Stevens, Robin. First Class Murder (Wells and Wong #3)
April 4th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Daisy and Hazel are a bit distraught after the investigation at Daisy's home in Poison is Not Polite, so Mr. Wong has come from Hong Kong to take them to see Europe on the Orient Express. They are on the train with an odd assortment of characters, from the mysterious magician to an unkempt mystery writer to a Russian countess who feels another passenger has jewels that are rightfully hers. There is also "Mrs. Vitellius", who is really a government spy and a character from the girls' past. When a murder occurs, an incompetent doctor attempts an investigation, and the girls are told to keep well out of it. Of course, a bomb on the track stalls the train for a while, and the girls, along with Alexander, the countess' cute grandson, attempt to unravel the mystery.
Strengths: This is a great homage to Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, and if children were to read it and become interested in investigating Christie's work, that would be great. Daisy and Hazel are great characters, and this is a well-constructed mystery which requires some thought and has a good twist.
Weaknesses: I can't get many of my students to pick up the first two books, even though they always ask for murder mysteries! Not sure if it's the historic aspect, or if these are too British. I love them, but my students don't.
What I really think: I will justify purchasing these by knowing that they will be around for many years and will appeal to a few of my more discerning readers. I do really, really like them!