Death Below Stairs

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...

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Title:Death Below Stairs
Author:Jennifer Ashley
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Edition Language:English

Death Below Stairs Reviews

  • Beth

    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 stalled. 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

    from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review.

    is set for publication Jan. 2, 2018.

    My Rating:

    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 stalled. 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

    from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review.

    is set for publication Jan. 2, 2018.

    My Rating: 4 stars

    Written by: Jennifer Ashley

    Series: A Below Stairs Mystery (Book 1)

    Paperback: 336 pages

    Publisher: Berkley

    Publication Date: January 2, 2018

    ISBN-10: 0399585516

    ISBN-13: 978-0399585517

    Genre: Historical Mystery

    Amazon:

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    Barnes and Noble:

    Reviewed for:

  • Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    ✮✮✮ 4.5 STARS ✮✮✮

    Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite HR authors and

    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 ✮✮✮

    Jennifer Ashley is one of my favorite HR authors and

    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

    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

    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.

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

    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.

     

     

    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!

  • Juli

    I really miss Downton Abbey. So when I saw the description of this book, I jumped right on it! I loved all the descriptions of the workings of Lord Rankin's household....the meals, the running of a large house, the different servants and the family members, and all the Victorian trappings. Add a murder mystery and treason to the mix, and it's a very suspenseful and fun romp.

    The basics: Kat Holloway is hired as a cook in Lord Rankin's household. Things seem a bit strange, but she's so happy to h

    I really miss Downton Abbey. So when I saw the description of this book, I jumped right on it! I loved all the descriptions of the workings of Lord Rankin's household....the meals, the running of a large house, the different servants and the family members, and all the Victorian trappings. Add a murder mystery and treason to the mix, and it's a very suspenseful and fun romp.

    The basics: Kat Holloway is hired as a cook in Lord Rankin's household. Things seem a bit strange, but she's so happy to have the position that she doesn't care. When her assistant is found murdered in the pantry, it's time to do some investigation and find out who killed the Irish kitchen maid. She gets help from a friend, Daniel McAdams -- who is much more than he appears to be.

    I was a bit astounded that a cook in such a large house would have the time to run around investigating as much as Kat did.....but I'm happy to suspend reality for such a fun mystery!

    I love the cover art for this book!

    This is an awesome start to a new series! A second book, Scandal Above the Stairs, is coming out in June. I will definitely be reading more!

    **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  • Holly  B

    2.5

    This 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

    2.5

    This 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.

  • Diane S ☔

    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.

  • Suzanne Leopold

    Kat Holloway is employed as the head cook for Lord Rankin in London. She finds the family members to be a bit odd with Lord Rankin spending his time involved in secretive financial matters. His wife rarely leaves her bed and appears to be depressed. His eccentric unmarried sister in law also lives with them and enjoys dressing in men’s clothing. Kat accepts her employer's faults and continues to excel at her job. When she gets a day off, she travels to visit her young daughter. One day Kat’s ass

    Kat Holloway is employed as the head cook for Lord Rankin in London. She finds the family members to be a bit odd with Lord Rankin spending his time involved in secretive financial matters. His wife rarely leaves her bed and appears to be depressed. His eccentric unmarried sister in law also lives with them and enjoys dressing in men’s clothing. Kat accepts her employer's faults and continues to excel at her job. When she gets a day off, she travels to visit her young daughter. One day Kat’s assistant is found murdered at the estate. The reaction from her employers seems peculiar and Kat sets out to understand what really happened.

    This book is a mystery filled with interesting characters and suspense. Scandal Above Stairs, book two in this series, is set to be released in July 2018.

  • Melisa

    This is a historical mystery which shows a great deal of research and thoroughness from the author. It is less of a whodunnit and more of a slow moving, character driven suspense. I especially enjoyed the delicious and lush imagery of the cook’s recipes and cooking and my mouth was watering the whole time I read.

    I found myself to be slightly confused while reading - it reads like a sequel, but it is the first book in an upcoming series. There were certain plot points that I felt as if I’d misse

    This is a historical mystery which shows a great deal of research and thoroughness from the author. It is less of a whodunnit and more of a slow moving, character driven suspense. I especially enjoyed the delicious and lush imagery of the cook’s recipes and cooking and my mouth was watering the whole time I read.

    I found myself to be slightly confused while reading - it reads like a sequel, but it is the first book in an upcoming series. There were certain plot points that I felt as if I’d missed or didn’t fully grasp. So I went through they whole book a bit confused, then learned in the afterword that the author had previously written a novella prequel to this story. So. For someone like me who enjoys reading series from the very beginning to understand the character development and full picture, this kind of threw me off. Not to say that it can’t be read as a stand alone, but if you feel the same as me, you may want to pick up the prequel first.

    It was also frustrating not to learn the true identity of one of the main characters throughout the entire book - it ended a bit abruptly, and I feel it was a major plot point that was glossed over and would have really engaged the reader into picking up the next book in the series.

    Thank you to Netgalley, Berkley and Jennifer Ashley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    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.

  • Jennifer Ashley

    The first book in the new Kat Holloway Victorian mysteries. Pub date January 2018, with book 2 to follow closely behind it! The novella,

    , 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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