★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I spent all of last year searching for this book – not only did it fit one of the challenges, but it was the sequel to Arsenic for Tea, and I was loving the Murder Most Unladylike series. I didn’t manage to find it back then, but I finally got my hands on a copy this year and was more than eager to dig in. Finding out it was set on the Orient Express I was a little tentative (who dares attempt a similar novel to Murder on the Orient Express?!) but Stevens handled it well, creating another incredible book.
I have to admit that at first I was a little non-plussed about the book. Maybe I was expecting to be whirled away from the first page, but First Class Murder felt less exciting than I remembered the previous two being, and I began to question those who said it was the best of three. Once the characters and setting was all in place, however, the storyline picked up (much like the train) and First Class Murder launched me away into a world of quirky characters, murder and boarding school antics, proving once again the pool of talent that Stevens has!
Although not set amongst the typical background characters of Murder Most Unladylike, Stevens stayed true to the characters and atmosphere of the Detective Society, whilst emphasising a serious side to crime and murder. Unfortunately, I can’t say that First Class Murder was my favourite in the series – what with its slow beginning and slight predictability – but it was still 5 star quality.
Recommended for fans of:
- Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- Aquila by Andrew Norriss