A tea party takes a poisonous turn leaving Daisy and Hazel with a new mystery to solve in this “first-rate whodunit, reminiscent of a game of Clue [that’s] terrific preparation for the works of Agatha Christie” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
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 about Daisy after all—and she is furious. But Daisy’s anger falls to the wayside when one of their guests falls seriously and mysteriously ill—and everything points to poison. It’s up to Daisy and Hazel to find out what’s really going on.
With wild storms preventing everyone 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 begins to act suspiciously, the Detective Society does everything they can to reveal the truth…no matter the consequences.
Previously published as Arsenic for Tea in the UK.
Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in Oxford, England, across the road from the house where Alice of Alice in Wonderland lived. Robin has been making up stories all her life. She spent her teenage years at boarding school, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She studied crime fiction in college and then worked in children’s publishing. Robin now lives in London with her pet bearded dragon, Watson.
*"A first-rate whodunit, reminiscent of a game of Clue and terrific preparation for the works of Agatha Christie."
– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
*“Though Stevens handles the mystery element to perfection . . . what really shines is the depiction of her characters, especially bossy, egocentric Daisy, and loyal, smart Hazel, always aware that she is ‘other.’ A smashing good time.”
– Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
PRAISE FOR MURDER IS BAD MANNERS
– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
*"A pitch-perfect snapshot of adolescent friendship... A sharp-witted debut for Stevens, one that will leave readers eagerly awaiting subsequent installments."
– Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"[A] delightful romp....This book, the first in a series, is a "jolly good read," one which intermediate girls will enjoy and share."
– School Library Connection
"[A] first-rate homage to English boarding school adventure and period murder-mystery tales....Middle-schoolers with a taste for Agatha Christie (and perhaps PBS costume or mystery dramas) will eat this up and ask for more."
– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s
“Wells and Wong . . . leave readers eager to read more of their appealing tales."
– Shelf-Awareness Pro
"Stevens’s engaging tale shines with the reflected charms of its detecting duo, a winsome combination of thoughtfulness and relish."
– School Library Journal
“Nancy Drew, meet Wells and Wong.”
"Friendship, boarding school, and a murder worthy of Agatha Christie."
– The Bookseller
"A skillful 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 well both as an affectionate satire and an effective mystery story. . . . Top class."
– Suzie Feay, Financial Times
"Reading Murder Is Bad Manners is like drinking cocoa by a fireside: It is warm and witty and deeply satisfying."
– Katherine Rundell, author of Rooftoppers and Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
"Murder Is Bad Manners lured me in with a charming British voice, and then, just as I started to get cozy, snap! I was trapped in a serious mystery problem. Robin Stevens develops her girl detectives with a light, deft touch and delivers denouement with a flourish."
– Nancy Springer, author of the Enola Holmes series
“Robin Stevens's MURDER IS BAD MANNERS is what I wish every mystery could be: a perfectly-plotted puzzle told in a deft and charming voice. The story is a brilliant mixture of classic detective work and contemporary humor—I enjoyed every page!”
– Jonathan Auxier, author of The Night Gardener and Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
"Satisfyingly unpredictable. I did not guess the whodunit. Ripping good fun."
– Alex O'Connell, The Times of London
"Really cleverly done and unexpected for what I thought would be a straightforward whodunit caper."
– Melissa Cox, Head Children's Buyer at Waterstones