Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1)
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.

Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1) Details

TitleDeath Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherBerkley Books
ISBN-139780399585517
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery

Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1) Review

  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. This book started off much stronger than it finished.I had an instant connection to this novel. I immediately loved the characters and found myself captivated by the Victorian mansion household and how it was run. It had such a “Downton Abbey” feel to it that I couldn’t help but love it. Unfortunately, my connection was short lived, as the plausibility of the story became highly unrealistic once the crime was committed (about 1/3 of the way in). The novel revolves around a cook of a h 2.5 stars. This book started off much stronger than it finished.I had an instant connection to this novel. I immediately loved the characters and found myself captivated by the Victorian mansion household and how it was run. It had such a “Downton Abbey” feel to it that I couldn’t help but love it. Unfortunately, my connection was short lived, as the plausibility of the story became highly unrealistic once the crime was committed (about 1/3 of the way in). The novel revolves around a cook of a high power household investigating a murder. How could a head cook of such a household have time to run around town on a daily basis investigating a crime? It just didn’t make sense to me. I really liked the cook’s character and enjoyed her dealings with the house staff and family, but I lost interest in the crime solving side of the book which was the main storyline. The author, Jennifer Ashley, did a fantastic job creating the Victorian atmosphere and characters. The storyline simply didn’t work for me.This was a Traveling Sister Read with Brenda, Diane and Holly. We each felt similarly on this one, with one of us not even being able to finish. As always, it was a pleasure reading with these lovely ladies!A big thank you to Edelweiss, Berkley Books and Jennifer Ashley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!Expected Date of Publication: January 2, 2018.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 Oh dear, well...........I usually love Victorian mysteries. Liked that Kit was a cook in a wealthy household, upstairs, downstairs kind of scenario. When her young assistant cook is found dead in the larder, Kit tries to find out the who and why.My favorite parts were the food description and learning about the inner workings of a largish household. This was such a scattered plot, too much happening, to much running here and there. A new job one she needs, and she has all this time to chase 2.5 Oh dear, well...........I usually love Victorian mysteries. Liked that Kit was a cook in a wealthy household, upstairs, downstairs kind of scenario. When her young assistant cook is found dead in the larder, Kit tries to find out the who and why.My favorite parts were the food description and learning about the inner workings of a largish household. This was such a scattered plot, too much happening, to much running here and there. A new job one she needs, and she has all this time to chase someone here, to just leave to investigate? Just didn't hold together. The premise and setting were enticing but I found the execution lacking.A sisters read where once again we were in agreement. ARC from Netgalley.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    2.5This book didn't work for me. It is a cozy/mystery with a Victorian setting with a mansion fully staffed with cooks, servants, footman, butlers, etc. I liked learning about them as well as Lord Rankin and his family that owned the house. I liked the cook, Kat Holloway and found her character interesting, but when she began running around investigating crimes, and looking for suspects, the story took a downward spiral! Obviously, she would not have time on her hands for all the shenanigans tha 2.5This book didn't work for me. It is a cozy/mystery with a Victorian setting with a mansion fully staffed with cooks, servants, footman, butlers, etc. I liked learning about them as well as Lord Rankin and his family that owned the house. I liked the cook, Kat Holloway and found her character interesting, but when she began running around investigating crimes, and looking for suspects, the story took a downward spiral! Obviously, she would not have time on her hands for all the shenanigans that were going on. I have seen many favorable reviews and if you enjoy cozies that are adventurous in their plot, you may enjoy this one as well!Enjoyed reading with Traveling Sisters Reading Group!Thanks to Edelweiss for my advanced arc in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jennifer Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    The first book in the new Kat Holloway Victorian mysteries. Pub date January 2018, with book 2 to follow closely behind it! The novella, Soupcon of Poison, I am now calling a "prequel," and letting the first full-length book (Death Below Stairs) be Book 1. Author name for this series is now Jennifer Ashley (was Ashley Gardner, but publisher wanted JA).
