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Death Sets Sail by Robin Stevens - Review

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Nooooo it's the last of the Murder Most Unladylike books! We have to say goodbye to Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong! Nooooooooooo I'm not ready!!! I feel like we've all been waiting for this book for AGES, so as soon as it arrived on Friday the 7th of August I decided to pause the book I was reading (which is great and will be my next review!) and pick this up. I had read some of the blurb and spoilers for the book, and I feel like my review will be better if I share them here.


Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are in Egypt, taking a cruise along the Nile. They are hoping to see some ancient temples and a mummy or two; what they get, instead, is murder.

Also travelling on the SS Hatshepsut is a mysterious society called the Breath of Life: a group of genteel English ladies and gentlemen, who believe themselves to be reincarnations of the ancient pharaohs. Three days into the cruise their leader is found dead in her cabin, stabbed during the night.

It soon becomes clear to Daisy and Hazel that the victim's timid daughter is being framed - and they begin to investigate their most difficult case yet.

But there is danger all around, and only one of the Detective Society will make it home alive...

So that's pretty conclusive, right? I knew that before I started reading and indeed, at the beginning of the book, Hazel is at Daisy's home, Fallingford, just a couple of days before Christmas, and she's there without Daisy. No one feels much like being festive, but Hazel knows she needs to write down everything that happened in Egypt. So she starts one of her casebooks...

A couple of weeks earlier, Daisy and Hazel set out with Amina to Egypt, where Amina is from. They have a nice few days in Cairo and then they board a Nile cruise ship. Also on board are Hazel's dad and younger sisters Rose and May. And then, very ODDLY obviously, George and Alexander from the Pinkerton Society turn up! 

The remaining guests are all adults, and are members of a strange society called The Breath of Life. They believe they are reincarnated souls of famous Egyptians like Cleopatra, and they have strange rituals to go alongside. Daisy and Hazel and the others watch the ritual one night. Afterwards, they go to bed, but in the morning, the head of the society, Theodora, is found murdered in her bed. 

The Detective Society get to work, helped by George and Alex and Amina and also May, Hazel's littlest sister. She is only six, and a total monkey, but she's managed to witness some very important things and the detectives need her help.

All of the rest of Breath of Life are prime suspects, plus Theodora's son, Daniel, who is extranged from his mother but has come on the trip anyway. Hazel comes up against her dad, but the truth is that both she and Daisy, now fifteen, are growing up and finding their own ways in the world.

It was so sad to read this book because it is the last one and I was really aware of that the whole way through. I loved the story, and I thought Robin really encapsulated the feel of Egypt and the Nile. As always, I loved her descriptions of food. I raced to the end because I was really desperate to know what happened and how the series would end. I started crying around page 363 and kept it up to the end. My partner was surprised because I NEVER usually cry at books. But it was so much! I was so sad! 

I'm thrilled to learn that May Wong will return in her own series of books in 2022, and I can't wait to see who pops up in a cameo then.... 

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