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Arsenic for Tea

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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 thei 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.


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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 thei 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.

30 review for Arsenic for Tea

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lumsden

    I thoroughly enjoyed this - great fun, wonderfully written, with a really engaging story. I do love a good middle grade cosy mystery!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    "Something dreadful has happened to Mr. Curtis. I am quite surprised to realize that I mind. If you had asked me this morning what I thought of him, I should have told you that Mr. Curtis was not a nice man at all. But not even the nastiest person deserves this . . . Mr. Curtis was not simply an accident, or a sudden illness. Someone did this to him, and that can only mean one thing: the Detective Society has a brand-new case to investigate." Robin Stevens' Wells & Wong Mysteries are a delight to "Something dreadful has happened to Mr. Curtis. I am quite surprised to realize that I mind. If you had asked me this morning what I thought of him, I should have told you that Mr. Curtis was not a nice man at all. But not even the nastiest person deserves this . . . Mr. Curtis was not simply an accident, or a sudden illness. Someone did this to him, and that can only mean one thing: the Detective Society has a brand-new case to investigate." Robin Stevens' Wells & Wong Mysteries are a delight to read. Daisy and Hazel, boarding school bffs . . . these two young ladies are a hoot! They make for some rollicking good, sleuthing entertainment. Where Daisy is the tall and gangly, Johnny-on-the-spot, quick to action sort - Hazel is the short and stocky, think-it-through, proceed with caution counterpart; a complementary contrast in just about every way. This second installment - Poison is Not Polite - was faster paced and more involved than that of Murder Is Bad Manners. And it features quite the sly, well orchestrated plot with some zany good characters. The murder occurs at Fallingford, the sprawling estate of Daisy's eccentric family; a typical country English estate complete with a maze, lake, walled kitchen garden, stables, and a three story manor that put me in mind of the game Clue ©. but with an Agatha Christie style plot and a Sherlock and Holmes sleuthing vibe. So much was going on - up and down the staircases, in and out of the maze, lurking in the library, slinking out of nursery, dashing from the dining room, listening in the larder - I'm thankful the author and/or publisher thought to include a map and blueprints. More than once I referred to these dandy illustrations to keep up with all the crazy excitement. Speaking of crazy, Stevens has created some wildly eccentric characters for a birthday tea gathering at Fallingford.. A Kleptomaniac aunt, loosy goosy mother, absent-minded father, in-a-snit brother, brooding butler, shrieking cooks, dashingly disarming art appraiser, prune faced governess...... Among others. Oh what a motley crew they are. Yes, a fun, crazy good tween whodunit. A great start to a new (in America new) series. I must caution through, this installment does have a morally controversial element dealing with overt infidelity. Plus, I was a little unsettled by one of the lessor crimes committed involving one of Daisy's relatives and whom was allowed to go lawfully unpunished, and looked over by the entire family. Both situations were simply left dangling. And thus, I simply cannot go five stars with this installment like I did with book one. Still though, an otherwise delightful read. FOUR **** Agatha Christie Meets Sherlock Holmes, Tween Whodunit, Sleuthing Good **** STARS

