I was so exciting about this book that I just couldn’t wait and bought it during my trip in London. Yay for the book coming out in the week I was going to London. It is just so much fun to buy a book in the bookstore (especially during its release week), I so wish we had some good English bookstores here with the prices as they have in England (and not double, triple or even more of the price like English books are here).
This time our girls are going to Hong Kong. Hazel’s grandfather has passed away, and her father would like her to be home for a while. Of course this is 1936, and they don’t have all the awesome travel-methods we have these days, so she will miss the funeral + some other things, but she will be home for the mourning period. After a 30 day trip per boat (which to me sounds pretty epic though I may also get bored after a week or 2 :P) they will arrive home.
Of course Hazel quickly finds out that not everything has stayed the same. Her dear city has changed, but also her family. I was very much happy that she had Daisy with her. I am not sure what Hazel would have done if she didn’t have her best friend with her during this trying period. Imagine coming home for a mourning period to find out your maid isn’t there + not talking to you, to find out you have a little brother, and tons of other things. I can just imagine the shock.
And then the book is just starting, quite quickly things go awry when certain events happen and Hazel must find out who kidnapped her baby brother, who murdered her favourite person, and also clear her name (as something of hers was used in the murder). Yep, our girls are back in full detective mode. Though it isn’t as easy as in England. The girls can barely go outside, all sorts of other things prevent them from detecting. But these girls just keep on going on, and will do anything they can to solve the mystery.
I had lots of fun seeing Hong Kong, I still want to go there one day, so imagine how happy I was going sightseeing through the wonderful descriptions of Hong Kong by Robin Stevens! Plus read some facts and interesting titbits about Hong Kong (like how stuff work for instance Western/Chinese medicine). And not only that, but also to read about the delicious foods (though I am not too sure about the chicken legs, but anything else is fair game to try out). I also loved reading about the temples, Hazel’s home, and other stuff.
The mystery was a delight, though I didn’t guess the real whodunnit until later, but well, at least I guessed one thing (or should I say 3 things) right, but I can’t say that because of spoilers. I really loved seeing the mystery unfold (see it escalate), see the girls figure out various things about various suspects, getting timelines straight, and also head into even more danger than ever before (which was very exciting). Plus it was just the best to see Hazel take the reins for once. She deserves that as she is awesome and smart. I hope she will also take the lead in the next books. I get that Daisy is president, but come on, Hazel is just as good, if not better.
I wish I could have seen Daisy’s look during the trip, as I am sure she pulled some great faces. 😛
I have to say that I disliked the father so much. I get it is also a culture difference (the whole boys are just more important + how he wants to be seen in public), but I still just hated how he sprung Hazel’s new halfbrother on her, how he seemed to just not see Hazel any more (and how he acted throughout this book), and I could go on. I really wanted to just smack the guy in his face for all he did. He expected her to just be happy and yay about it, but really, put yourself in her shoes. How would you feel if you come home, thinking it will be a mourning period, only to find out you have a new baby brother, who took your room, your maid, your father’s attention, anything really. Would you be happy? Would you smile? Or would you do like Hazel. Be jealous, frustrated, and most of all sad about it.
Daisy, I am still on the fence about her. On the one hand she is a terrific friend, and she cares deeply for Hazel and she was really sweet for her during this book. She knew when to give Hazel time, and when to hold her and talk to her.
But on the other hand I get tired of how she thinks she is better, how she thinks she is everything, how she… well you get the idea. It just tires me out, I wish she would just let Hazel take the spotlight for once without complaining about it.
The ending was perfection and yes, I did cry a bit as I was just so happy with it.
Mm, I think I have said everything I wanted to write about, this was just too much fun to read. Great mystery, Hong Kong was so much fun.
I can’t wait to see what the next book will bring and what kind of mystery the girls will have to solve there.
I would recommend this book (and series) to everyone!