I have been eagerly anticipating the release of the fifth Murder Most Unladylike Mystery since I met Robin Stevens in the summer holidays (link to blogpost here). The first Christmas adventure shared by my two favourite fictional detectives has put me in the festive spirit very early this year.
At the start of the story, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong arrive in Cambridge full of expectation of a jolly Christmas spent with Daisy’s brother, Bertie, and her aunt Eustacia. Robin Stevens describes Cambridge beautifully, and you can imagine walking past the ancient colleges and absorbing the festive atmosphere. I love the way that Hazel, true to her character, looks longingly into Fitzbillies on her first walk through the cobbled streets, describing the best Chelsea Buns in Cambridge and the fact that her mouth is watering as it had been hours since she had eaten warm, gluey cheese and chutney sandwiches on the train!
Of course, being the Detective Society, it does not take long before they suspect that something suspicious is going on with two of Bertie’s friends.
If you have read the two previous Wells and Wong mysteries you will have already met Hazel’s friend Alexander Arcady, and in this book you are introduced to his best friend George Mukherjee, they are known as the Junior Pinkertons and it is not long before they are teaming up with the Detective Society to solve a case.
Once again Robin Stevens has managed to effectively combine an excellent mystery – one that left me puzzling over the clues, with the underlying themes of the lack of women’s rights in the 1930s and intolerance and racism. (It seems incredible that these themes are so relevant today!!) I love the fact that in this book there was teamwork with another detective society and that Daisy found someone to match her intelligence in George.
I would highly recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a brilliant book to give as a Christmas present this year. I will definitely be diving back into its wonderful world during the frosty festive season, accompanied by a Christmas-cake-ish bun break! I give it five-out-of-five stars.