Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of Arsenic for Tea, the second book in the Murder Most Unladylike series. You can read my review of book one here. I’ve also already read book five, Mistletoe and Murder, which I read in the build up to Christmas. Now I’m working my way through the rest of the series, and very much enjoying myself!
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 tried to read this book putting aside what I knew from Mistletoe and Murder, and only focusing on what I learned from Murder Most Unladylike. This was relatively easy to do as book one builds such a strong foundation, forming the initial friendship with Daisy and Hazel.
Each book is a self contained mystery, and in this case, a rather unlikeable character is poisoned. So many of the characters seem to have motives, and as Hazel and Daisy – with assistance from Kitty and Beans, who have also been invited for the birthday tea – try to solve the case, tensions and worries start to rise. Both girls, but especially Daisy, have learned from their first case not to let personal opinion cloud their judgement, but it becomes harder and harder as the case continues.
The historical upper class world we were taken back into was completely absorbing, leaving you in no doubt of the time period – or financial status! – that we’re encountering, sweeping you along in the
As always with Robin Stevens, the mystery was well structured, beautifully written and absolutely intruguing. The final clues falling into place made for a grand reveal, with an ending just as high tension as any adult mystery.
So they we have it, thanks for stopping by for this review, and be sure to watch out for my review of book three, First Class Murder sometime soon.