Sunday, 29 November 2020

Now that's 'Jolly Foul Play'

 'Jolly Foul Play' by Robin Stevens; an absolutely spiffing book review & A Sunday Selfie!

 

 Erin the cat; Addicted to Mice & Mystery!

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.


But first, a book review—


With the bonfires all burnt out, the cinders raked up, and the sparklers all packed away for another year, Mrs H and I found the time to catch up on some missed sleep and a good read. This last few weeks we have been sharing book four in the Murder Most Unladylike series, titled: Jolly Foul Play.

 

What's it all about?

 

Having returned to their school after their adventuresome holiday on the Orient Express, Hazel and Daisy find that a new Head Girl has been appointed. Elizabeth Hurst is, as far as the rest of the students are concerned, nobodies idea of the ideal head girl, but seems to have the headmistresses approval. And so begins a reign of terror.



Using her deputies – five older school girls known ominously as 'the five' – she gathers details of each student. Then in a very discrete manner, uses it against them as a form of blackmail, and to stir up rivalries.


Then, during the Deepdene Girl's School School bonfire night celebration, after the sparklers have fizzled out, a scream goes out. Elizabeth is found dead, a tragic, freak blow to the head from stepping backwards onto a rake. 


The Headmistress and staff believe just that, and matters are resolved with the sacking of the school's handyman and groundskeeper, Jones, who must have left the rake out.

 

Tragic though it was, the rest of the school think things will now return to a normal. But for schoolgirls, Daisy (President of the Detective Society) and Hazel (Vice-President and Secretary), this seems to have the hallmarks of a murder!


But with Elizabeth's rod of iron rule gone, and the five seemingly unable to control the younger students, things start to slide: discipline lapses, and breaking of the school rules abounds. 


Matters heighten when notes – torn from a notebook – start being found by the younger students. Each one reveals some indiscretion, or sin, of a student or their family which they would want kept secret. Whilst some are already known, others are shocking and nigh on criminal. 

 

This has the effect of raising the tensions and driving wedges between once friends. Daisy has a soft spot for Jones and sets out to detect the case, find the motive, criminal and get Jones back with his good name restored. And all before any more secrets come out or anyone else murdered.


To help, Daisy and Hazel enlist the help of their dorm mates: Kitty, Beanie, and Lavinia. With a team of five, they match 'the five' prefects and start their hunt for clues in earnest. But to do it, they soon realise need to uncover the very secrets of the five that kept them under Elizabeths control.


Now at this point, things start to go wrong for our friends, and there is a falling out, big time, in the Detective Society. All good friendships are based on trust, and it seems someone has committed an unforgivable sin and betrayed the Detective Society oath. 


OK, so from here on, I will not offer you too much more as it will spoil the story, and yes, there is lots more to come!

 

What I will say is that it comes in ways you do not expect, and the plot weaves its way back and forth and strikes just like a snake, or indeed, like a hockey player with the ball.......



What did we think?

 

WOW! Mrs H and I loved this book, in fact, we have this in paperback and on Audible too. Mrs H says thankfully her school was not quite as bad as this, though there was a time when...... OK, OK, apparently I can't tell you what she got up to, well not at the moment. But what I can say is that the plot is rich and unique; interwoven with aspects of friendships, hardships, and the power or otherwise of secrets and those that use them – for better or worse. 

 

Since the last book, our protagonists, Hazel and Daisy, have both matured in ways that show an intensity of emotions, aptitude and drive, which we feel mirrors life. This all helps create a realistic feel for the times and a promise of exciting things to come in the next story. Is there an international flavour? There sure is! Is there romance blooming? Well, I think that is one I shall leave up to the reader to decide – and the astute readers and detectives amongst you will maybe see clues that go beyond this story.


If you've not read any of the others in the series, I DO recommend starting at book 1 as this will give you a better grasp and feel for the characters, time period, and events that have been referred to.



Who should read this book? 

 

Absolutely ages 8-9 upwards, of any gender. And also anyone that loves a great detective mystery that almost turns the pages for you. Adult readers: Don't be put off by this being a middle-grade book, the series is very well considered and much loved – and where else do young detectives earn their stripes?

So, all that remains is to say "Jolly hockey sticks to one and all, and Jolly Foul Play!"

 

 

Want to buy a copy?

 

If you'd like to do a spot of detecting of your own, on and off the hockey pitch, the link below will take you to Amazon. Should you happen to buy a copy, and we hope you will, Mrs H and I will earn a few pence that we will be passing on to our local cat and dog Rescue Centre.


USA Link to buy BOOK 4 'JOLLY FOUL PLAY' from Amazon.com can be found HERE   

UK Link to buy BOOK 4 'JOLLY FOUL PLAY' from Amazon.co.uk can be found HERE   

 

USA Link to buy Book 1 'MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE' from Amazon.com, can be found HERE.

UK Link to buy Book 1 'MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE' from Amazon.co.uk, can be found HERE.

 

USA Link to buy Book 2 'ARSENIC FOR TEA' from Amazon.com, can be found HERE.

UK Link to buy Book 2 'ARSENIC FOR TEA' from Amazon.co.uk, can be found HERE.

 

USA Link to buy book 3 'A FIRST CLASS MURDER' from Amazon.com, can be found HERE.

UK Link to buy book 3 'A FIRST CLASS MURDER' from Amazon.co.uk, can be found HERE.

 

And finally, one more picture of me with the book......... 



........ and one of me, my selfie and doing what comes naturally (aka thinking up stories for my latest book).

 



Next time I will be reviewing Book 5 in the series. 

 Between then and now I suspect, as it's the WI's annual, all-in, no holds barred charity Hockey match in aid of the Uppper Much-Mousing Red Cross, I'll be nursing a few bruised shins, bloodied knees and an incidental/accidental black eye or two. Not all Mrs H's I hope. Till then, we wish you all a safe, happy, and well-read week – sans the hockey sticks!

