My love of audiobooks knows no bounds and very recently I listened to Robin Steven’s Murder Most Unladylike, narrated by Gemma Chan. The story revolves around two boarding school girls, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells who have to solve the murder of one of their mistresses when her body is discovered (by Hazel) in the gym. As they are the only members of Deepdean’s School for Girls’ detective agency the two of them are determined to get to the bottom of it all.
I absolutely loved this book. I thought it was fantastic and loved Gemma Chan narrating it. It didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t the target audience (10-12 year olds), I love my mystery stories and this has to be one of the better ones I have read. Robin Stevens’ writing didn’t treat her readers as idiots and that was so appreciated. It made me think of Agatha Christie’s mysteries where a very important assumption is made – readers are clever.
Usually books set in the 1930s have barely any diversity if any at all but Murder Most Unladylike’s Hazel is Chinese and this created some very interesting observations on racism and prejudice in the 1930s. This just made everything all the more interesting. Hazel is also the narrator and there are times when her commentary over English customs and behaviours is very funny. Hazel is by no means an outsider but she is removed enough from Englishness to make her confusion very entertaining to read.
The plot was complex enough to keep me listening (and mentally imagining that I was turning the page) and because the mystery was excellent I only started to figure it out when Hazel and Daisy started to. The suspects and clues were brilliant and now that I have finished I keep thinking of all the teasers earlier in the book which I should have paid more attention to.
I found this book to be a really charming book and with Gemma Chan narrating I thought it was all kinds of wonderful. My next mission is to listen to / read the rest in the series.