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  • Astrid - ☆Vanilla & Spice Books☆
    January 1, 1970
    ✮✮✮ 4.5 STARS ✮✮✮Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite HR authors and The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is one of my top three all time favorites. Under her pen name Ashley Gardner she writes a similar series like this one, Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries.Heads up right away: this isn't romance although it does have romantic elements and I'm pretty confident that those will become more significant in later installments. It is a historical mystery, set in the ✮✮✮ 4.5 STARS ✮✮✮Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite HR authors and The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is one of my top three all time favorites. Under her pen name Ashley Gardner she writes a similar series like this one, Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries.Heads up right away: this isn't romance although it does have romantic elements and I'm pretty confident that those will become more significant in later installments. It is a historical mystery, set in the late 19th century.In DEATH BELOW STAIRS we are introduced to the main protagonists, Kat Holloway, a cook, starting her new employ and the mysterious Daniel McAdam. If you want to know how they meet try Ms. Ashley's novella A Soupçon of Poison that starts off the series. It's also a nice way to become acquainted with her writing style.The political atmosphere is tense in the Victorian age, Fenians are up to no good and one of their devious plans is to kill the queen. The author catches the mood quite well - it's obvious that she has done her research!Kat is a very likable heroine, with a clever head on her shoulders, a no-nonsense attitude, keeping Daniel a bit at arm's length, because the man has so many different faces and plays so many roles that she doesn't know who the real Daniel is. What she is keenly aware of though is that he is a good man. She can't deny their attraction although she keeps trying but you know, you KNOW it's all just bluster.   What I do know, Daniel, is what you are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a gent in a posh suit who can purchase first-class railway tickets on the spur of the moment, or a deliveryman who talks like a South London villain. I’ve seen you.”  I can't remember a single hero in Ms. Ashley's book that I didn't adore and Daniel is no exception. He doesn't hide his affection for Kat, there is no doubt that he is hers but it's just not the right time. Daniel is entirely endearing, protective of Kat and his son and always looking out for them. He is charming, a little sweet-talker but I'm sure that there is a darker side to him. Uncovering his secrets will be interesting and I can't wait to meet the real Daniel McAdam.  He was studying me with a look I’d caught on my own face during a visit to someone I was deeply fond of. There was caring in that look, and worry, and gentle wonder.  The mystery is well executed and to unravel it Kat and Daniel are supported by two phenomenal sidekicks: a trousers-wearing lady and a mathematical genius, both of them wonderful in their own way. One more unusual thing is that the main characters are working class, or at least Kat is. Daniel the chameleon feels comfortable in any role he chooses. “I believe I adore you, Kat.”   Admittedly, the story starts out a bit slow but I think it's because introduction needs to be made and the plot has to be set up. It's in no way frustratingly slow though and it picks up soon enough. Yes, there are a lot of details you have to work through, I never felt that it was overwhelming though.Death Below Stairs is a gem and knowing Jennifer Ashley this series will only get better with each installment. I am looking forward to discovering more about Kat and Daniel. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey mixed with a classic whodunit mystery pick this up!
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I had a strong connection to this story from the start. It had a classic murder mystery feel but based in a "Downtown Abbey" flair. The pace was quick and engaging but then it completely stalled, losing my attention and interest. Pushing on, I'm happy to say that it came back once again strong, providing a white-knuckle reading straight through the conclusion.I received this ARC copy of Death Below Stairs from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review. Death Below Stairs i I had a strong connection to this story from the start. It had a classic murder mystery feel but based in a "Downtown Abbey" flair. The pace was quick and engaging but then it completely stalled, losing my attention and interest. Pushing on, I'm happy to say that it came back once again strong, providing a white-knuckle reading straight through the conclusion.I received this ARC copy of Death Below Stairs from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review. Death Below Stairs is set for publication Jan. 2, 2018.
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  • RachelW (BamaGal)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review...This is the first full length book in this Victorian era series, which began with a short story prequel. I've become quite taken with Kat Holloway; a master cook who rules the kitchen in Society digs. Downton Abbey in London, as it were. Kat seems to get herself mixed up in murder and mayhem on a regular basis, however, and relies on the mysterious Daniel McAdam for assistance when she begins poking her nose into these crimes. Daniel is all too willing to become involved in Kat's d Full review...This is the first full length book in this Victorian era series, which began with a short story prequel. I've become quite taken with Kat Holloway; a master cook who rules the kitchen in Society digs. Downton Abbey in London, as it were. Kat seems to get herself mixed up in murder and mayhem on a regular basis, however, and relies on the mysterious Daniel McAdam for assistance when she begins poking her nose into these crimes. Daniel is all too willing to become involved in Kat's dilemmas; as he is growing quite enamored with her, and he has his own interest in the case. This time around, the storyline is murder, family secrets, and a plot by Irish terrorists to kill Queen Victora. I still haven't figured out quite who or what Daniel really is, only that he is deep undercover investigating someone or something in the High Society world. The book is character driven, and is a bit sluggish compared to the prequel; but picked up speed as the criminal activities came to a head. I have already grown intrigued by the setting and major players in the series, and look forward to their next adventure.
