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Month in review

Reviews
Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance
Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Bow Wow by Spencer Quinn
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton
Field Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch
Ivy by Katherine Coville
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue
Lumberjanes Volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds
Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer
Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt
Otis by Loren Long
Our Hero by Jennifer L. Holm
Outside In by Jennifer Bradbury
Queen and Country Volume 1 by Greg Rucka
Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game by Amy Gutierrez
Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle
We Are the Engineers by Angela Melick
Winnebago Graveyard #3 by Steve Niles
A Woman's World Tour in a Motor by Harriet White Fisher
Wrong Side of the Paw by Laurie Cass Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 27)
October 2017 Sources
October 2017 Summary
Reading Goals for 2018

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Murder Is Bad Manners: 11/29/17

Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens

Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens is the first of Murder Most Unladylike middle grade mystery series. Let me preface this review by saying I read the American edition of a British series. In the UK, the first book is titled Murder Most Unladylike. The author happens to be from California but has lived and studied in Oxford. Until I can read the original Corgi edition, I'm going to give the author the benefit of the doubt and place the faults with the American edition. As I've noted before there are often idiotic changes made to imported books from the UK and rest of the commonwealth.

The main character is a recent immigrant to England from Hong Kong. She ends up discovering the body of one of her teachers only to have the body go missing before she get the authorities to the scene. She and her English friend, Daisy, set out to discover the truth.

I can only recommend this edition to readers who know nothing about genuine British culture. Readers who have never read an actual British children's story and have never watched a genuine British TV show can enjoy this boarding school mystery. The more though that you know about the culture the more jarring you'll find this book.

Hazel, our Cantonese protagonist, sounds more like Chloe from We Bare Bears than a genuine immigrant to England. None the less she is set forward as the one who will explain the oddities of British culture to confused American readers. I'm curious to see how her asides play out in the Corgi edition, frankly.

Why not make her American (or even Chinese American from San Francisco) and thus give yourself an out for whenever something doesn't come across as British? The numerous mistakes in word choice and general cultural knowledge kept me from enjoying an otherwise fine murder mystery. The thing that finally did me in was when the edition gets the wrong date for Guy Fawkes Day.

Two stars

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