Unladylike activities

Unladylike activities

Robin Stevens: The Ministry of Unladylike Activity (Puffin Books 2022)

If according to Katherine Rundell (Rooftoppers, The Good Thieves) Robin Stevens is the Agatha Christie for children, then the protagonists of our story are the children’s Tommy and Tuppence. Like Agatha Christie’s characters, Robin Stevens’ figures take an active role in spying during the war, and if by chance trouble doesn’t find them, they will find it themselves.

Wong Mei Li, or, as she is called in England, May Wong, comes to England at the age of ten with her father and sister, Rose, to see the Deepdean Boarding School, where her sister, Hazel, also studied, and they also will continue their studies. However, war intervenes and they cannot go back to Hong Kong. May, unlike her sisters, does not like school and wants to go home. For this, however, the war must end, so she decides to do her part to end the fighting as soon as possible. She wants to become a spy, but since she is too young, she has to prove that she is really capable. To expose a spy who is sending classified information to the Germans, she gets help from Eric and Nuala. However, the children find many more secrets than they expected and they also have to investigate a murder.

As in the Murder Most Unladylike series, the author presents a diverse cast of characters here as well. Each of the main characters are realistic and lovable. And the background is historically accurate. The main message of the novel is that even one person can do great things and that real heroes are those who want to help others.

The second volume of the series will be published in October. In Hungarian, we can read the third volume of the writer’s other series soon.