Book Review: Murder Is Bad Manners

Murder Is Bad Manners
Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Hazel Wong stumbles across the corpse of a murdered teacher, no one believes her except her faithful friend, Daisy Wells, and it’s up to the two girls to investigate the murder in between classes and still get their homework done. This 1930s British boarding school is the perfect setting for a murder mystery!

I love stories about boarding schools, and the little everyday goings-on of this school make for a hilarious story!
The plot has a lot of red herrings, so I never saw the solution until the very end. I puzzling and puzzling through the whole thing, and completely surprised at the end.

Hazel Wong is a complex character. As a “foreigner” trying to fit into British society, she learns to imitate the other girls at the school so that she doesn’t stand out, but still remains true to herself in her own way. She wants to be brave, but has very natural fears and sensitivities, which she has difficulty hiding.
That’s why it’s so easy to relate to Hazel. She is a misfit. She mostly hides who she is inside and what she’s feeling inside. She longs to belong, and she clings to “normality” like a security blanket. We all feel that way all the time every moment of our lives, I think.
But she shows amazing fortitude and cleverness, and runs around solving mysteries. She’s a trooper, and that’s why I love her!

Daisy is a little more of an enigma. She’s also hiding her true self, and laughing at everyone behind her mask. She’s a kind-hearted person, but feels that she has to play the social games of the school. She craves excitement and adventure, and doesn’t have the same imaginative fears that Hazel suffers from.

For a simple murder mystery, this book really gets deep into the meaning of friendship and social acceptance!
I love the writing style and the funny little descriptions of boarding school life, the rules, the teachers, and the hierarchy of students.
I want to read everything from the Wells and Wong series!

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