September 9, 2016

Poison Is Not Polite by Robin Stevens

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 3:15 pm by suebe2

poison-is-not-polite-9781481422154_hrPoison Is Not Polite
by Robin Stevens
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

It’s the holidays so school is out.  Instead of heading home to Hong Kong, Hazel goes home with Daisy. After all, it is also going to be her best friend’s birthday.  What fun!

But things don’t go quite as planned.  Daisy’s mother has planned a children’s tea for the girls. The adults get into it much more than the tweens, and the girls are only about to get their own tea when one of the men suddenly gets very sick.  Pale and in with terrible stomach pains, the other adults take him upstairs.

Daisy and Hazel sneak into the library to research his symptoms. Daisy is sure they sound familiar and soon she has an answer.  The violent symptoms he is suffering are consistent with arsenic poisoning.  Has someone used rat poison on Mr. Curtis?

As is so often the case when reviewing a mystery, I don’t want to summarize the events and give away “who done it.”  There’s no spoiler in telling you that Mr. Curtin ultimately dies so Daisy and Hazel finds themselves investigating another murder.  (This much is on the book jacket so I haven’t given anything away.)

The problem is that a storm had isolated Fallingford, the manor where Daisy’s family lives.  That means that whoever killed Mr. Curtis is one of Daisy’s friends or family.  Unless the butler did it.  The problem is that Curtis was disagreeable and dishonest.  Almost every adult present had a reason to wish him ill and half of the adults are acting very suspicious.

Daisy’s mother seems to have been very close, ahem, to the dead man.

Her father was seen arguing with him.

The new governess, though an excellent teacher, is obviously hiding something in the handbag she never sits down.

And even beloved, fun Uncle Felix is obviously hiding something.

Can Hazel help Daisy solve the mystery without breaking her best friend’s heart?

This is the second Wells and Wong Mystery.  Although it occasionally refers to the first book, readers can easily pick up this one without getting lost.  Although this book is primarily a mystery, there is a lot to it as it deals with classism and racism, one of Daisy’s relatives initially makes rude comments about Hazel who is Chinese. Still, the majority of the family doesn’t even blink, quickly accepting the new girl and going on about life.

This isn’t a high action, car chase type of mystery.  But it is an excellent story of friendship, human nature and two girls determined to do what is right even when it may not make them happy.


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