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Tea, mystery, murder, crime, detective. I saw tea in the title and I knew I had to read it. And I'm so glad I did. Because this was awesome. And I have discovered that I have a huge soft spot for detective stories. This story has a pretty timeless quality, and I couldn't quite place the era at first. And Daisy and Hazel are so awesome. They just work so well together, the friendship between them is really something special, and I loved how it was tested in this book. I was so invested aft 5 Words: Tea, mystery, murder, crime, detective. I saw tea in the title and I knew I had to read it. And I'm so glad I did. Because this was awesome. And I have discovered that I have a huge soft spot for detective stories. This story has a pretty timeless quality, and I couldn't quite place the era at first. And Daisy and Hazel are so awesome. They just work so well together, the friendship between them is really something special, and I loved how it was tested in this book. I was so invested after just a few pages. This book is excellently written. You're just sucked right in to the girls' world, wondering whodunnit and hoping that all is not as it seems. It's like you become part of the family. And so I'm so glad it ended like it did. I've started with book two and now I'm off to get book one and pre-order book three! It's really that good. I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    First of all, I'm so excited that I picked up the sequel relatively soon after reading the first book, because I enjoyed Hazel and Daisy too much for their series to be something that just gathers dust on my shelves. What I liked about this mystery was how it was much closer to home. Literally. The girls are staying over at Daisy's manor over Easter break and witness a poisoning, with Daisy's father being one of the most convincing culprits. Seeing the pair juggle with their integrity and moral First of all, I'm so excited that I picked up the sequel relatively soon after reading the first book, because I enjoyed Hazel and Daisy too much for their series to be something that just gathers dust on my shelves. What I liked about this mystery was how it was much closer to home. Literally. The girls are staying over at Daisy's manor over Easter break and witness a poisoning, with Daisy's father being one of the most convincing culprits. Seeing the pair juggle with their integrity and moral compass was a great addition to the book. As they would probably they, the mystery was jolly good, and I couldn't recommend these mysteries, for fans of all ages, more!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    Just as incredible as the first, I am head-over-heels for this series!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Louise / Daisy May Johnson

    I was a little in awe of Stevens' debut in this series, the rather glorious and as good as Christmas Murder Most Unladylike, and so when Arsenic For Tea came onto NetGalley, I did a tiny shriek of joy. And by tiny, I mean rather substantial. Arsenic For Tea is a joy. A multi-layered sandwich cake of joy. There's really very little else to be said other than this book is gorgeous and it's something rather special. It is the second in the Wells and Wong series; Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, schoolgi I was a little in awe of Stevens' debut in this series, the rather glorious and as good as Christmas Murder Most Unladylike, and so when Arsenic For Tea came onto NetGalley, I did a tiny shriek of joy. And by tiny, I mean rather substantial. Arsenic For Tea is a joy. A multi-layered sandwich cake of joy. There's really very little else to be said other than this book is gorgeous and it's something rather special. It is the second in the Wells and Wong series; Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, schoolgirl detectives, are at Daisy's house for the holiday and as it's Daisy's birthday, the whole family and a couple of extras are invited along for a birthday tea of splendid proportions. However - it's a birthday party that somebody won't see the end of. A closed house mystery; a party of people, all with their reasons for doing the deed, stuck in the house together due to bad weather. Somebody has something to confess - and it's down to the Detective Society to solve their second case before something very bad happens. Glorious, really, a book where the stakes are high and the mystery wraps around them a little tighter with each step taken. Daisy and Hazel remain a delight (Hazel's little revealing one-liners are a joy), and the supporting cast remains ineffably perfect (Lord Hastings - Daisy's father, Felix and Miss Alston all provide particular highs). Sometimes, with a second book in a series, there's always that risk of 'second book syndrome'. Will it be as good? Will you still like it as much as you did the first time round? Will the characters have grown or will it be a pale rehash of the first? Arsenic For Tea feels stronger, somehow, and deeper too. It's glorious and worth cancelling everything for. Stevens feels like she's settled more into her groove and that groove is producing stylish, charming, witty and delightful stories. I am a fan of this series and a fan of her work and I think this is again a title that feels a little bit like Christmas.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ren

