Review: Cream Buns and Crime by Robin Stevens
‘No English person wants to believe that another Englishman could do awful things.’
Cream Buns and Crime isn’t actually a novel, but a collection that fits beautifully into the Murder Most Unladylike universe. Including five short stories and a handful of various other bits and pieces, it’s an extremely fast and highly entertaining read, and is probably by favourite Murder Most Unladylike book so far.
Rather than having Hazel narrate all of the short stories, four of the novellas give voices to the other characters, with Daisy narrating two of the cases, Beanie narrating one and George sharing the tale of the Junior Pinkertons first ever investigation. Whereas all of the Murder Most Unladylike novels feature murders, the novellas show our detectives investigating different crimes: desertion, theft, robbery and smuggling, to name a few.
While the short stories are very fun, the non-fiction material sprinkled throughout is golden. Robin Stevens herself shares some Murder Most Unladylike recipes and her favourite crime novels, while using Daisy as a mouthpiece to talk about the best fictional detectives throughout history, introducing them to an entire generation of new readers. Meanwhile, Hazel writes biographies of the Queens of Crime (referring to them as though they were still alive, to maintain the time period!). Then it’s time for Alexander to teach us all about code, while Hazel challenges the reader to crack the codes that she crafts.
As someone who has always been interested in detective fiction but has never had the inclination to explore the genre thoroughly, this collection is invaluable. I can’t wait to read more about Ronald Knox’s rules of detective writing, and to explore the stories of E.W. Hornung – the creator of Raffles, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s brother-in-law!
If you aren’t sure whether the Murder Most Unladylike series is something that you’ll enjoy, this is a great starting point. It does give away some of the events of the first few books (while carefully concealing the identities of all of the culprits) so if you’re completely against spoilers, don’t risk it! But if you’re yet to be convinced that you’ll love Robin Stevens writing, this makes it completely unquestionable.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cream Buns and Crime, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!
I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you started the Murder Most Unladylike series yet, or do I need to continue babbling to convince you to pick them up?