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Poison Is Not Polite (A Wells & Wong Mystery) by [Stevens, Robin]
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Poison Is Not Polite (A Wells & Wong Mystery) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 10 and up Grade Level: 5 and up

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Editorial Reviews

Review

After getting off to a good start in Murder is Bad Manners (2015), Stevens perfects her take on the British murder mystery in the second book in the Wells & Wong series. Daisy Wells has brought boardingschool friend (and co member of the Detective’s Society) Hazel Wong to Fallingford, her family’s estate, complete with mazes, libraries, lords, and ladies. It’s Daisy’s birthday and a lavish tea is planned with visits from two other school chums. But there are other visitors, including the nefarious Mr. Curtis, who seems as enamored of the family antiques as he is of Daisy’s mother. From the first pages, we learn something dreadful happens to Mr. Curtis, and as the book progresses, readers will be enthralled with the what, why, and how—all issues that the Detective’s Society unravel through cleverness and sleuthing skill. Not so long ago, detailed accounts of murders in middle-grade mysteries was rarely done. Here, though, Mr. Curtis lies moldering in a guest room after a violent poisoning, while the game is afoot all over the house, which has been cut off by a flood. Though Stevens handles the mystery element to perfection (the house diagrams are a nice touch, too), 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. — Ilene Cooper (Booklist, STARRED REVIEW February 15, 2015)

Wells and Wong return in aclassic country-estate mystery. Spending their April break at Fallingford,Daisy's stately (but run-down) family home, schoolgirls Daisy Wells and HazelWong become detectives again when an unpleasant friend of Daisy's mother's ismurdered there. Mr. Curtis is a stranger, ostensibly invited for Daisy's 14thbirthday party. He's clearly more interested in the family's valuable antiques,and Daisy's mother, Lady Hastings, is inappropriately interested in him. Whenhe's fatally poisoned after drinking his tea, many people have motives, but thegirls (and two school friends invited for the occasion) quickly narrow thelist. All their potential suspects are members of Daisy's own family. This isdifficult for the president of the Detective Society, but she continues togamely direct its proceedings. Hazel serves as scribe and narrator. Besidesrecording their activities, she includes her own observations, includingcomparisons of her wealthy Chinese family's home in Hong Kong with thisshabbier one, and her feelings about looking and being different from Daisy andher white family. Published in England in 2015 as Arsenic for Tea, thiswell-crafted and entertaining detective story, a stand-alone sequel to Murder IsBad Manners (2014), is solidly set in a fading world of 1930s minor nobilityand supported by a cast list and map. A first-rate whodunit, reminiscent of agame of Clue and terrific preparation for the works of Agatha Christie.(Historical mystery. 10-14) (Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW 2/1/16)

"Stevens continues to satisfyingly scratch the English murder-mystery itch. . . . Hazel and Daisy are nuanced, three-dimensional characters, and their bickering but loyal friend- ship rings true. . . . Fans of the first book will find this just as rewarding, and kids on the cusp of embracing Agatha Christie will enjoy testing their deductive skills here as well." (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

When a suspicious death occurs at Daisy Wells’ family home over the Easter holiday break, the Wells & Wong Detective Society (from Murder Is Bad Manners, BCCB 7/15) leaps back into action as young teen Daisy and best friend (and narrator) Hazel Wong endeavor to solve the murder of unpleasant houseguest Mr. Curtis. Fellow Deepdean students and visitors Kitty and Beanie join them as assistants, and the quartet searches for clues throughout Fallingford House as heavy rains flood the area and cut off both escape and outside help. Suspicion falls primarily on Daisy’s family members—her mother was having a fling with the deceased; her uncle is acting peculiarly; and her great-aunt (a known kleptomaniac) had been eyeing Mr. Curtis’s gold pocket watch—but Daisy’s governess is also observed behaving unusually. Daisy’s relationships with the suspects make the groups’ detective work an emotionally charged effort, but careful deduction and perseverance serve the young detectives well in solving the crime. Stevens continues to satisfyingly scratch the English murder-mystery itch with this delightful second installment in the Wells & Wong series. The supporting cast is fairly formulaic, but Hazel and Daisy are nuanced, three-dimensional characters, and their bickering but loyal friend- ship rings true. The mystery itself is solidly constructed, and the solution is both surprising and logical. Fans of the first book will find this just as rewarding, and kids on the cusp of embracing Agatha Christie will enjoy testing their deductive skills here as well. JH (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

"[H]ighly enjoyable bunbreak reading." (Shelf Awareness)

Detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are back to solve another mystery, but this one hits a little closer to home for Daisy. While on school break, bossy Daisy and levelheaded Hazel are staying at Daisy’s family home, where her mother is throwing Daisy a children’s birthday tea party. Fourteen-year-old Daisy is appalled that she is having such a childish fete, especially since her mother has invited family, school friends, and her “gentleman friend” Mr. Curtis. The house is full of suspects when, during the party, Mr. Curtis is poisoned and later dies. Mr. Curtis is truly an unlikable individual, so the list of suspects is large, and most are people Daisy has known her whole life. Daisy and Hazel’s skills are tested as they narrow down the list of possible murderers. The countryside has flooded, and the arrival of the police is delayed by days. Daisy and Hazel’s unlikely friendship balances out the strengths and weaknesses of their personalities; Daisy is pushy and clever, while Hazel is cautious and practical. VERDICT An English import with a good mystery that will keep readers’ attention, this second volume of the trilogy is strong enough to be a standalone title. (School Library Journal July 2016)

"An English import with a good mystery that will keep readers’ attention, this second volume of the trilogy is strong enough to be a standalone title."

  (School Library Journal)

*"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)

PRISE FOR MURDER IS BAD MANNERS

"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)

"Satisfyingly unpredictable. I did not guess the whodunit. Ripping good fun." (Alex O'Connell The Times of London)

"Friendship, boarding school, and a murder worthy of Agatha Christie." (The Bookseller)

"Really cleverly done and unexpected for what I thought would be a straightforward whodunit caper." (Melissa Cox, Head Children's Buyer at Waterstones )

"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 )

"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.” (Booklist)

"[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)

"[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)

“Wells and Wong . . . leave readers eager to read more of their appealing tales." (Shelf-Awareness Pro)

“Irresistable.” (Kirkus Reviews [STARRED REVIEW])

About the Author

Robin Stevens

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.

Elizabeth Baddeley

Elizabeth Baddeley is an illustrator based in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a degree in Illustration as Visual Essay. She is no stranger to biographies of powerful women and has illustrated two picture books: A Woman in the House (and Senate) and Women Who Broke The Rules: Mary Todd Lincoln.


Product details

  • File Size: 8804 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 26, 2016)
  • Publication Date: April 26, 2016
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00Z7C1KXC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,501 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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