    Originally reviewed on Words in a Teacup Once again we travel back to 1930s England, land of murders and bunbreaks, where schoolgirl detectives Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are spending the hols at Daisy's ancestral home. There's also some family members and friends staying over for Daisy's birthday party, and everyone knows what happens every time a group of Englishmen have a party in an isolated country house: someone's going to get offed. Predictably, Hazel isn't too pleased with having to deal Originally reviewed on Words in a Teacup Once again we travel back to 1930s England, land of murders and bunbreaks, where schoolgirl detectives Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are spending the hols at Daisy's ancestral home. There's also some family members and friends staying over for Daisy's birthday party, and everyone knows what happens every time a group of Englishmen have a party in an isolated country house: someone's going to get offed. Predictably, Hazel isn't too pleased with having to deal with yet another murderer while Daisy is jumping at the change to solve the mystery before the adults... at least until she realizes that there's a very good chance that someone in her family is a killer. So I was going to do a serious (aka boring) review as usual, but then this happened: ...Okay then. This is going to be easier for me since I only have muddled, incoherent thoughts about this book. Usually when I read there's a part of me that's dissecting the plot and the characters and filing everything away for later. In this case however my train of thoughts was more like HAZEL IS MY BABY! OH LOOK BUNBREAKS!!! IS THAT UNCLE FELIX??? YAY DAISY!! OH NO DON'T CRY!!!! LET'S SOLVE THE MURDER!!!!!! FRIENDSHIP!! WHO DID THE MURDER?????? YAY TEATIME AGAIN! An accurate representation of the reviewer reading the book. First books are a gamble because I don't know if I'm going to love or hate a series until I start it. But second books are the real test, especially when the bar has been set pretty high. "Murder Most Unladylike was pretty much perfect, how is it possible to top that?" I wondered as I perused the book's page on NetGalley. This is totally what I told Isa at that time, and not "oggjhfjfnmas[expletive] i'm gonna request it and then cry when they reject me because our blog is not popular". Reviewer's reaction on receiving an advance copy of the book. It hadn't occurred to me at first that not all Wells & Wong books could be set at a boarding school. I do love boarding school books, but yeah, it'd get a bit implausible in the end if they just kept killing off the Science mistress every schoolyear like they did with DADA teachers in Harry Potter. So while I got the change of setting, and I loved Fallingford, also like Hazel I felt a bit homesick for the familiar background of the school from the previous book. Reading about Daisy's family was just like meeting someone you've heard a lot about. Especially Dashing Uncle Felix (yep I'm pretty sure that's his full name) whom I'd be dying to learn more about since Isa pointed out that he's the mysterious uncle who taught Daisy how to break into a car and told her that dead bodies are heavy. In my mind Dashing Uncle Felix looks a lot like Rupert Everett with a monocle. Everything is very British, including the fact that Daisy's birthday party is a "children's tea party", whatever that means. From what I gathered, it means that there are children around and people serve themselves (shock!) instead of needing a butler to hand them the scones. Obviously it doesn't take long before one of the guests drops dead... no, wait, it does take a while because apparently arsenic doesn't work instantly like in the films. Anyway. Eventually one of the guests drops dead, which is very sad. All that wasted tea and cakes. A tragedy. Who ruined the tea party?? Hazel would like to go back to a time and place when it was safe to have tea without having to wonder if it was poisoned. If she read more of Daisy's books she'd know that it's too late by now: if you solve a murder, you'll spend your life stumbling into dead bodies. Well-known cosmic law. Just look at Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher, it's a wonder there was anyone still alive in their village! But let's have a cuppa anyway, poison's no excuse to miss tea. So Hazel and Daisy are investigating the crime, but (obviously) the house is isolated and (obviously) this means the murderer must be one of the guests. Usually, you know, who cares. The detectives are usually guests themselves, the reader has only just been introduced to those characters. HOWEVER! This time the moment when Daisy realizes "whooops is Mummy or Daddy a possible murderer?" is also the moment when I realized "whooops I'm too emotionally invested in those fictional characters". So I have my list of suspects, and I'm trying to guess the culprit as usual, but my thoughts are all skewed because I DON'T WANT THEM TO BE GUILTY, DAISY WILL BE SAD! I AM EMOTIONALLY COMPROMISED BECAUSE OF FICTIONAL CHARACTERS! Safe to say, I didn't figure out the culprit before Hazel and Daisy solved the case. I guessed some things, and I might have put some of the pieces together if I stopped to think about it, but I couldn't