Archives for category: Robin Stevens

Image result for what manner of murder christopher william hill

Published by Orchard Books.

I am in the middle of this – having started it just last night and, as always with Christopher’s books, I am loving it.

This, I hope, is to be the start of a long series of detective novels. Funny, well written and frankly, brilliant.

The Bleakley twins have returned once more to their Aunt and Uncle at Bleakley Manor along with their new friend Oliver Davenport – the Poor Unfortunate, to stay for the Michaelmas break. There they meet up with their cousin Loveday, back from school…

‘But what if a girl doesn’t want to hire a copy for a shilling?’ asked Horatio.

Loveday smiled serenely and sliced the air with her hockey stick. ‘I generally menace them until they do,’ she said. ‘It’s supply and demand. I supply the magazine and then I demand money for it.

The mysteries begin on arrival: The much favoured butler has gone, as has the old footman and the replacements don’t come up to scratch, then there is (of course) a murder…

The characters are eccentric and rather wonderful – as are their descriptions….

‘The specimen on display was hunched at the shoulders and his large eyes seemed to stick out like organ stops…’

The Great Aunt, is in someways perhaps the best supporting character…though I’m not certain…

‘I suppose you must be the Poor Unfortunate.’

‘Yes ,’ replied Master Oliver Davenport.

and a little later…

‘I have written Poor Unfortunates into my books,’ said the Great Aunt .

‘They always die.’

and then…

‘If you call me Auntie again I will write you as a character in my next book and I will make quite certain that you die a slow and painful death.’

A mystery of the old fashioned English sort…unconventional characters, a  a clutch of heroes and a determined heroine a snake, an Indian scorpion and pineapple cubes!

I had forgotten pineapple cubes…used to love them…

For those who enjoy Robin Steven’s books. I hope and trust this new series will have as much success as hers. If this first book is anything to go by – it certainly will.

The cover, I’m afraid, doesn’t ‘do it’ for me…however, as you know, you shouldn’t judge any book by its cover…certainly not this one.

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Published by Puffin Books.

Some of you may have read The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd, some years ago. This volume continues the adventures of Ted Spark – just three months after he solved the mystery of what happened to Salim, his cousin who, (if you didn’t guess, or know) disappeared off the London Eye. This is Ted’s second mystery – set around the theft of a picture from the Guggenheim museum in New York.

I have dipped into The London Eye Mystery, but haven’t yet managed to read it; it sells itself by word of mouth, and I do like to encourage new good books. I have read enough though to be happy to include it in my piles, with the notation that though not read by me yet, I believe it to be good. I will be reading it very soon; I loved The Guggenheim Mystery – its brilliant and extremely well written.

Ted Sparks is rather a unique character – and having a trip to New York to see Salim should be a holiday to remember, but not for his aunt being arrested for theft….

Robin Stevens is the author of the Wells and Wong detective novels.  There are six so far, and are very distinctive cover wise, with very bright covers. I have read the first in the series (I have too many books to read to try them all) – and wrote a post about it some time ago. This is very different – set mainly in New York, and is a brilliant bit of deduction.

So, for all those potential Poirots, Christies, Holmeses, Chestertons e.t.c that are out there – do read the Wells and Wong books, but start with The London Eye Mystery (Siobhan Dowd), then this and then disappear into Murder Most Unladylike. They will keep you out of mischief for some time to come!

Do remember, though, to read as wide a range of authors as possible – it is very easy to just follow one; only to miss out on new potentially superb authors. Its important for your health to eat a wide ranging diet, the same is true for reading – your English will improve if you read many different authors…(they use different words, and their use of language is different)…. It makes reading more interesting and food, quite extraordinary…

The titles in the Wells & Wong series so far run to six:

Murder Most UnladylikeArsenic for Tea, First Class Murder, Jolly Foul Play, Mistletoe and Murder and Cream Buns and Crime.

There are also two mini volumes: The Case of the Blue Violet and The Case of the Deepdean Vampire.