comradely and competition and banter that you'd expect from a bunch of girls. Like a life full of sleepovers with your besties. It was fully girl-power, even if there is a little tension from and between our two main characters.

We have a POC main character, along with a stereotypical British "English Rose" main character that you don't read from, but get to know through the investigation through our real main Hazel Wong. She's had a big adjustment moving to England, learning the customs and slang, and also always coping with sly remarks about her country. I get it, because of the era and time, but still, she's one tough cookie. A little pushover maybe when it comes to Daisy, but you see both Hazel's and Daisy's character growth as it goes along. Which was good in the way it was handled, and at the right turning point with the mystery because for a while there I didn't think there was going to be any, and you know, I was root for Hazel to finally stick up for herself.
The mystery itself was a simple one, I wouldn't call it complicated or that shocking since there were only so many suspects there could be. As I said, we're in a boarding house, and the only ones with means and ability to do what they did would be the adults, obviously. Still, I didn't guess who it was and I didn't even try like I usually do since It was fun to just read and not over complicate the clues like I usually do. That said, the murderer is both the least and most character you would suspect. ;)

With no romance, a friendship, a good mystery and a little strangeness, Murder Most Unladylike was a quick, light and quirky story about two girls, two murders, one murderer and a boarding house full of suspects.

Rating: 4/5