stop because for the last few chapters I was glued to my kindle and crossing all my fingers that everything would end well. In between there were a lot of shenanigans that mostly I didn't mention because I didn't have suitable gifs on hand, I'll just say that my favourite scene was probably the one with Daisy under her bed. I think I liked Daisy a lot more in this book (which means I liked her lots and lots, since I already liked it a fair bit in MMU). I miiight like MMU a little bit more because of the setting (boarding schools yay) but overall: THIS BOOK, I LIKE IT! So, now that I'm done being excited about the awesomeness that was this book, FIRST CLASS MURDER (WELLS & WONG #3) IS GOING TO BE SET ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (DURING THE HOLS??) AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCH THE BEST SETTING EVER SO GO READ ARSENIC FOR TEA, AND IF YOU'VE READ IT THEN READ IT AGAIN. Or idk go back to Deepdean and the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Regular reviews will resume as soon as I stop flailing, in the meantime you can communicate with me through gifs of British actors and biscuits. Bye.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    The second book in the Murder Most Unladylike series manages to surpass the original book with a very intriguing tale of murder that hits very close to Daisy's home. I really enjoyed the second outing and getting out of the boarding school setting of the first book, but also to see Daisy and Hazel's friendship develop beyond some of the problematic parts of their friendship in the first book was really nice to see. I was very intrigued by the mystery and loved seeing Daisy and Hazel figure it al The second book in the Murder Most Unladylike series manages to surpass the original book with a very intriguing tale of murder that hits very close to Daisy's home. I really enjoyed the second outing and getting out of the boarding school setting of the first book, but also to see Daisy and Hazel's friendship develop beyond some of the problematic parts of their friendship in the first book was really nice to see. I was very intrigued by the mystery and loved seeing Daisy and Hazel figure it all out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Arsenic for tea was one of the books I have been more excited to read in 2015 and I'm so pleased to report it did not disappoint at all. There are several things I love about this book the the series it is part of. I love that the series evokes the same feelings I had when I was 10 years old and reading my Enid Blyton boarding school and mystery stories. The setting and the language is spot on with the style and my inner child adores it. I almost squealed with joy at the use of the word Brick to Arsenic for tea was one of the books I have been more excited to read in 2015 and I'm so pleased to report it did not disappoint at all. There are several things I love about this book the the series it is part of. I love that the series evokes the same feelings I had when I was 10 years old and reading my Enid Blyton boarding school and mystery stories. The setting and the language is spot on with the style and my inner child adores it. I almost squealed with joy at the use of the word Brick to describe someone. The characterisation is spot on. I love Daisy and Hazel and seeing their friendship in these books. It is so nice to see a positive girl relationship. I loved all the secondary characters. The dashing Uncle Felix and larger than life Aunt Saskia. All the characters make the story, set almost 100 years ago, relevant to a modern age. I love the mystery element to this series. I love getting into the detective role myself and trying to work out whodunnit over the course of the book along with the girls of the detective society. All in all a brilliant book and fabulous middle grade series that I adore. I cannot wait for book three.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    Another wonderfully delightful murder mystery for Daisy and Hazel 'The Detective Society' to unravel. Whilst attending Daisy's Birthday celebrations at her family's country home, the schoolgirls are back on the case after one of the attendees soon falls seriously ill. These books really capture the 1930's setting, one aspect I found added to the story was how the author dealt with Hazel's Asian heritage during that period of history. The fact that this scene was included goes some way of explaining Another wonderfully delightful murder mystery for Daisy and Hazel 'The Detective Society' to unravel. Whilst attending Daisy's Birthday celebrations at her family's country home, the schoolgirls are back on the case after one of the attendees soon falls seriously ill. These books really capture the 1930's setting, one aspect I found added to the story was how the author dealt with Hazel's Asian heritage during that period of history. The fact that this scene was included goes some way of explaining why these books are loved by people of all ages, as Robin Stevens doesn't talk down to her readers. The story flows from twist to turn whilst never being too complicated. It's very easy to devour, just like all the cakes mentioned in the story!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship

