Interview with Robin Stevens by Mia

1. If you were a famous detective, like Sherlock Holmes, who would you be? 

I think if I could be any detective, I’d be Miss Marple. She doesn’t look very interesting – she’s just a sweet old lady – but she is so good at noticing things and people. I’d love to have her skills, and her ability to get straight to the heart of a case.

2. Out of your Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, which book is your favourite?          

It’s so hard for me to choose a favourite – they are all very special to me! But I think my favourite mystery has been First Class Murder, because I love the idea of a locked room murder, and my favourite story has been Mistletoe and Murder, because I love Christmas, and I loved bringing in the Junior Pinkertons to work with the Detective Society!

3. What gave you the idea to start writing Hazel and Daisy’s adventures?

I’m a big fan of murder mysteries and boarding school stories – and I went to a boarding school very like Hazel and Daisy’s! The two types of book got stuck together in my head, and it made me decide that I wanted to write a boarding school murder mystery. Everything else just flowed from there!

4. If you were a superhero and could have three superpowers what would they be?

This is an excellent question, and one I have thought about a lot. I would like to be able to fly, to have claws like Wolverine’s and to be able to pause time so I could read more.

5. If you were a member of the Junior Pinkertons or the Detective Society who would you be?

The obvious answer is Hazel, because she really is the most like me (see below), but I think I’m going to choose Lavinia here, because she is a bit like the grumpier side of me! If I was a Junior Pinkerton, I would be Alexander, because he’s half American like me.

6. Which character in a book you have written do you think you are most like?

Hazel! Her character came from my memories of feeling very shy and out of place at school when I was 13. I am also obsessed with books and writing, just like her.

7. In a Daisy versus Hazel detective battle, who do you think would solve the crime first?

I think that Daisy would move faster, and choose a culprit more quickly. But I also suspect that she’d be more likely to get it wrong. Hazel would work more slowly but more steadily, and so possibly work out the real answer before Daisy. But when Hazel and Daisy argue, their detecting suffers. They need to work together to solve their cases!

8. Who is your favourite author?

I have lots of answers to this! My favourite author growing up was Diana Wynne Jones. My favourite crime author is Agatha Christie, and my favourite children’s author today is Katherine Rundell. I could go on and on! There are so many wonderful books and writers out there.

9. Do you think you will write another Murder Most Unladylike book?

I know I will! I’m working hard on Daisy and Hazel’s sixth murder mystery at the moment, which will be out at the very beginning of next year. After that, I’ll start work on the seventh, and I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to write even more in the future. I have so many ideas for places they could go, and crimes they could solve. I’m just so pleased that my readers want more stories about them too!

Mia is nine years old and in year 4. She loves rabbits, drawing and acting. Mia is rarely to be seen without a book and would, one day, love to be an author herself.

Robin's event, Cream Buns and Crime is at ChipLitFest on Sat 29 April, details here.