Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens

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.

Arsenic for Tea Cover

Arsenic for Tea Cover

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.

Other Books by the Author

Murder Most Unladylike

First Class Murder (July 2015)

Interview with Robin Stevens

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/may/29/robin-stevens-quickfire-interview-murder-most-unladylike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqYLPsxgXoY

Advice for new authors

http://girlsheartbooks.com/2015/03/13/robin-stevenss-advice-to-new-authors/

Author Website

http://robin-stevens.co.uk/

https://authorallsorts.wordpress.com/author/robinestevens/

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Beswitched – Kate Saunders

Smart – Kim Slater

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The Ruby Redfort series – Lauren Child

The Mysterious Misadventures of Clemency Wrigglesworth – Julia Lee

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32 thoughts on “Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens

  1. I didn’t find the beginning of this book very interesting but as I got further through, it just kept getting better and better. I thought the plot was very clever and the personalities of the different characters were brilliant. Some people thought that I wouldn’t like the fact that the two main characters were girls. I thought that the female characters made it more interesting and not what you’d expect in a murder mystery. Overall, I think this book is amazing!

  2. It’s Daisy Wells’s 14th birthday party at Fallingford house. Guests include family, school friends and an ‘antiques expert’, Mr Curtis. During the tea party, Mr Curtis is taken ill then dies. He seems to have been poisoned. Daisy and her friends try to solve the case before the police arrive.

  3. I really enjoyed this story but. If I’m honest, I preferred the first book. I thought the beginning was rather hard to get into and the end rather sudden, given there were no clues to help us guess the murderer. I’m still looking forward to the third book though!

  4. I enjoyed this book because it was well plotted and gripping but I did feel rather cheated that the murderer turned out to be a rather insignificant character whose motive, though believable, couldn’t have been guessed at by the reader.
    I think this book is good in that it’s a believable murder mystery which manages to work without violence and gory details and so is suitable for children. I like that it’s narrated by Hazel, writing in the first person in her casebook. This gives the right perspective for a detective story.

  5. I loved this book. It kept me on edge until the end – there was never a boring moment. The characters are totally believable from Hazel, who has secretly fallen for Daisy’s brother, to Lord and Lady Hastings, who are very awkward with each other. I thought the plot twist at the end was great. I just had to read the prequel but if you haven’t, it really doesn’t matter as this story works on its own.

  6. I really loved this book! It was so carefully plotted to make us suspect first one person then another that I struggled to put it down. I was on edge when everything pointed to the murderer being a character that I really cared about. It was so clever how everything fitted together and I can’t wait to read the prequel!

  7. I enjoyed this book immensely; you’ve just got to read it! The plot was amazingly clever and I didn’t suspect the right person at all.

  8. I simply couldn’t put this book down and can’t wait until the next one comes out. I did read the prequel first but don’t worry if you haven’t because the author cleverly puts you in the picture. I found myself trying to solve the mystery alongside Hazel and felt as frightened as Beanie when she went to investigate the bedrooms! The maps of the house at the beginning were really helpful and helped to make the whole story chillingly realistic.

  9. I thought the author was very clever in making us suspect one person after another. I never guessed the real murderer.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn’t see the plot twist at the end coming at all. I loved the way that a set of events like the salt episode could be interpreted in different ways by different people. This story flowed very easily to its surprising end and I loved every minute of it.

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from its well-planned plot to its cheery and interesting characters. The identity of the murderer didn’t come as a huge surprise but I have to admit that the sequence of events definitely threw me off track. It’s a pleasure to be updated on the doings of Wells and Wong and I’m eagerly anticipating the next instalment!

  12. I really like this story. It was hard to put down. I like how the characters’ motives are gradually revealed as the plot unfolds. At times it gets very chilling especially, when the girls are rummaging through the bedrooms and I was certain they’d be caught! When I discovered who the murderer was I knew I should have guessed but…well, I can’t give that away!

  13. Best book I’ve ever read!
    I was a bit worried that I’d find it boring because the start was rather slow but then I got involved with Hazel and Daisy’s Detective Society and I was hooked. I loved picking up all the clues as I read and feeling anxious for Daisy when she saw and heard things that she really didn’t want to know about.

  14. This book was captivating and the dialogue was pitch perfect! I was blown away by the characters and I enjoyed every second of the plot. I’m definitely going to read the prequel!

  15. Arsenic for Tea is a deeply chilling murder mystery, which I enjoyed thoroughly. The characters, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are brilliant because they are clever, funny, inquisitive and easy to empathise with.

    Following a successful investigation in a previous book, the girls set up a detective society with a secret handshake and a casebook. They desperately want to be detectives so you can imagine their excitement when a guest is murdered at Daisy’s birthday party and the signs are screaming: POISON! Things rapidly get worse when all the evidence points to the murderer being very close to Daisy and floods cut off the house. With a storm howling outside, anyone could be the next victim…

    This story is gripping. I’ve never come across such a mixture of themes – comedy, horror and mystery – in one book and it works very well. I loved the detailed plans of the house at the beginning because they helped me follow the suspects’ movements but I didn’t use the family tree as relationships were made so clear in the story.

    Overall, I loved this book and am looking forward to following the series. I would recommend it to readers aged 9-12 as the murder wasn’t too terrifying.

  16. I really enjoyed this book, especially because I was kept guessing right upto the end. I found it easy to connect with Daisy and Hazel, despite the 1935 setting. They seemed to think and behave just like us. The book captured perfectly the girls’ frustration at not being listened to simply because they weren’t adults. The plot kept me engaged right until the end when all the characters did was to discuss how they had identified the murderer.

