Title: Arsenic For Tea
Author: Robin Stevens
Published: January 29th 2015
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Crime
Source: Paperback purchased from Waterstones
Book Blurb (Goodreads):
Schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy’s home, Fallingford, for the holidays. Daisy’s glamorous mother is throwing a tea party for Daisy’s birthday, and the whole family is invited, from eccentric Aunt Saskia to dashing Uncle Felix. But it soon becomes clear that this party isn’t really about Daisy at all. Naturally, Daisy is furious.
Then one of their party falls seriously, mysteriously ill—and everything points to poison.
With wild storms preventing anyone from leaving, or the police from arriving, Fallingford suddenly feels like a very dangerous place to be. Not a single person present is what they seem—and everyone has a secret or two. And when someone very close to Daisy looks suspicious, the Detective Society must do everything they can to reveal the truth… no matter the consequences.
I absolutely adored the first book in this series, Murder Most Unladylike, and I couldn’t wait to jump into the second but I seem to have fallen into that trap that waiting for a new release has – you wait so long that you can sometimes forget that initial excitement over the book because there are so many other shiny new books to take away your attention. So it was nice to find myself back in the world of Wells & Wong, ready to solve another mystery.
Following on from the events of the first book, this new case for the girls happens as Daisy’s own house. During her birthday weekend no less. I love reading things from Hazel’s perspective, especially considering how differently she views things and is viewed by others because of her race in a time when diversity was a lot less common.
Naturally, there’s a murder, and the girls rush to solve the case before the police show up – proving once again that their amateur sleuthing skills are better than trained professionals. But when the suspect list is so personal for Daisy, things become a bit more complicated than they had expected.
My favourite thing about this series is that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for these girls to actually be better than the police. They are a mini version of Sherlock and Watson and I love seeing them piece together the puzzle and work things out. Naturally, there are some red herrings thrown in – it wouldn’t be a good crime novel without them!
An excellent mystery series for younger readers that will ignite their imagination and encourage them to think outside the box when it comes to solving problems. Truly an excellent choice for budding detectives.
About the Author
Robin was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life.
When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. When it occurred to her that she was never going to be able to grow her own spectacular walrus moustache, she decided that Agatha Christie was the more achieveable option.
She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She then went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then worked at a children’s publisher.
Robin now lives in London with her husband and her pet bearded dragon, Watson.
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads