Arsenic for Tea: A Wells & Wong Mystery by Robin Stevens
Published by Corgi Childrens
29th January 2015
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.
This is the second in the Wells & Wong series and for me it doesn't disappoint. In my opinion, Robin Stevens writes in the same vein as Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce novels, and I adore them, (and Flavia) too. Set in April 1932, schoolgirls Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are home from their boarding school Deepdean for the holidays, and as it's Daisy's birthday, they are joined by fellow boarders Kitty and Beanie. Daisy's mother, the self-obsessed Lady Hastings seems to have invited all manner of guests along for the party, including the rather mysterious Mr Curtis, whom no one except Lady Hastings claims to know.
Due to some odd behaviour, the Detective Society, now with two honorary members, are soon investigating the guests in the house, and even more so when one of the grown-ups is taken seriously ill at tea. As luck would have it, for the girls anyway, the weather takes a turn for the worse, and the police cannot arrive until the floods subside. It looks like it is up to the girls to solve the mystery again, especially as no one can leave Fallingford either!
Robin Stevens loves Agatha Christie novels and I think this is apparent in her writing as her books read like Miss Marple novels for young adults. They are fun and well-paced with lots of detail and suspicious characters to keep you guessing who's going to succumb to danger, and ultimately whodunnit. I can't wait for the next one!
Gripping and lots of fun!