In my opinion, we can still squeeze in a little Christmas reading and extend the holidays a little. This is a cute little read you can enjoy at 13 or 30 (or any age, but it does not sound as good). Daisy and Hazel are back, Robin Stevens has published another mystery in the Murder Most Unladylike series. In case you have not yet read the previous four, you can still jump on the train now.

We are in the 1930s and our two boarding school girls are invited to spend Christmas in Cambridge with Daisy’s brother Bertie. What was supposed to be a quiet visit of the colleges turns into a new case for the Detective Society when an accident happens a few days before Christmas and it is more than just an accident – it is a murder!

Their youthful voices and outlook on the grown-ups wanting to interrupt their detection is a refreshing change from the cruel crime novels out there, and because it is set eighty years ago, there are no scientific geniuses solving the murder from a microscopic piece of DNA hidden in the grass; this is a good old-fashioned detective story with a suspect list, alibis and deduction!

Yes, the writing is similar to the hand me down books of boarding school girls some of us grew up with and it is a warm and festive feeling.

“It was full of the most delicious displays, piled high with pink and white fancies, cakes piped with cream and scattered with nuts, and absolutely heaps of swirled golden-brown buns. They were studded with raisins and dripping with syrup. My mouth watered. It had been hours since those train sandwiches, their cheese slightly warm and their chutney gluey. Beyond the buns I saw tables full of people enjoying splendid teas. My stomach gurgled.”

Mistletoe and Murder, by Robin Stevens

First published October 2016

ISBN 0141369728, ISBN13: 978-0141369723

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