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A Spoonful of Murder

Written by Robin Stevens

Illustrated by Nina Tara

Part of the Murder Most Unladylike Mystery Series

Crime / Mystery Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks School Stories

LoveReading View on A Spoonful of Murder

In a nutshell: first class crime writing for children

This is the latest book in Robin Stevens’ best-selling boarding school crime series, number six, and I do hope it’s not the last: very few books deliver such a delicious spoonful of character, crime, setting and pace.  This adventure takes place in Hazel’s home, Hong Kong, and the dreadful crimes that take place are horribly close to her own family. The mystery will keep readers eagerly turning the pages, while 1930s Hong Kong is more than just a fascinating backdrop. The relationship between Daisy and Hazel still holds surprises, while there are new characters too to almost steal the limelight. It would be a crime to miss a book this good.  ~ Andrea Reece

****Are you a budding super-sleuth? Well then, you're in luck, young detective. The Honourable Daisy Wells, President of the Wells & Wong Detective Society, has written a fantastic (if we must say so) guide to detecting, which will help you get ready to solve your first case... Find out more here!

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A Spoonful of Murder 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 . . .

EXCITING NEWS: This boarding school mysteries series Murder Most Unladylike is set for the big screen having been optioned for television and film by independent production company Pilot Media.  Pilot Media optioned the rights from Emily Hayward Whitlock, head of book to film at The Artists’ Partnership, who was acting on behalf of Stevens’ literary agent, Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency.

Cooper said she was “thrilled” to be working with Pilot Media and Salt Beef TV; the latter will co-produce any adaptation with Pilot. “With a diverse cast, opulent settings and a gloriously nostalgic feel, I always thought this series was perfect for adaptation,” she said.  The Murder Most Unladylike series is set in a 1930s boarding school and features schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. The first three books in the series—Murder Most Unladylike, Arsenic for Tea and First Class Murder."

A Spoonful of Murder 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!'

A Spoonful of Murder Press Reviews

Praise for the series;

Fabulous   The Times

Superb    Telegraph

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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780141373782
Publication date: 08/02/2018
Publisher: Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141373782
Publication date: 8th February 2018
Author: Robin Stevens
Illustrator: Nina Tara
Publisher: Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Historical Fiction, School Stories
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Robin Stevens

Robin was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. 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. 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 went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then worked at a ...

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