    The past is awful, only old people never realize it. Facts I bet you didn't know about me: 1. Miss Marple and Dr John Watson bore me to the point of re-reading or retracing the steps that do NOT lead to horrific ends in them old Give Yourself Goosebumps I possess, and I don't even mind. (This is relevant. Sorta. Not really.) 2. Weddings/marriages/any hint of nuptials provoke an involuntary gag reflex in yours truly, unless we're talking Tim Burton + Helena Bonham Carter (or break up thereof ;_;), E The past is awful, only old people never realize it. Facts I bet you didn't know about me: 1. Miss Marple and Dr John Watson bore me to the point of re-reading or retracing the steps that do NOT lead to horrific ends in them old Give Yourself Goosebumps I possess, and I don't even mind. (This is relevant. Sorta. Not really.) 2. Weddings/marriages/any hint of nuptials provoke an involuntary gag reflex in yours truly, unless we're talking Tim Burton + Helena Bonham Carter (or break up thereof ;_;), Ellen Degeneres + Portia De Rossi, or NPH + David Burtka. (Irrelevant without a whisper or shadow or fingerprint of a doubt but you just loooove knowing more about me, don't you?) 3. I'm not sure how to begin this review, or wasn't, having been on a hiatus for I don't remember how long. Ergo, the babble. Bear with me. 4. Turns out I like lists. Huh. They're make for easy-to-follow non-traditional narratives and oftentimes are less work. Cleaner, too. Reasons to read Arsenic for Tea: 1. You love Flavia De Luce. 2. You hate Flavia De Luce and the incessant drivel on chemistry and compounds and ugh science. (Really? #Judging_you_hard) 3. You don't know Flavia De Luce. (Really? #Judging_you_harder.) BUT you love a) mysteries when they aren't slow, b) children narratives when they aren't immature, c) family drama when it isn't melodramatic, d) grown-ups when they/you are idiots but within parameters, e) again mysteries when their solution and step-by-step procedure coulda been within your capabilities. ALL THAT AND MORE IS WITHIN YOUR REACH. 4. It is the story of two girl detectives in the 1940's England, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. They aren't Sherlockian-smart and they depend a WHOLE LOT on luck, but they are determined little shits (and I say this with the most intense adoration for them) who gnaw bones to their very marrows. (Not literally, that's my cousin's piece of cake. Ugh.) 5. The Detective Society grows, a very dastardly man dies within Daisy's own manor and on her birthday. Somebody in the family has done the deed. Also, fart pillows and weird English treats. 6. GIRLSHIPS AHOY! I heart girl friendships and girl groups so hard, and I bet, you my imaginary audience of the moment who will become manifest when someone on the other side of the Internet chooses to read this particular, prolonged piece, do too. 7. True Detectives, Hazel and Daisy are. Detective-ing doesn't come naturally to most of us, and staying on the obscure path of impartial judgement and observation and constant vigilance can be hard when you;re not Mad-Eye Moody. Also, when someone in you family might just be the killer. Our ditagonists (is it still that when only one is narrating the story?) struggle, physically and mentally. Lessons from previous murders help and ergo, they are most awesome at it. With the appropriate amount of emotionality. 8. I love this aspect and I'm sure you'll appreciate it too, Robin Stevens is so adept at it: the book perfectly illustrates, even better than its predecessor, that when you look through those particular pair of lenses, everyone has dark secrets. We all seem the killer when you expect to see it. Most of our suspects seem more guilty, not less, the most we discover about them. 9. The mysteries aren't solved and lived vicariously through Sherlock's boastful monologues in Watson's diaries (or whatever). Solutions and revelations aren't out of reach, or fall down from heaven. All sorts of clues and evidences Daisy and Hazel uncover always lead the reader to the conclusion first, without being overt or obvious about it. It's all very realistic, for those currently living in 1940 England in a fading manor. I, personally, never felt out of my depth and believe you me, I am not the kind of knife you'd prefer to butter your bread. 10. ARE YOU NOT DONE YET? Well, the girls are all awfully clever. We've all been 14yo girls at some point in our lives - yes, even you Tony Stark, - and more like than not, we were nowhere near as awesome. GO GO GO READ! THIS! SERIES! The author just keeps getting better. Thank you, Penguin Random House UK Children’s!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    Second Wells and Wong Mystery Again, Robin Stevens combines many of the usual tropes of the “Golden Age Murder Mystery”, namely a mansion in the 1930s as setting, with all the guests stuck due to vagaries of the weather, and of course all suspects of murder. And let’s not forget that essential map à la Cluedo. This is a clever story, full of the requisite red herrings, twists and turns. Although written for middle-grade kids, the author never talks down to her audience, and anyone can enjoy it. Pu Second Wells and Wong Mystery Again, Robin Stevens combines many of the usual tropes of the “Golden Age Murder Mystery”, namely a mansion in the 1930s as setting, with all the guests stuck due to vagaries of the weather, and of course all suspects of murder. And let’s not forget that essential map à la Cluedo. This is a clever story, full of the requisite red herrings, twists and turns. Although written for middle-grade kids, the author never talks down to her audience, and anyone can enjoy it. Putting the crime plot to the side, the book is also about the relationship between the two main characters, Hazel and Daisy. I love the dynamics between these two intelligent girls, so different in character and yet perfectly complementary. They push each other in such a great way. In this instance, Daisy is confronted by several difficult situations, full of emotional and psychological repercussions, and I’m happy that Stevens didn’t just push them to the side. Her social behaviour becomes more understandable now that we can see her in her family. As for Hazel, I love her voice (narrator) and seeing