10 Reasons to Read First Class Murder by Robin Stevens

First Class Murder

“Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are taking a holiday on the world-famous Orient Express – and it’s clear that each of their fellow first-class passengers has something to hide. Even more intriguing: there is rumour of a spy in their midst.

Then, during dinner, there is a scream from inside one of the cabins. When the door is broken down, a passenger is found murdered, her stunning ruby necklace gone. But the killer has vanished – as if into thin air.

Daisy and Hazel are faced with their first ever locked-room mystery – and with competition from several other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case.”

Here are my top ten reasons why you need to go and read First Class Murder!

  1. It is set on the Orient Express. Such an iconic train that immediately heralds images of adventure and mystery. A journey on the Orient Express is now firmly on my to do list.
  2. Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells just get better and better as characters in this book. I particularly liked the opportunity to learn more about Hazel’s family.
  3. A locked door mystery. I mean who doesn’t love a good locked door mystery?
  4. Research. You can really tell that Robin Stevens has done her research in this book. Evidence of this can be found in this blog post where she recounts a trip she took whilst researching for the book. After reading this I found myself with a little smile every time movement on the train was mentioned.
  5. Bun breaks. Nothing else makes me want to head to the bakery more.
  6. The plan of the sleeping car and dining car. I adore books with maps and plans that I have to flick back to.
  7. The characters. Such a rich and varied bunch. I so want to have a talk with the Countess and sit down and have a cup of tea with Hetty.
  8. It’s a page turner! As it is the summer holidays I have the luxury of being to read when I want which means I read this in a day as I could not put it down!
  9. Daisy’s Guide to the Orient Express is great for helping younger readers who may not be familiar with some of the vocabulary used in the book.
  10. The cover. This is the third in the series and I just adore the trio of covers that adorn my book case.

Witches, Arsenic and a trip to the Circus

There has been a bit of a silence on the blog for the past few weeks as two things occurred. One- the end of term. Zzzz. Two- the great DIY extravaganza.

The Great DIY Extravaganza included making more space for books!

The Great DIY Extravaganza included making more space for books!

Enough said! But all that is now done and it is time to start enjoying the summer holidays! I wanted to start by sharing some books I have read recently and then end by sharing a selection of the books I plan to read over the coming few weeks.

At the moment I think I have about 8 books on the go as I can’t focus on just one book at a time. My goal for the rest of the summer is to just read one book at a time! But here are some books I have finished recently and wanted to share with you as super reads.


Witch Wars by Sibéal Pounder and illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson- I am a huge advocate of the phrase you should never judge a book by its cover but I do adore the cover of this book! A fantastic book filled with spells, battles and the world below the sink pipes. We meet Tiga Whicabim, a witch who doesn’t know she is a witch, and follow her on her exploits as a competitor in the Witch Wars. A great read with super illustrations to match.

Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens- The second in the series following the adventures of Wells and Wong, schoolgirl detectives who find that murder follows them wherever they go! I adore the writing style of Robin Stevens and had worried I wouldn’t enjoy their adventures as much with the girls away from their boarding school but happily I enjoyed it even more. I won’t give too much away but seriously, go and read it! I now have the third in the series ready and waiting to read!

Mariella Mystery Investigates: The Ghostly Guinea Pig by Kate Pankhurst- With two out of four of these books all about detectives I think you can see it is a favourite genre of mine! The story follows the adventures of Mariella and her friends who try and solve the mystery of a ghostly guinea pig. This is a great book for younger readers and I have to give the fab a illustrations a quick mention.

Circus of the Unseen by Joanne Owen- this was a reading group read and I should start by saying that along with detectives I also have a thing for the circus. (I should probably add now I also love mermaids and zombies. But not together, that would be a weird mix…or would it?) Anyway Circus of the Unseen gripped me and I could not put it down. ‘When Rosie has an accident at her beloved and recently deceased grandmother’s house, the last thing she expects is to wake up in the middle of a circus. Yet here she is, and according to the sinister Mother Matushka, here she must stay.’ I adored the description in this book and it was only the ending that left me feeling a bit…well I won’t say anymore but if you have read it please let me know what you think!

So now onto the next lot of books! As you can see in the photo below quite a lovely selection.

summer books to read

Bad Magic by Pseudonymous Bosch- Although I have yet to finish the Secret Series I couldn’t stop myself from picking up the first in this new series by Pseudonymous Bosch.

Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell- This has been on my wishlist for ages but then one of the lovely boys in my class got me a whole bunch of books as an end of term gift and this was one of them. Thanks O and O’s mum!

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders- another one that had been on my wishlist for ages and another gift from O. Do you have access to my wishlist young man!?

Chicken Mission: Danger in the Deep Dark Woods by Jennifer Gray- I loved Atticus Claw so cannot wait to read this new series.

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders- After hearing so much about it online I just had a to get a copy to read.

Krindlekrax by Philip Ridley- This is actually a reread as I am going to be using it for our topic next term and so I just want a refresh of the story.

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens- See above! And this one is set on the Orient Express, exciting!

Secrets of the Tombs: The Dragon Path by Helen Moss- The Adventure Island series was my first experience of Helen Moss (if you haven’t read them go now and get yourself a copy, I will wait. Got it it? Good I will carry on) and I was excited to hear about her new series, Secrets of the Tombs. The first I read in about a day or so (who needs sleep?) and the second was recently released. I will be making sure the diary is clear when I read this!

Have you read anything recently that you loved? What have you got next on the book pile?

Happy Reading!