Two friends form a detective agency—and must solve their first murder case—in this “sharp-witted debut” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) that is the first adventure in a brand-new middle grade mystery series set at a 1930s boarding school.
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends at Deepdean School for Girls, and they both have a penchant for solving mysteries. In fact, outspoken Daisy is a self-described Sherlock Holmes, and she appoints wallflower Hazel as her own personal Watson when they form their own (secret!) detective agency. The only problem? They have nothing to investigate.
But that changes once Hazel discovers the body of their science teacher, Miss Bell—and the body subsequently disappears. She and Daisy are certain a murder must have taken place, and they can think of more than one person with a motive.
Determined to get to the bottom of the crime—and to prove that it happened—before the killer strikes again, Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects, and use all the cunning, scheming, and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
Previously published as Murder Most Unladylike in the UK.
Eighth-grader Hazel Wong lives in the shadow of her best friend Daisy Wells, a girl so flawless that even retching seems to agree with her. Inspired by pulp fiction paperbacks, the girls form a secret detective agency at their boarding school, opening their first big case when their teacher, Miss Bell, turns up dead. Set in 1934 England, this first book in the Wells & Wong Mystery series is part murder mystery, part diary, and a pitch-perfect snapshot of adolescent friendship. Daisy is the classic mean girl: privileged, selfish, and as beautiful as she is heartless all qualities that Hazel lacks. (Narrator Hazel isn't even the heroine of her own story!) The girls are in over their heads, but Daisy, used to bending everyone to her whims, refuses to admit it, so it's up to pragmatic Hazel to save the case, and their lives. Their yin-yang friendship, like the camaraderie of Sherlock and Watson, is as integral to the story as the revelation of the murderer. A sharp-witted debut for Stevens, one that will leave readers eagerly awaiting subsequent installments. Ages 10 up.