  17. I thought this was a very clever book with lots of excitement and adventure. I’ve read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it so I was very pleased to get Arsenic for Tea! I was really amazed by the ingenious plot and thought the characters were superb! I enjoyed the story very much, especially when Hazel and Daisy discovered who had killed Mr Curtis. I’d been picking up the clues and trying to work it all out at the same time but I’d never have guessed at the real killer’s identity! Overall, I found this a very clever story with a very clever murderer!

  18. This book was great despite its rather slow start. I like things to happen straight away! It’s about two boarding school friends called Hazel and Daisy who formed a detective society in a previous book. They are attending Daisy’s birthday party when a rather nasty guest is poisoned and they try to discover who did it. It really kept me guessing.

  19. This book was gripping and forced me to keep on reading. I liked how the murder story slowly unravelled which kept me guessing up to the end. I like the challenge of working things out for myself. Sometimes I thought there was too much explanation when I already knew what was going on and this slowed down the story a bit but I did enjoy this book.

  20. This is a thrilling tale. The author made me feel as though I was there with Daisy and Hazel. I agreed with Hazel that it was hard to believe that X was the murderer but understandable when you knew his reasons. I liked the inclusion of Kitty and Beanie because they added some fun with Beanie getting so worked up about things and Kitty not suspecting people because they looked too nice! I’ve read some books that only get good towards the end but Arsenic for Tea kept my attention all the way though. I can’t wait for the next case!

  21. I don’t really like mystery books but I did enjoy the characters in this story. Lady Hasting, in particular, was a very good character and her part in the story was interesting because it hinted at so many possibilities. I thought the killer’s motives were plausible enough but I found it hard to believe that he did it. I liked the character of Miss Alston because no one knew who she was.

  22. I enjoyed reading this book and trying to work out who the murderer was. When I found out at the end who it was, I felt rather cheated because I didn’t know all that stuff about him so I couldn’t have worked it out. I thought Mr Curtis deserved to die because of all the bad things he did.

  23. This book did remind me of a Miss Marple episode: a person we don’t suspect turns out to be the culprit and the police are proved wrong. I wasn’t really convinced by the schoolgirl detectives but this book was fun to read and the characters were portrayed very well. Not my favourite.

  24. Arsenic For Tea is a brilliant book, furthermore I am very excited to read the rest of the series. I really liked the mystery in it and that at the end there was a last-minute turn around. Over all, Arsenic For tea is an excellent murder mystery book and I hope more of the series come out.
    Molly

    Arsenic for Tea has truly astonished me. I -being truthful- do not particularly like murder mystery books. But I soon found that I simply could not put Arsenic for Tea down! I found the characters distinct and utterly unique whereas the plot of the whole book was phenomenal! I would highly recommend to my fellow peers.
    Grace

    One of my favourite books so far out of the books selected. I don’t usually read mystery stories but found this story intriguing. An exciting Wells & Wong mystery that was eventually solved. Although this was not a night story, I couldn’t stop reading it! I recommend this book for ages above 10 years.
    Layyah

    I thought that this book was amazing! The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when Daisy, Hazel, Kitty and Beanie found various pieces of evidence that made each person (from the Wells family) look guilty. I was quite surprised at the end when I found out who the murderer was but it all made sense.
    Lara

    Arsenic is a kind of poison: this murder mystery is definitely a thriller. Daisy and Hazel are amazing characters – if only they were real! The plot was interesting and surprising; it always kept me on my toes. I truly recommend this book to people who enjoy thrilling murder mysteries and reading stories from another perspective. Compliments to the author for writing such an interesting series of murder mysteries.
    Pia

    This book is full of surprises, every page you turn something unexpected happens. The murder is so unexpected you get quite a shock at who it is. I really liked this book because I like surprises in books, and it keeps your mind working and people aren’t who you think they are.
    Meghan

    Gosh, what a thrilling tale! I couldn’t believe how amazing that book was. The plot, the characters and everything else about it. It’s amazing how well someone can create such a vivid image in someone else’s head.
    Shruthi

  25. I think this book is a little hard for me but I gave it a try and I am glad I got to the end. I liked how you could guess the murderer but kept getting it wrong. I like Daisy because she sounds really fun. I’m reading the first book now.

  26. I found this book hard to get into but, once it picked up, I really started enjoying it. My favourite character was Daisy because she’s a bit like me and the leader of the group. I’m satisfied that the murderer turned out to be the person it did but I still think it should have been Felix! Despite that, I thought the plot was very good.

  27. This book was a truly great read although I thought the first few chapters were hard to understand. The two central characters are highly intelligent schoolgirls and when they focus together on a case, they are unstoppable. The cleverly devised structure of this book keeps you guessing until the very end.

  28. This story is about two schoolgirls who started a detective society in the prequel. When a murder happens during the birthday party of one of them, they must solve the case before the murderer strikes again! I was afraid this book would be girly but it isn’t and the murder mystery was good. It was an exciting story and I’d definitely recommend it.

  29. I have just finished this book. As I got near the end, I was so excited to find out who the murderer was that the suspense was killing me! I didn’t expect this person at all.

  30. This book is fantastic! It has really enthralling language that makes you want to read more and the way the murder was staged made me excited and it made sense when they showed who murdered Mr Curtis.

  31. I bought this on World Book Day and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are loads of twists and turns to the plot, so even when you think you’ve solved it, the story flips and you’re lost again!

  32. Despite not having read the first book involving Daisy and Hazel, I fell completely into this story and became totally involved with all the characters. I didn’t want any of them to face the death penalty!

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