A First Class Murder!

Murder Most Unladylike Book 3 Review, and my selfie.

Welcome one and all, to the extravaganza that is, the Sunday Selfies; a weekly celebration of companion bloggers from across the world started and hosted by The Cat On My Head Blog and Janet Blue.

Thankfully Halloween is now over, and we at the Palace can sleep a bit easier in our beds at night, without explosions going off and frightening the village children and kittens for whom, it is alleged, the fireworks are meant to impress and delight. Frankly, I was not at all either of those things.

Anyways, with such things over, Mrs H’s best white Egyptian cotton 800 thread count sheets, (she won’t have silk as she says it is highly impractical and not as nice to sleep on or in between) that were borrowed from the washing line by persons, cats or spirits unknown, have been returned to her anonymously. Alas, whilst the dried cream and pumpkin juice stains will wash off, the eye-shaped holes will take some sorting; looks like I’ll be doing some darning over the coming weeks, MOL. Next year she has decided to save the laundry till after the ghostly apparitions have done their turns about the village. 

The Review

OK. So, in between checking the DNA of the cat hairs found stuck to the sheets, we’ve been thinking of travel, and adventures old and new and across the globe. What brought this on, you may ask? Well, we’ve been reading the 3rd Murder Most Unladylike mystery adventure called: First Class Murder. And this time I am pleased to say that the title is the same in the USA as in the UK, though the book covers are so very different. 

A First Class Murder, By Robin Stevens.

This adventure finds our two friends, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong taking a trip on the Orient Express along with Hazel’s father. What should have been a fun, educational and sightseeing tour of Europe in pre-war days – and definitely crime-free – turns out to be the girls’ third adventure when an heiress with a decidedly expensive ruby necklace and a rude and loud husband, is found murdered in her compartment. The ultimate locked-room mystery ensues.

For the greater part, the adventure stays within the train’s luxury carriage and focuses on a rather interesting set of guests, most of whom initially seem to have a motive and the opportunity. They include: the elderly Russian Countess Demidovskoy, who had to sell that very same necklace to escape the Russian Revolution and makes no bones that she’ll be having it back; Il Mysterioso – a very skilful magician with a secret he needs to keep at all costs, and Madame Melinda, a medium and the heiresses link to her departed mama. Melinda doesn’t seem to have a good word to say about anyone, least of all the deceaseds husband, and has talents beyond those she wants to show.

Join the girls as they duck, dive and curtsey around the passengers, avoid Mr Wong’s reproving eye and forbading words, and out-detect a rather inept and conceited Dr Sandwich, who takes on the role of detecting the case but soon goes off the rails!

Oh, if the murder was not enough, there’s also a German spy on board, as well a British secret service agent. 

Of course, what is an adventure without making new friends, right? Along the way they encounter Alexander, the American grandson of the Countess. He is also a budding detective and a member of the ‘Junior Pinkertons’. Whilst begrudgingly allowed to assist by Daisy, he makes a lasting impression on Hazel for his methods and ability. I am pleased to say that he will also be found in books to come.

Oh, if the the murder was not enough, there’s also a German spy on board, as well a British secret service agent. 

I’ve always wanted to be able to say ‘and who knows where this will end?!’ but of course the train is headed to Belgrade, so that is known. What we don’t know until the final pages, is whether our two intrepid sleuths have got it right, and more importantly, will they be believed and save a travesty of justice?


What do we think? 

This is a marvellous variation on the ‘locked room’ mystery and a truly great nod to Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. As an introduction to the genre, I have to say that you could not find a better example. Readers both young (ages 8+) and older will enjoy this adventure, and I think they will find this a thoroughly enjoyable intro to the series if they haven’t already read the two before. Definitely a 10/10 read, and middle-grade fiction that will stand the test of time – maybe even as long as Agatha herself!

So it just remains to say: All aboard the Orient Express for another fine murder mystery adventure!

If you would like to know how this delightful and fiendishly clever mystery ends, then please do book your ticket right now by forming an orderly queue (at your local bookshop). If you just can’t wait to climb aboard, then please book online by heading to Amazon, or similar, where you should find a dining car’s worth of mystery and a silver service full of blind alleys and poached fish (red) at the click of the button.

Anyways, enough of book reviews for this week, here’s my selfie!

Till next time, when we will be giving you the low down on the fourth book – assuming Mrs H isn’t off doing her version of ‘CSI Much-Mousing’, we wish you all a safe, happy, and well read week!

Till later, Toodlepip and Purrs!

ERin

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Author: Erin, the Literary Cat.

I'm an ND, neurodivergent, Middle Grade fiction writer and book blogger. Erin also happens to be my feline companion, who loves nothing more than to wile away her time listening to all the stories I read to her. Together, we share our own adventures, and those of our fellow Middle Grade writers who enlighten the lives of young, and older, everywhere!

3 thoughts on “A First Class Murder!”

  1. Now that book soundss furry kewl….LadyMew LOVESS her mysteriess!
    Erin Purrincess yore Selfie iss so lovlee…you look so wistfull an beeuteefull.
    Wee hope thingss there are MUCH quietur now. Firewerkss scare THE BEEJEESUS OUTTA MEE!
    ***purrss*** an ~~head rubss~~ BellaDharma ~~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheets…..we are picky too. Egyptian Cotton 800 thread is just too warm for this climate most of the time. However, in the dead of winter….the Egyptian Cotton is thee only way to go. That’s only a few days each winter. The rest of the time we love 50% cotton 50% poly’s ester. These sheets are harder to find then mouse teeth. So we are very careful.

    As for the book. It sounds exciting. The Orient Express always carries adventurous passengers. This is a must read at bedtime to have us looking out for murders and thieves. Thanks for the great review Erin. Your selfie is another hit with us,

    Shoko

    Liked by 1 person

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