Murder Is Bad Manners

Murder Is Bad Manners

Book - 2015
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At an English boarding school in the 1930s, crime-solving friends Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells struggle to find an exciting mystery to investigate and hit pay-dirt when Hazel discovers the dead body of Miss Bell, the science teacher
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015
Edition: First US edition
ISBN: 9781481422123
148142212X
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Murder's bad manners

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plymc_lindsAy Aug 16, 2018

Just started reading this one and love it dearly! The 1930's and the English setting are so different from other mysteries. It feels like a cross between a cozy and a Holmes...a Colmes OR a Holzy?

VaughanPLDonnalee May 23, 2018

There is a lot to like about this book. It is a 1930's set murder mystery at girls boarding school. The two main characters, Daisy and Hazel, are both likeable and complex heroines. I really liked how the mystery was actually mysterious, with lots of twists and turns. I also liked how the intrepid girl detectives went about actively solving the case, by investigating and looking for clues, and checking alibis and motives. There was a lot of humour in the book as well and it was a fast, fun read. I would recommend this book for fairly mature child readers, maybe grade 6 and up. My one tiny quibble is that neither of the main characters seemed to really feel any compassion for the victims. Daisy in particular is a bit heartless at times. Overall, however, I liked this a lot, and I will definitely read the other books in this series.

r
reeread
May 06, 2018

A slightly edgier take on the old-fashioned girls’ boarding school story for slightly more mature readers who are moving on from Enid Blyton’s “Malory Towers” and the like. And a full-fledged murder mystery to boot, bringing to mind Flavia de Luce, had she gone to boarding school.

forbesrachel Aug 13, 2015

At Deepdean School for Girls, the children of the wealthy get raised to be proper ladies, but when Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong discover the murdered Miss Bell, some very unladylike actions are required. No one else knows about this covered up murder, so it is up to the Wells and Wong Detective Society to solve it. Taking after Sherlock Holmes and Watson, this pair uses a logical approach to figure things out, however a large portion of their information is gained by talking...not much escapes the notice of a school full of gossiping girls afterall. Hazel (the narrator) records everything in her casebook (the actual novel), including her own thoughts on the situation. Daisy is well-informed, and logical, but she is prone to rash actions, and is an incessant manipulator. Hazel on the other hand is more observant and intuitive, but she feels unsure of herself, partly because she is the sole Chinese girl in a school for the English. Both she, and the seemingly perfect Hazel, adapt to fit in, hiding aspects like their intelligence, and this is part of the reason they make such a good team...no one suspects they are up to anything. For the most part they cooperate and equally contribute, but their investigation does diverge at points because Daisy is so headstrong, whereas Hazel is open-minded. The mystery itself is a good one, and plausible for girls their age to solve. While they do gather physical evidence, motives and alibis are their primary means by which to scrutinize their teachers or dismiss them from their suspect pool. Stevens does not tiptoe around, murder is murder, and the reasons for doing it are not soft and fluffy; the tone is often serious, but also fun, in the adventure sort of way. This is just the first of their cases, and already these two have a promising career.

martha_w May 06, 2015

I loved this murder mystery set at an English boarding school in the 1930s (these are all some of my favorite things, so I was pretty much guaranteed to like this). The two main characters, Hazel and Daisy, each had very distinct personalities and balanced each other out well; the mystery was clever; and the world of the boarding school was well-developed and I finished the book eager to read more set in this universe. (Good news: it's a series opener!) Give this to girls who love the old-fashioned nature of Nancy Drew but are craving something a bit smarter and less dated.

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r
reeread
May 06, 2018

Of course, a boarding school story has to include a midnight feast, and a visit to the San:

“There’s an awful lot to decide on for a midnight feast - what prank to play on which other dorm, what cakes to ask everyone to bring, and when to set the alarm clock under your pillow for.”

“I dragged myself into my cool white-sheeted San bed. I felt as though someone had squeezed me through a mangle. All I wanted to do was sleep, for years and years.”

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