her gaining in confidence, especially in order to help her friend :O)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    This was pretty cute. It's not the greatest kids' book in the world and certain bits were a bit odd to me even though I was remaining aware that it is aimed towards children. Like how well the police officer got on with Daisy and Hazel and how much he believed them. But overall it was pretty cute and I was pretty invested in finding out who had committed the murder. Plus it has the most adorable cover and title, let's face it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    REVIEW BY NIA 8:8 Arsenic for Tea is about two young girls called Hazel and Daisy Wong. They have spent many years at boarding school together and have grown to be budding detectives. Both girls are clever, friendly and get on well together. They complement each other well because one of them is very hyper and the other very serious. They both notice different things when working together which makes them a good team. Hazel’s family live in Hong Kong which means she goes back to Daisy’s house, in REVIEW BY NIA 8:8 Arsenic for Tea is about two young girls called Hazel and Daisy Wong. They have spent many years at boarding school together and have grown to be budding detectives. Both girls are clever, friendly and get on well together. They complement each other well because one of them is very hyper and the other very serious. They both notice different things when working together which makes them a good team. Hazel’s family live in Hong Kong which means she goes back to Daisy’s house, in England, during the school holidays. Following a death of a fellow matron at Deepdean School where both girls helped local Inspector Priestly in solving the case. The girls did most of the detective work, although that would be unprofessional to record in the Inspector’s Report. One school holiday there were some unusual happenings at Fallingford Manor. Daisy and Hazel have a new and rather suspicious governess for the holiday. Daisy’s birthday falls during the school break, so all of her family from across the world are coming to celebrate, including Daisy’s favourite uncle who just happens to be a detective. At the birthday tea there are murderous thought afoot and some intriguing family secrets are let out of the bag. Something untoward is in the tea, so when disaster strikes the girls (and their two friends) take it into their own hands to investigate the murder. Arsenic for Tea started slowly allowing the reader to take in the setting and background story. As soon as the action started the book grew on me. My favourite part of the book was when the case was falling into place, and all that remained was for the girls to do some secretive snooping to uncover the final clues. As you read the book you can try and solve the mystery yourself by picking up the clues scattered in the narrative. There was also a lot of suspense because people that you had formed a relationship with turned out to be prime suspects with an unknown past revealing another side to them. The book was written in the third person from the view of Daisy’s best friend Hazel who narrates the story. I really enjoyed this because you were aware of details about the characters which you might not hear if the main character was telling the story. This is interesting because you get Hazel’s thoughts and feelings about the main events and you hear some things that Daisy might not appreciate being said. The only thing that I disliked about the book was that it was slow at the beginning. Overall, it was an excellent book. I would definitely read a book by this author again. I would recommend these books to people that are older than nine because the murder isn’t gory but there is some romance. People that like mysteries and a bit of adventure would enjoy this book. I would rate Arsenic for Tea 4 stars out of 5 because I would have liked there to be a bit more action in it. However, the tension was held throughout the book. The author did this by keeping the most important clues until last, even then they made they mystery difficult to solve.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    3.5 rounded up.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    I enjoyed this more than I did the first installment. In the first place, the traditional house-party murder is more "believable" than a boarding school murder. In the second place, a real wart gets what's coming to him, so nobody really feels bad about it. Shocked, yes, but not bad. The author enjoys playing with the trope that "people like us" wouldn't do such a thing, so even if it had to be one of us, let's hush it up, mustn't let the side down donchaknow. In the third place, the author had I enjoyed this more than I did the first installment. In the first place, the traditional house-party murder is more "believable" than a boarding school murder. In the second place, a real wart gets what's coming to him, so nobody really feels bad about it. Shocked, yes, but not bad. The author enjoys playing with the trope that "people like us" wouldn't do such a thing, so even if it had to be one of us, let's hush it up, mustn't let the side down donchaknow. In the third place, the author had the sense to leave the "child's notebook in her handwriting" bit for the glossary of British terms at the end, so the informed reader can skip it. But if you do, you will miss her definition of kleptomania as a sickness only rich people get; they steal things they don't need, because they can't help it. Apparently there are no poor kleptomaniacs; it is assumed that if they steal something they actually want or need it, and therefore are deserving of arrest. How dare they be poor, anyway! In this book Uncle Felix becomes a Peter Wimsey-ish character, and Daisy gets her very own library scene. The only things that rattled a bit were the business with the letter, which was absurd, and the moment when Daisy's father describes psychology as "new age mumbo jumbo." Ooops. New Age was a term coined in the late 1980s, not the 1930s. That's what happens when an author doesn't study the idiom of a period in depth before writing a period novel. However, a rattling good read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