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  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsYay, I have another great heroine to add to the list of my favorite female sleuths! Death Below Stairs is the first book in the new Victorian murder mystery series featuring Kat, a young cook working for a British upper class family and her sleuthing partner, mysterious jack-of-all-trades, Daniel McAdam. I loved this promising sleuthing duo and cannot wait to follow their future investigations. I am looking forward to reading the second book, Scandal Above Stairs.*ARC provided by the pu 4.5 starsYay, I have another great heroine to add to the list of my favorite female sleuths! Death Below Stairs is the first book in the new Victorian murder mystery series featuring Kat, a young cook working for a British upper class family and her sleuthing partner, mysterious jack-of-all-trades, Daniel McAdam. I loved this promising sleuthing duo and cannot wait to follow their future investigations. I am looking forward to reading the second book, Scandal Above Stairs.*ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
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  • Barbara Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Kat Holloway #1Publication Date: 1/2/18Wow! Just WOW! I love Jennifer Ashley’s writing but was a little concerned about whether I’d like this book and series or not – simply because it takes place at a time later than I usually enjoy reading - 1881. Color me pleased and full of enjoyment! I greatly admire Kat Holloway who is NOT your standard heroine in a novel. I was also concerned about how a cook in a very busy and demanding household was going to manage to have time to flit about Eng Series: Kat Holloway #1Publication Date: 1/2/18Wow! Just WOW! I love Jennifer Ashley’s writing but was a little concerned about whether I’d like this book and series or not – simply because it takes place at a time later than I usually enjoy reading - 1881. Color me pleased and full of enjoyment! I greatly admire Kat Holloway who is NOT your standard heroine in a novel. I was also concerned about how a cook in a very busy and demanding household was going to manage to have time to flit about England investigating crimes. In this book, that was well explained and the absences were accounted for – but – I do wonder how that will work in the future.Kat Holloway is a straight-laced, no-nonsense, intelligent, logical and strong Victorian woman who is twenty-nine years of age, plump, brown-haired, attractive and kind. She has a past and secrets to protect. She also has a need to protect the underdog and those who cannot protect themselves – not to mention harboring a soft-spot for a certain, very mysterious man and boy who keeps popping into and out of her life. We learn more about Kat’s secrets and her past as we move through the story and come to understand a lot of how she came to be who she is. I definitely came to admire her for her fortitude in dealing with issues that would have broken a weaker woman. I’ll really be looking forward to learning more about her in future additions to the series.Daniel McAdam is a complete and total mystery – and you won’t know a whole lot more about him at the end of the book than you did at the beginning. What an enigma he is! Is he noble? Is he common? Is he wealthy? Is he poor? Is he a spy? Is he part of the police? He is a total chameleon. What we do know is that he has a real admiration and a soft spot for Kat Holloway. He also has a son (James) who is on the cusp of manhood and theirs is a complicated relationship. I really like Daniel and can’t wait to see how the relationship between him and Kat will unfold. I love mysteries, but am not a fan of them if they don’t have a large, serious romance as well – so I’ll be looking forward to seeing this one grow.Our episode begins with Kat heading to the home of Lord and Lady Rankin to be interviewed for the post as their new cook. Kat had left her last post because the family was permanently moving out of London and for personal reasons Kat wanted/needed to remain in the city. Kat’s first day on the job was uneventful and she met and liked the staff with whom she worked. She was especially drawn to her young assistant who wanted to be called Sinead, but everyone insisted on calling Ellen because it was more English sounding. Actually, neither was her name. Kat was overcome when she walked into the larder a couple of days later to discover Sinead’s body – cold and hidden in a dark corner. She felt guilty and blamed herself because just the night before, she had left the young girl folding the table linens rather than helping her – and she had just promised the girl that she’d look out for her.Kat wants to make sure that the coroner and constables don’t just sluff off the death as an accident or some such. Because she feels guilty, she wants to assure that the death is properly investigated and that the perpetrator is identified and brought to justice. She really wants to find Daniel so he can see the scene before the coroner and constables get there, but that doesn’t happen. He does come into the investigation to help – and to further an investigation of his own. The two might be related.The investigation takes off and the safety of the queen and England itself could be at stake. They must solve the crime and assure that nothing happens to the queen. Multiple investigations, multiple perpetrators, and many bad guys. Quite a wild ride! LOVED IT ALL!What did I not like so much? Well …• I never did really understand if Lord Rankin was actually knowledgeably involved in the plot or if his money-hungry ways sucked him in.• Not learning about the final outcome for all of the plotters involved – especially ‘Minty’. I wanted him to fall in a bog someplace.• I really, really wanted to see Lady Cynthia get her HEA. Maybe that will come in the next book or something• I wanted to see Daniel and Kat receive recognition from the queen (if only in secret). I know we don’t know anything about Daniel, but I’d like to think the Queen knows and recognizes him. He and Kat did a lot! Maybe some of that will come later as well.Please check out my reviews at:Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages...Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRevTwitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview"I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."
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  • ☕ Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this RTC
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