Friday 7 August 2015

First Class Murder, Robin Stevens

Pages: 315
Publisher: Corgi
Release Date: 30th July 2015
Edition: UK paperback, purchased

Other Titles in this Series: Murder Most Unladylike, Arsenic for Tea

Daisy’s eyes lit up. ‘Oh, Hazel, we are up against an extremely cunning murderer – a worthy opponent for our third case! I have the feeling that this may be the Detective Society’s most exciting adventure yet!’

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are taking a holiday on the famous Orient Express. From the moment the girls step aboard, it’s clear that everyone in the first-class carriage has something to hide.

Then there is a scream from one of the cabins, and a wealthy heiress is found dead. But the killer has vanished – as if into thin air…

Daisy and Hazel are faced with their first locked-room mystery – and with competition from several other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case.

Hazel and Daisy are stepping aboard the Orient Express for a well-deserved holiday from being detectives with Mr Wong. Until there’s a mysterious murder, that is.

First of all: I want to go on the Orient Express, always have done, and now I want to even more (weirdly). Just had to get that out of the way.

The sudden death of Mrs Georgiana Daunt sends those in the Calais to Istanbul carriage into a tail spin. There’s a murderer among them and even though it’s the most difficult case Hazel and Daisy have faced yet, they’re determined to be the first to crack the case. As well as being forbidden to detect by Mr Wong and being closely watched by a surprising familiar face on the train, they also have to contend with a locked-room murder, lots of big personalities for suspects and confusing evidence.

But solve it they did. It was really cool to see Hazel prove to her dad that she knows what she’s doing and that she’s not just a follower of Daisy as she often gets accused of throughout the novel. We also got to learn a little more about Mr Wong (there was one snippet of blasé information that Hazel shared which threw me for a loop – lots of Googling ensued) and it hinted at how Hazel would have been brought up before coming to Deepdean. And sadly, her and her dad were still faced with racism, even in the elite carriages of the Orient Express – a holiday that requires wealth and luxury. It continues to make me sad, but I’m glad it's there. I hope that maybe some kids reading this who might have been brought up with racist attitudes in their households will see how disgusting it is when reading through hazel’s eyes. We can only hope!    

Once again I failed to solve the murder – I’ll never make it as a member of the Detective Society… - and thoroughly enjoyed it. First Class Murder is a charming, funny and addictive instalment in the Wells and Wong Mysteries and I’m ready for the next one, please and thank you.


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