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Review by Riley

 

About Death Below Stairs

Victorian class lines are crossed when cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a murder that reaches all the way to the throne.

Highly sought-after young cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered.

Intent on discovering who killed the helpless kitchen maid, Kat turns to the ever-capable Daniel McAdam, who is certainly much more than the charming delivery man he pretends to be. Along with the assistance of Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law and a mathematical genius, Kat and Daniel discover that the household murder was the barest tip of a plot rife with danger and treason—one that’s a threat to Queen Victoria herself.

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Review of Death Below Stairs

Intelligent, hardworking, kind and purposeful, this Kat Holloway is a new favorite heroine. Kat has an unusual relationship with Daniel McAdam who is a friend and could possibly be more. But Daniel is a bit mysterious and has a variety of jobs and disguises. He seems to work for the good, but you never know who he works for or is financed by. That is part of his charm, to be honest, and though I really want to know more about him, I also like his mystery.

There will be many tense moments for heroine, hero, and, of all people, Queen Victoria. Intricately woven, the the plot keeps you guessing, but don’t guess too soon. In fact, you really need to read to the end to appreciate the suspense that propels the story and reflects the politics of the day.

Lady Cynthia, who prefers men’s clothing, and the nerd mathematician Thanos are cool characters. They definitely deserve to have recurring roles in future books. Daniel’s son James is the youth-nearly-a-man that wants to be like his father. So far, he is the least interesting, but has potential as he most certainly could be getting into trouble.

Death Below Stairs is historical mystery at it’s best with the heroine and cook Kat Holloway. Jennifer Ashley evokes the Victorian era with attention to detail and a well-told story that will appeal to lovers of the genre.

Although this is the first of a new series, there is a series prequel A Soupcon of Poison. There are events in the prequel that are often referenced in Death Below Stairs, so if you are a stickler for reading things in order, read A Soupcon of Poison first. However, Death Below Stairs can be read as a standalone if you are like me and don’t take the time to go back to the series starter.

Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this books so that I could bring you this honest review.

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