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Ratings and Reviews (6 20 star ratings
6 reviews
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Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    A Victorian Mystery with a Bit of Romance

    FINAL DECISION: A lively main character combined with a far reaching mystery and the presence of a man with many secrets makes this Victorian historical mystery an enjoyable read. THE STORY: Cook Kat Holloway has found herself a new position which almost immediately embroils her in the murder of one of the servants. Determined to discover who has murdered the young girl, Kat asks for help from her friend/acquaintance Daniel McAdams, a man with a lot of secrets. Kat and Daniel's search takes them far from the murder of an Irish servant to the possibility of treason. OPINION: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I began reading mysteries and I always liked the ones with relationships between the "detectives" and this book fits right in that tradition. While the mystery is interesting and keeps the pace of the story lively, what I really love about this book is the strength and independence of Kat and her relationship with the mysterious Daniel. Kat is strong and lively and I loved reading about her struggles. Unlike most women in historical novels, Kat works hard every day and has a career that she has created for herself. It is interesting to read about her daily life and the status differences "below stairs". The struggles and limitations on women of all status is emphasized here. Daniel's character is also intriguing as he has plenty of secrets that are slowly revealed -- although not all of them are uncovered in this book. He is a good match for Kat and his obvious caring and concern for her even while they are friends makes their romance a slow burn but an interesting one. The cast of characters, which includes the offspring of both Kat and Daniel, are tossed into a high stakes mystery. Like all good murder suspense stories, this one begins with what seems to be an insignificant death and eventually turns into quite a big deal through a series of twisty plot turns. I enjoyed the mystery as well as the romance in this one. Everything meshed so well so that all the interesting characters were given something important to do in the unfolding plot, but no one seemed out of place. I enjoyed this one and would read it again to see all the little turns that I missed. WORTH MENTIONING: This is a continuing series where the romance between Kat and Daniel is slow moving and part of the continuing storylines of the series with a book emphasis on a particular mystery. CONNECTED BOOKS: DEATH BELOW STAIRS is the first novel in the Kat Holloway Murders series. There is a prequel book that introduces the characters. While it is not necessary to read that novella first, it certainly provides some background to the characters here. STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via First to Read by applying points that I earned. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    I liked this story from the beginning.

    I liked this story from the beginning. I really like the characters. Daniel is an enigma and Kat is a very strong person. You have women who dress in trousers and some interesting servants. When Kat's assistant is murdered, she didn't stop trying to find out what happened to her. Along the way Kat and Daniel uncover a plot to kill the Queen. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to hearing more from Kat and Daniel.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    An intriguing Victorian whodunit

    When acclaimed young cook Kat Halloway takes a job at Lord Rankin’s Mayfair mansion in Victorian London, she has no idea of the tempest in which she’s landed. From kitchen help below stairs to the family above stairs to the very throne of England, there is plenty of mischief afoot, and it’s up to Kat and the mysterious and multi-talented Daniel McAdam to discover who murdered Kat’s Irish kitchen assistant and what her murder means to a much bigger plot. Daniel seems comfortable in whatever role he’s called upon to play, whether above or below stairs. His past confounds Kat, but they make a formidable team, along with a cast of quirky characters including Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law to Daniel’s son to a mathematics genius. All have their parts to play in unraveling the mystery playing out. If you enjoy an historical mystery, Death Below Stairs will transport you to Victorian London as Kat, Daniel and company solve one murder and prevent more.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Wonderful New Series

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair review. Death Below Stairs is the first book in Jennifer Ashley’s Kat Holloway Mysteries series. There is a prequel novella called A Soupçon of Poison that introduces some of the main characters in this book that can be purchased either as a stand-alone or in a collection of Jennifer Ashley’s mysteries called Murder Most Historical. I have it in my TBR pile and as quite often happens with review books will be reading it backwards. Kat Holloway is a cook in a Victorian Mayfair household who discovers the body of her young assistant bludgeoned to death in the larder. Investigating the murder leads to more mysteries including the reappearance of Daniel McAdam and his son James. I found the story fascinating enough that I missed my bus stop and had quite a hike back home. The characters are well written and complex and I look forward to reading the next book in the series Scandal Above Stairs that will be published in July of 2018. Death Below Stairs was published on January 2 2018. #DeathBelowStairs #NetGalley
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Interesting mystery. Pleasurable read with romance

    4.5* I received an eARC at no cost from the author. Although I already knew (and loved) Jennifer Ashely as a historical romance writer, I had never read a mystery book from her, so this was my first attempt. Our main character, Kat, is a cook with a lovely young daughter and a past. She goes to work in a house where a young girl (a scullery maid) dies. And so she decides to get Daniel’s help – he’s someone she knows from her past, but that neither she nor us know much about. And that doesn’t really change throughout the book. It might be the only thing I would like to change – I would have liked to have known just a little bit more about Daniel and his son James, but I’m guessing Jennifer Ashley will start lifting the veil a bit more in the next book. It was full of mystery and I usually find out right away who killed whom, but in this book I was kept on the edge of my chair trying to find out who planned to kill the scullery maid. In the end, it made perfect sense, and I really enjoyed finding out what was happening alongside with Kat and Daniel. It was a very pleasurable read, with a small touch of romance between our main characters. I can’t wait to see what happens next to our Kat, and if she and Daniel upgrade their romance status (I’m sure they will!!).
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