    I should stop leaving Robin Stevens' books on my shelves and just read them straight away. It's not just that they are incredibly smart, accessible, pacy and fun but they're also clever, well-structured and very well-researched. She does such credit to writers like P.D.James, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, whom children may encounter later, but is utterly her own writer with her own style. This second book is set in the rather lavish yet decaying home of the Wells family. At Fallingford I should stop leaving Robin Stevens' books on my shelves and just read them straight away. It's not just that they are incredibly smart, accessible, pacy and fun but they're also clever, well-structured and very well-researched. She does such credit to writers like P.D.James, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, whom children may encounter later, but is utterly her own writer with her own style. This second book is set in the rather lavish yet decaying home of the Wells family. At Fallingford, The Detective Society are left little time to solve a murder which could drag her whole family into ill repute. To readers, it may seem that the heroes of this series are Hazel and Daisy but it's the masterly plotting of the author that has won me over. I very much look forward to getting hold of more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren James

    This is an absolutely charming read! Beautifully written, it perfectly captures the Wodehouse/Sherlock Holmes/Agatha Christie vibe of early 19th century detectives. If I had discovered this as a child I think i would have died of joy, and as it is I cannot wait for the next in the series. So brilliantly thought out! (And I never guessed the murderer!) I especially loved the time that had been taken on the extras- the family tree, the house plan etc. It really goes to show the love and effort that This is an absolutely charming read! Beautifully written, it perfectly captures the Wodehouse/Sherlock Holmes/Agatha Christie vibe of early 19th century detectives. If I had discovered this as a child I think i would have died of joy, and as it is I cannot wait for the next in the series. So brilliantly thought out! (And I never guessed the murderer!) I especially loved the time that had been taken on the extras- the family tree, the house plan etc. It really goes to show the love and effort that has gone into this book, above and beyond the necessary.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Harrison

