Review of Death Below Stairs

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
Published by Berkley Books Pages: 336
on January 2nd 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads

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.

First Line

I had not been long at my post in Mount Street, Mayfair, when my employer’s sister came to some calamity.

Here is what I thought

Not read this author before but I can tell she is a historical romance writer and I am really glad that she dipped into the mystery genre. I love historical mysteries but they are sometimes hit or miss and this one was a huge hit. 🙂

Kat Holloway has taken new employment as a cook for Lord Rankin and she had only been their for one day when she wakes to find her assistant cook dead. The night before she had just told her that she would watch out for her and help her be a good cook so now she feels bad and wants to know what happened. Her first instincts is to contact a friend of hers Daniel.

She likes Daniel but she also doesn’t trust him fully because he has done some things she is not happy with and she has seen him wear gentleman’s clothing as well as feel comfortable being a day laborer. He will not explain himself but she knows he knows a lot of things and wants him to help her find out what has happened. He gets himself hired to work there so they can work on it together.

Lady Cynthia who is a bit unconventional and the sister-in-law to Lord Rankin also wants to find out what happened and she helps a little bit.  I really like her and feel a bit sorry for her as she doesn’t seem to have any marriage prospects so she does her unconventional things, but there is a guy who kind of likes her but like Daniel I am not sure what he really does for a living though he is still lower class so not sure if she would see him as a love interest.

I really like the characters in this story as Kat has a bit of spunk for a cook and pretty good at figuring things out although I was amazed at how much time she spent away from the kitchen and got away with it. Daniel is probably my favorite character and I am so intrigued by him because he sounds pretty swoon worthy but you don’t know what he does for a living. At times he wears gentleman’s attire and can talk like a gent and then you wears workmans cloths and talks with the slang. He seems to be able to tell the police what to do and was very intent on saving the Queen from trouble, so who is this man of mystery? I am thinking a spy or detective of some sort I guess I shall have to wait and see just like Kat. 🙂

The author does a great job with the mystery and keeps you guessing a bit on who it might have been that killed the young lady that even though the thought crossed my mind on who I thought might have done it, I didn’t keep it there so it wasn’t a huge surprise but the reason behind it was a bit.

I really enjoyed this historical mystery and can’t wait to get the next one to read so I highly recommend it.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Cloak and Dagger

1 COMMENT

  1. Wow, I forgot how unforgettable Chaney was in The Unknown! Yeah, yeah – it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it. Oh, alright, I’ll finally break down and hunt for it on disc.

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