Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Jolly Foul Play, Robin Stevens

Pages: 345
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 24th March 2016
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have returned to Deepdean for a new school term, but nothing is the same. There’s a new Head Girl, Elizabeth Hurst, and a team of Prefects – and these bullying Big Girls are certainly not good eggs.

Then, after the fireworks display on Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found – murdered.

Many girls at Deepdean had reason to hate Elizabeth, but who might have committed such foul play? Could the murder be linked to the secrets and scandals, scribbled on scraps of paper, that are suddenly appearing around the school? And with their own friendship falling to pieces, how will Daisy and Hazel solve this mystery?

The fourth Wells and Wong Mystery is another stonking case for the Detective Society, with more danger, tension and darkness than Hazel and Daisy have encountered so far.

Jolly Foul Play takes us back to a very different Deepdean in the aftermath of the murder of Miss Bell in Murder Most Unladylike. Most of the teachers have been replaced and there’s a new Head Girl and she has a band of prefects to carry out her horrible deeds. All of the younger years are scared of them and they rule the school. Until the Head Girl is murdered and everything changes.

I loved the tension between the girls at Deepdean. Suddenly the younger girls have just as much power as the Big Girls and the whole school is starting to question whether Elizabeth’s death was actually an accident. The girls started to turn on each other, everyone was on edge and Daisy and Hazel’s friendship started to fracture. I’m not going to ruin what goes on between Daisy and Hazel, but it was the stickiest situation they’ve been in together so far and this sounds strange, but it really brought out their personalities, in a way.

But there were also some really brilliant topics brought into the conversation: the rising unrest in Europe in 1935, the persecution of Jewish people by the Nazis, the pressure on the Deepdean girls to succeed (whether that be in education or in marriage), the taboos of polite society and the unescapable fear of the Head Girl holding your deepest, darkest secrets over your head.

Jolly Foul Play is another amazingly fun, charming and compelling mystery. I could read about Hazel and Daisy and their adventures for ever.

Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!


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