    This series is so much fun, despite touching on some dark subjects. The characters are wonderful, especially Daisy. I enjoyed getting to know her family, as this second mystery takes place at her home, Fallingford, complete with its own cast of colourful characters, including the intriguingly named ‘Toast Dog’, which made me smile. The mystery is well constructed and kept me guessing until the end. I look forward to the Detective Society’s next adventure. Warning: best consumed with cake, buns o This series is so much fun, despite touching on some dark subjects. The characters are wonderful, especially Daisy. I enjoyed getting to know her family, as this second mystery takes place at her home, Fallingford, complete with its own cast of colourful characters, including the intriguingly named ‘Toast Dog’, which made me smile. The mystery is well constructed and kept me guessing until the end. I look forward to the Detective Society’s next adventure. Warning: best consumed with cake, buns or scones.

  20. 5 out of 5

    4cats

    Again, I would say a confusing age rating on these. Very, very jolly hockeysticks and all that. There are certainly children's books, 2 girls who get involved in detecting murders which occur around them, young Miss Marples i suppose. Still I question the suitability of some of the content which doesn't marry with the age group I would imagine reading these. Ummm. Again 2 and a half stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)

    4.5 stars I love this series so much! Can't wait for First Class Murder!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Oda Renate

    Another marvelous crime. This time set in Daisys family estate. Her family are quite some characters :D Love the different parts and Hazel and the impossible to geuss murder. And and and READ THIS RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL REGRET IT!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Girard

    I had a lot of fun reading this book. I liked it less than the first one but this series is funny, smart and I'm looking forward to continue it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Superb! I figured it all out even before the murder happened, making this an easier mystery to crack than the previous volume, but Stevens strews Daisy and Hazel's path to the solution with so many red herrings that I started doubting myself and concocting increasingly complex theories, none of which were as close to the mark as my initial intuition. This one improves on Murder Most Ladylike in every way. The supporting cast is much more interesting, subplots are intriguing in their own way, the Superb! I figured it all out even before the murder happened, making this an easier mystery to crack than the previous volume, but Stevens strews Daisy and Hazel's path to the solution with so many red herrings that I started doubting myself and concocting increasingly complex theories, none of which were as close to the mark as my initial intuition. This one improves on Murder Most Ladylike in every way. The supporting cast is much more interesting, subplots are intriguing in their own way, the emotional stakes are higher and the pacing is taut and even breathless towards the end. If Stevens' next book is as much more accomplished than this one as this was than its predecessor (wow that was some tortured syntax), a splendid time shall be had by all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    My daughter and I both reading these books. The mysteries are quirky, very much golden age style and I like the characters of Daisy and Hazel. My daughter thinks she is Daisy and I would be her Hazel as none of her friends fit that description! I proudly would be.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Therese

    Poison is Not Polite is the second book in the Wells and Wong Mystery series by Robin Stevens. This was even better than the first book. If only our library had the next one . . . but they don't . . . woe is me!! 5 stars out of 5, review coming soon!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maan

    There was the additional layer of a detective trying to be objective when their family members are suspects. Nice.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Valentina Modena

    After the first, I wanted to read also the second. I’ve enjoyed it like the first, and I’m determined to continue the series. It’s good because every book is a free-standing case, and only the protagonists don’t change (luckily, because I really love them). In this book we meet Daisy’s family and we discover her house. I can’t wait to continue reading about new adventures and investigations with Daisy and Hazel!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate (infinitelynovel)

    This was super cute! I think I adore Daisy and Hazel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Bannon

    How has this series gotten even better?

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