AN AWARD-WINNING children’s author showed pupils how to get lost in the wonderful world of murder mysteries.
Robin Stevens helped budding young writers find their spark during a visit to Purbrook Junior School yesterday.
The California-born author visited the school as part of a promotional tour for her latest crime mystery novel, Mistletoe and Murder.
She said: ‘I had such a great time at the school.
‘It was very exciting to talk to the kids, and the librarian is doing such a brilliant job.’
During her talk to Year 5 and 6 pupils, as well as Year 7s from Purbrook Park School, Robin told how her upbringing at Pembroke College in Oxford – where her father was Master – led her to find friends in the works of Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie.
She taught them about what makes a great mystery story, and what makes the genre so fascinating.
Robin said: ‘Human beings are very curious.
‘They want to know and understand things and kids especially want to think about the big questions of life and death, but we want them to do it in a safe environment.
‘I think that’s what my books do. I’m not trying to make them too gory, I’m trying to make them more like puzzles.’
Lisa Wiltshire, the librarian at Purbrook Junior School, said: ‘We’ve got so many children who were so pleased to be having an author visit. They can visualise that these authors are real and not just books on the shelves.’
‘Hopefully today would have showed them that the author is like everybody else and that she started her journey at school writing, so they can visualise the future for them as well.’
Robin added: ‘Anyone can write a mystery story, and part of this visit was to show kids how easy and fun it is to do.
‘So many of the kids I meet are clearly aspiring authors and it’s wonderful to help inspire them to do that.’
Robin’s new book, which was released in October, is the fifth instalment in her acclaimed series, A Murder Most Unladylike.
The first novel, itself called Murder Most Ladylike, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and won Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize for Younger Readers in 2015.
The first four books in the saga have sold more than 180,000 copies.