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Crime pays as murder mystery author inspires students

Published on 12/10/18

It was a case of murder in the classroom as a bestselling detective novelist paid a visit to Jane Austen College.

Robin Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series of detective books for young adults, shared her tips for putting together a thrilling plot with Year 7 students from Jane Austen College and The Hewett Academy.

She told students how the setting of her latest novel, Death In The Spotlight, was inspired by a backstage visit to London’s Palace Theatre, where she spotted a mysterious old well in its basement.

In the book - the seventh in the bestselling series - schoolgirl detectives Daisy and Hazel have to track down the murderer after they find a body in a well underneath an old theatre.

Robin explained how an early love of Enid Blyton’s adventure stories, followed by discovering the novels of Agatha Christie, led her to create her crime-cracking heroines.

The boarding school Daisy and Hazel attend was inspired by the California-born writer’s own experiences at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

Robin advised the students to look for creative inspiration in their own everyday lives, and encouraged aspiring writers to keep putting pen to paper: “Just practise, practise, practise, and your writing will get better and better.”

Librarian Robert Welton said: “Thanks to Robin for visiting us and giving a really interesting, if occasionally grisly insight into the mind of a murder mystery author.

“The Jane Austen and Hewett students thoroughly enjoyed her talk and we're looking forward to seeing how it inspires their creative writing.”