Reader Reviewed Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens

Jolly Foul Play

Written by Robin Stevens
Part of the Murder Most Unladylike Mystery Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

April 2016 Book of the Month Gosh, but the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries are jolly good reads! After their adventures on the Orient Express, crime-solving friends Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are back at school for a new term. From the outset though, the atmosphere at school is different, nastier: the new head girl Elizabeth Hurst is a thoroughly bad egg, maintaining her authority through bullying and even blackmail. When she’s found dead at the school firework display, Daisy is convinced it’s murder and determined to discover the truth. Boarding schools make a perfect setting for murder mysteries, all claustrophobia, shifting alliances and niggling irritations between the girls, and this is a particularly atmospheric story. Stevens is as good at describing the relationships between the girls, and the social customs of the times as she is at plotting, it’s no wonder that these books have such a devoted following amongst readers.

Readers will also enjoy Katherine Woodfine’s The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, another entertaining helping of sleuthing set in an Edwardian department store, and Patricia Elliott’s Connie Carew Mysteries. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in this exciting series Murder Most Unladylike. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Chloe, age 11 - 'Daisy and Hazel have formed a detective society but they haven't had any real cases yet. All that changes when Hazel discovers a dead body. This book is epic!'
  • Edgar Perez, age 7 - 'It is AMAZING! The best part was the ending…'
  • Bella Perez, age 10 - 'I loved Murder Most Unladylike. It puts you in a lot of suspense and has a very surprising end.'
  • Sabrina, age 11 - 'This brilliant book is a mixture of adventure, humour and mystery all-in-one; these are probably my three favourite genres so of course I absolutely loved this book! It’s gripping, exciting and has many tense moments which keep you on tenterhooks throughout the book.'
  • Izzie Wood - 'I really enjoyed this book it was great.'
  • Isabel, age 8 - 'A very exciting read.'
  • Charlotte Cassidy, age 10 - 'A crime-riddled murder mystery that I couldn’t put down and kept me guessing until the end. Brilliant book for girls aged 9+.'
  • Cajsa Age 10 - 'This book was ideal for my age. Even though it is a murder story it wasn't at all gory! This book is a great read.'
  • Emily Pitfield, age 10 - 'A fantastic and gripping murder mystery story which will prove tricky to put down, especially as the story draws to a close.'
  • Sophis Curtis, age 9 - 'I think this book is amazing and any girl 9+ would like it too.'
  • Elspeth Paterson, age 11 - 'I really loved this mysterious book called “Murder Most Unladylike”, and give it 5 out of 5. This book is aimed at older readers and as suggested by the title there is a murder, in fact there’s more than one.'
  • Faghra Saleem, age 12 - 'Murder Most Unladylike is a thrilling roller coaster ride of a read with twists at every turn till it all comes down to a dramatic conclusion on who the mystery murderer was.'
  • Holly Wilkins, age 11 - 'This is one of my favourite books ever, you always want to read on and never stop!'


Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens

This is the fantastic new mystery from the author of Murder Most Unladylike. 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?


Praise for the Murder Most Unladylike series:

A delight ... Hazel and Daisy are aboard the Orient Express: cue spies, priceless jewels, a murder and seriously upgraded bun breaks The Bookseller

Friendship, boarding school and a murder worthy of Agatha Christie The Bookseller

Detective stories continue to grow in popularity. From the Hardy Boys and Tintin to the Famous Five, detective fiction has captured the imaginations of generations of children ... The book that has given me most pleasure is a first novel by Robin Stevens, Murder Most Unladylike, which combines the pleasures of Enid Blyton's boarding school books with her secret society ones. Best friends Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong find themselves at the heart of a murder investigation when Hazel discovers the body of a teacher in the school gym. Plotting is what sets this book apart; this is about who was where at the time of the murder, and it's about finding the chink in the alibi -- Lorna Bradbury Telegraph

I loved Stevens's tale of 'pashes', shrimps (the lower years) and the midnight weird food combination of chocolate cake and cow's tongue (a match for Blyton's feast combo of prawns and ginger cake). In fact, her plot is far pacier than a Malory Towers story. Her conclusion is wonderfully far-fetched but satisfyingly unpredictable. I did not guess whodunnit. Ripping good fun The Times

A skilful blend of golden era crime novel and boarding school romp, with a winning central relationship between plump, anxious Hazel, a new girl who has arrived from Hong Kong, and the super-confident, blonde English rose Daisy Wells. The novel works both as an affectionate satire and an effective murder mystery, and Stevens can go places Enid Blyton never dreamt of ... Top class -- Susi Feay Financial Times

An addictive debut, full of wit, panache and iced-bun breaks Metro

Thrilling Guardian

Top class Financial Times

A delight Daily Mail

About the Author

Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens 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 achievable 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 now she works at a children's publisher, which is pretty much the best day job she can imagine. Robin now lives in Cambridge with her boyfriend and her pet bearded dragon, Watson.

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Book Info


368 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Robin Stevens
More books by Robin Stevens

Author's Website

Robin Stevens


Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

24th March 2016




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