#471: Minor Felonies – Jolly Foul Play (2016) by Robin Stevens

Jolly Foul Play

The fourth entry in Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series finds us returning to a very different Deepdean School for Girls to the one we last saw at the end of the opening of this series.  And this time around Christian, who blogs over at Mysteries, Short and Sweet when he’s not translating Carter Dickson novels into Swedish, has stepped in to help me tackle this one as a fellow fan of Robin Stevens’ work.

Continue reading

#430: Minor Felonies – Arsenic for Tea, a.k.a. Poison is Not Polite (2015) by Robin Stevens

Arsenic for Tea

Most people who write and publish one novel go on to complete a second, yet the second is often the one deemed ‘difficult’.  I suppose it’s the not knowing whether a universe and characters previously deployed will stretch over another 100,000 words, or whether a writer used up all their good ideas on Book 1 and so Book 2 is likely to fall on drier ground.

Continue reading

#393: Minor Felonies – Murder Most Unladylike, a.k.a. Murder is Bad Manners (2014) by Robin Stevens

Murder Most Unladylike

It’s nearly 12 months since, at the Bodies from the Library conference in 2017, Dan casually mentioned that one of the Murder Most Unladylike books by Robin Stevens was a locked room mystery and so started me on a mildly-obsessive YA spiral that has taken in the detective talents of Enid Blyton, the beginning phases of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, a selection of classic and modern juvenile mysteries, and, of course, an interview with Robin Stevens herself at the beginning of our podcast adventure.

Continue reading

#330: Highs & Lows – Five Reading Highlights of 2017


January, month of rebirth and self-recrimination.  For every resolution to improve there must be some frank assessment of what debilitated you in the first place, and so the month can take on a curiously Jekyll-and-Hyde aspect for some.  So my Tuesday posts for this month will be a mixture of what is good and bad in my reading, and where better to start than a celebration of the previous 12 months?

Continue reading

#288: The Guggenheim Mystery (2017) by Robin Stevens

The mere existence of the_guggenheim_mystery-frontThe Guggenheim Mystery is almost a piece of mystery metafiction in itself: the title was discovered among Siobhan Dowd’s papers following her untimely death in 2007, implying its intention as the follow-up to her impossible disappearance novel for younger readers, The London Eye Mystery (2007)…but no more was known.  It fell to Robin Stevens to puzzle out a plot from these waifish beginnings and so continue the adventures of Ted Spark, his sister Kat, and their cousin Salim.  So here we are — a painting disappears from the eponymous art gallery, the police jump on the most likely suspect, and it falls to this intrepid trio to hunt out the truth, recover the painting, and save the day.

Continue reading

#263: A Little Help for My Friends – Finding a Modern Locked Room Mystery for TomCat Attempt #2: First Class Murder (2015) by Robin Stevens


This gets a little convoluted: at the recent Bodies from the Library conference, I was discussing impossible crime novels with Dan of The Reader is Warned when conversation turned to Siobhan Dowd’s very, very good impossible disappearance for younger readers The London Eye Mystery (2007).  Dan mentioned that, following Dowd’s death in 2007, the series was to be continued (The Guggenheim Mystery is due out in August) by Robin Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series.  Then he mentioned that one of the MMU books was a locked room and, well, I was in.

Continue reading