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Once Upon A Crime by Robin Stevens - Review

Wednesday, September 15, 2021


It's the last ever book featuring The Detective Society! The last ever Wells & Wong mysteries! The last ever time we'll be with Daisy and Hazel! Wahhh! This isn't a full murder mystery - that was Death Sets Sail that came out last August - but instead is six little mysteries in one book together. 

I've read two of these mysteries before - I read The Case of the Missing Treasure in its own mini book that I read back in March 2019 and The Case of the Drowned Pearl was a World Book Day book that I read last March - so I didn't read those again. But I really enjoyed the other four mysteries. 

The first one is about Uncle Felix and Aunt Lucy's wedding and a mystery that occurred there. There's a mystery that happened on the ship on the way back from Hong Kong but which Hazel writes up nearly a year later after the events that happened in Death Sets Sail. This one had a surprising ending where SOME PEOPLE from the series ran away to the Spanish Civil War! I was very surprised but LOVED this detail, I hope Robin knows I would read a whole series about THAT. 

There's a mystery told by Alexander to Hazel in a letter, about a mysterious dog that turned up at Westone, his and George's school. I would love a whole book about Alexander and George as I love them very much and also think their school sounds MUCH worse than Deepdean. Haha. 

The final mystery is abouyt MAY WONG! We met her in two previous books, and we already know that The Ministry of Unladylike Activity is going to star her, so it's nice to get a little taster of that in the form of this mini mystery. 

In it, the time is now September 1939, when May is PRACTICALLY ten (nine years and four months) and has come to England with her father to bring her and Hazel's older sister Rose to Deepdean. They are staying in Uncle Felix's flat with him, Lucy, their maid Bridget (also a spy like Felix and Lucy) and Daisy and Hazel (who are now counted among the 'grown ups' and who are heading off to university soon - Hazel is supposed to be going to Oxford!). May is supposed to return to Hong Kong with her dad but then war breaks out and it's decided she will be safer staying in England and going to Deepdean a little early, to be part of a new form for younger girls. May is FURIOUS about this. 

Felix and Lucy's flat is on the first floor of a mansion block and one day, May goes out with Hazel, leaving Rose at home, and a man from the second floor is discovered dead. All the adults think it's suicide, but coupled with something Rose tells her, May realises this is nonsense, and sets about solving a murder. It's a gorgeous little mystery, full of May's enthusiasm and inability to feel like she's not being heard. In that way she reminded me of Daisy from the first couple of books, but Daisy did mature. May is lovely though, I can't wait to read more about her, and this mystery was just enough to whet my appetite. 

I'm giving this five out of five because you all KNOW how I feel about Robin and her books. I can't wait to meet May and her Deepdean friends in 2022! 

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