Till later.

Toodlepip and Purrs!

ERin

 


32 comments:

  1. Your selfies are lovely.
    The book sounds very good. I followed the link but it is for Amazon US and they don't appear to have the Kindle version. The UK site does though, but I don't know if you would still get your pennies for the shelter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and glad you enjoyed the post. I have added the links to Amazon.co.uk for your use. If you use the UK site via that link, the cats and dogs will benefit. Thank you from us and them.
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  2. Lovely selfie, Erin!

    The book sounds like a lot of fun. Right now, #1 has so much work that she is way behind in her reading, but she will keep it on her list.

    Purrs,
    Tama and Genji

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs H has the same sort of pile and backlog. If it gets much bigger I'll need to cut a hole in the library ceiling, MOL
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
    2. Thank you. I have just ordered the Kindle version.

      Delete
  3. That book sounds absolutely ripping!
    If We buy through the US site, will the shelter benefit? (We understand it is in the UK.) For some reason, although We opened Our Account through the UK site, Amazon forces Us to buy through the US link, because of Our Mailing Address.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was ripping fun. Now if you us the USA link, then yes, the shelter will still benefit as both links link to Mrs H and I. Amazon is terribly hard to fathom sometime but at least we have an option to both. Thank you though for going to the lengths of opening an account to buy a copy. It is much appreciated, and we hope you enjoy the book should it arrive OK.
      Purrs, ERin

      Delete
  4. Hi Erin! *Big Paw Wave* We have really missed you guys. Sometimes we visit and cannot leave a comment for some stupid reason. We're so glad we can comment today. Big hugs to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and glad you could come to the review. We have had to lock comments after a few days due to spam, which may account for problems commenting. Have a great week and above all stay safe and well.
      Purrs
      ERin & Mrs H

      Delete
  5. Blackmail, murder and betrayal? This sure sounds like a good tale, Erin! We're going to check it out!

    Nice selfie, too. We can see you're thinking really hard.

    XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is all Jolly good fun. Middle grade books have a lot to offer and arent too challenging to read either, which Mrs H finds handy after a heavy day in the fields, then laundry then kitchens and after dusting etc..... Mol
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  6. That was a wonderful review sweet Princess and your selfies are marvelous!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is something a little different to do, but just as much fun to share, like the selfies.
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  7. What a sweet selfie Princess! That is the face of a contented cat for sure. The book sounds like something right up my alley, I'll check it out - thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. And please do have a look at the series. I was much surprised how complex they were, and changed my opinion of what younger readers read. They have so much fun and adults miss out on the good stuff, MOL
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  8. Guess what, Princess? Mom finally started reading book 1 of the series, after it had sat waiting on my bookshelf since, DECEMBER of last year! Tee hee hee. She is now on chapter 6 and says the story moves along at a steady pace. She is enjoying the book already.

    You are getting to be quite the expert of this series, I must say! You could start your own Podcast . . . er Purrdcast, to talk about them further where your fans, including me could also see more of you. Kisses from Your Prince, V.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! All good things come to those that wait, MOL. My sweet, if we did a podcast together, I suspect I would melt like butter or not form a sentence as I stare into your dreamy eyes and admire your plush fur.
      Maybe best I stick to just writing, and I certainly don't want Mrs H loose on air; heck, who knows where that would end!
      Purrs
      ERin
      XOXO

      Delete
  9. Sounds like a fun book we will look it over

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Fun wholesome yet relevant books are most of what we read these days, but not the silly books or dystopian zombie stuff. The one exception has been a book called 'The End of Men.' Due out in April 2021, it is a great and prescient plot based on a virus like situation. It was written before Covid hit the world so not at all bandwaggoning. Makes you think about the world thrown into turmoil and the imbalances we have at present. I'll be doing a review next year when it is 'officially' published, so watch this spot....
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mrs H came up with that, and does reflect how we feel. Im thinking of it being our tagline. :)
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  11. Erin! Darling! I have missed you so furry much! YOU are the reason (well, one of the reasons) why I have been gently purrsuading Mom to help up blog! Now that sounds like a cracking good book! Purrhaps we can get Mom to read it! She LOVES this kind of book!
    Forever adoration from your Marv
    And I guess Jo Jo, Kozmo and Mom Barb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear, we have missed you too, and we are glad if we have been able to be a part of what has made you be here today! We are so pleased your team is back up and running. Maybe your staff can, if now retired, do some reviews too? We are, well Mrs H is, ALL EARS' MOL
      Stay well and safe, and look forwards to seeing you all soon!
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  12. Great review! I almost was at the edge of my chair! MOL!

    Love your sleepy Sunday Selfie, Erin!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds like a good book, Erin! And your selfies are very cute!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds and interesting read Erin,I must say you look fab today,xx Speedy

    ReplyDelete
  15. ERin ewe bee gorgeouz in black and white; hay, thatz yur coat !!! and in color !!! thiz ree mindz de gurl oh de nancy drew her readed ...her could reed a book ina day when it waz rainin out oh doorz :) ♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  16. This sounds like an excellent book series. Thanks for sharing with us, Erin.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hmmm ... I'm thinking my niece might love these books ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a whole tuck box to like in the stories, and many a happy hour to be had being carried along with the journey. Buy one for yourself, and then pass on to your niece, thats what I do, well would if I had a niece, MOL
      Purrs
      ERin

      Delete
  18. ERin

    knot post ree lated tho we did wanna say we hope ewe haz a merree Christmas anda happee healthee blessed 2021 !! :) 🙂 ♥♥ we iz headed ta knot on line land for a few 🙂 ♥♥♥ see ya soon ~~~~

    ReplyDelete