Author: Robin Stevens
Publisher: Penguin Books
Details: 416pp, £6.99, paperback
In this seventh book of the Murder Most Unladylike series, our intrepid spot-suffering cake-eating schoolgirl detective Hazel Wong and her best friend Daisy are challenged to solve a gruesome murder at the glamorous Rue Theatre in the heart of central London.
During a short period of recuperation from Deepdean School after their Hong Kong adventures, the girls are reluctantly taken on as bit-part actors by the Rue’s intimidating Miss Crompton at the request of Daisy’s Aunt Lucy, with whom they are staying. But as rehearsals get underway, the girls soon discover that the large cast has a history of jealousies, prejudices, power struggles and nasty pranks, and when the unpopular leading lady is found murdered the entire company falls under suspicion.
The theatre provides a rich and colourful background, with strong characters and detailed descriptions that bring 1930s London to life and add tension and drama to an already dynamic storyline. These extra dimensions combine to make this the best MMU novel yet, with a slightly more adult feel than its predecessors to reflect the protagonists’ increase in age to around 15.
Death in the Spotlight is sure to be a hit with KS3 readers who enjoy traditional murder mysteries with a historical, even nostalgic, setting. And as a bonus, the colourful and distinctive covers of this popular series combine to make a very attractive display.
Natalia Marshall is the LRC Manager at The Compton School, London
Student reviews: ‘You’re left wanting more’
Daisy and Hazel are best friends who go to Deepdean school but are taking a break. They are staying at Daisy’s uncle and aunt’s house and decide to go to the theatre in their free time. But they love solving mysteries and call themselves the detective society.
But then when a dead body is found in the theatre, things start to change because Daisy and Hazel are left to solve the mystery together. What they don’t know is that the people in the theatre are not really themselves at all. Will they solve the mystery and find out who killed Rose Tree?
If you want to find out who got murdered and who did it you will have to read the book.
I love this book because the two main characters, Hazel and Daisy, are brave and funny and they take you along on their adventures – you never know what is going to happen next. It was different to all other books out of the series, because it was set in a theatre. I recommend reading the first book before this one because there were some characters I didn’t know but then I think you can read them any order after that.
Gia, Year 8
I like Death in the Spotlight because it has a lot of plot twists which keep you wanting to read more, which is what I look for in a book. This book is just as good as the rest of the series because the author has created a new setting in the Rue Theatre and I enjoyed the way it made London in the 1930s seem very realistic. I liked that historical detail, and could easily imagine everything that happens. The covers of the whole series are very bright and bold so they are iconic and unique, and eye-catching so they are easy to recognise.
Emma, Year 8
This series is full of mysteries and sudden plot twists, leaving the readers with many questions so they are left wanting to read more. The characters are very engaging which makes the book fun to read. I love that once you have read the first book (Murder Most Unladylike) it does not matter which order you read the rest of the books in as they don’t give away any spoilers of the previous books.
The author, Robin Stevens, has a great YouTube channel in which she talks about her new book releases and if you’re lucky she might read an exclusive extract.
Caitlin, Year 8
Death in the Spotlight is brilliant. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong join the Rue Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The story really starts coming to life after the murder of the actor who plays Juliet, and it seems to be a race against time to stop the murderer from striking again. I would highly recommend it to kids of all ages. It’s amazing and surprising, the best of the Murder Most Unladylike series yet.
Bibi, Year 10
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