Thursday, 2 August 2018

Review: A Spoonful of Murder - Robin Stevens

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens, published by Puffin on 4th January 2018

Goodreads synopsis:
When Hazel Wong's beloved grandfather passes away, Daisy Wells is all too happy to accompany her friend (and Detective Society Vice President) to Hazel's family estate in beautiful, bustling Hong Kong.

But when they arrive they discover something they didn't expect: there's a new member of the Wong family. Daisy and Hazel think baby Teddy is enough to deal with, but as always the girls are never far from a mystery. Tragedy strikes very close to home, and this time Hazel isn't just the detective. She's been framed for murder!

The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs, mysterious suspects and sinister private detectives to solve the murder and clear Hazel's name - before it's too late . . .

'A Spoonful of Murder' is the sixth instalment in the Murder Most Unladylike series. Oh how I adore these books! They are sooo good and such a treat to read. Everything else just fades into the background when I'm reading about Daisy and Hazel.

The story is set in Hong Kong in 1936. It was interesting to see the whole book set on non-English soil and how this affects the behaviour of the characters. With Hazel back with her family (Daisy in tow), Hazel is suddenly the one who is more in charge as she knows the language and the culture. It was strange to see Daisy having to take a backseat for once as normally she is always barrelling ahead but she is now on slightly uncertain footing. I absolutely love Hazel, so I enjoyed seeing her leading the investigation and growing in confidence throughout the book. The exchange of roles between the two is well written and really well done. I honestly sometimes forget that the two girls are only fourteen because they seem much more mature than that with everything they have had to face together.

I also loved learning more about Hazel's family and the ways and rituals of Hong Kong society. Her little sisters, May and Rose are very sweet too and I wonder if there is potential for a future spin-off starring them.   

The mystery was deliciously intriguing and yielded a lot of surprises. Robin Stevens always ensures that the books are well plotted so I'm never able to guess the outcome which makes for even better reading. I'm tempted to say that this was my favourite book in the series so far. Impossible to put-down, full of puzzles and intrigue and wonderfully written. Stevens does it again! I hope we have many more Wells and Wong adventures still to come.
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