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Publisher's Summary

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

Afraid for her life, Kat turns to the mysterious Daniel McAdam for help. Daniel takes a position in the house as a footman and stand-in valet so that he can investigate covertly, but Kat cooks up a suspect list of her own. Together, they uncover crime in places low and high - including a plot that may threaten even Queen Victoria herself.

©2018 Jennifer Ashley (P)2018 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

Terrific book. I can't wait for the next one. I hope there will be a next one. Death Below Stairs is an interesting mystery, filled with rich descriptions and terrific characters make for a very enjoyable listen. Love the narrator her performance was perfection. I will look for more books from both the author and narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

I am not a big historical book lover but I enjoy light hearted mysteries. This book for the bill. I can't wait for the next one to come out. I definitely can't wait till Cat and Daniel get a little more involved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Exciting Victorian Mystery

In <strong>Death below Stairs</strong> by Jennifer Ashley, set in 1881, Kat Holloway takes a position as cook in a high class mansion owned by Lord Rankin. She is pleased with her kitchen maid, Sinead, called by the family Ellen because hers is too fancy a name. But the second morning, Mrs. Holloway (all cooks and housekeepers were given the courtesy title of Mrs.) comes down to the kitchen to find the body of Sinead in the scullery, her head beaten to a pulp. Concerned that the murder will get written off as done by a vagabond, Mrs. Holloway summons a local man, Daniel McAdam, whom she hopes can help. The one challenge is that the man she is used to seeing as a local errand boy was with Lord Rankin in fine dress the night before. Who is Daniel really? Whatever he is, he has arranged to work in the manor and help look into the suspicious situation.

The book continues with mystery and intrigue, looking into the death of Sinead. Further, there is the mystery that has brought Daniel to the mansion of Lord Rankin in the first place. Things turn out to have national implications, perhaps even all the way to the throne of Queen Victoria.

I thoroughly enjoyed <strong>Death below Stairs</strong>, with its strong mystery, plenty of excitement, interesting historical details, and relatable characters. The plot has enough details of drama to keep us listening avidly. It is also interesting to hear about the life of a cook in a mansion in Victorian England. The bustle of the kitchen keeps Mrs. Holloway on her toes as she prepares meals for both the family and the servants. The illustrations of classes and issues of sexual morality that affect the employability of the serving class are very interesting.

I enjoyed the characters, who come across as real. Mrs. Holloway, the book's narrator, is clearly the roundest. We see her reveal herself in small bits as the book progresses. Daniel proves to be an enigma to both Mrs. Holloway and us, the listeners, as he seems to move among all classes easily, making it hard to place who he truly is. My favorite character was Lady Cynthia, a woman who refuses to allow society's dictates to control her, so she goes around in men's clothing in an era when it was unthinkable for a woman to wear pants. She proves herself to be sharp and caring as well as independent, making me appreciate her a lot.

Anne-Marie Piazza performs the audio edition of this book. It took me a little while to get used to her voice, but once I got started listening, I got more comfortable with her voice. Piazza uses accents that convey a good sense of the various classes found in the London society. She also creates distinct voices for the different characters that make them come across clearly.

I thoroughly appreciated my experience listening to <strong>Death below Stairs</strong>. The book was fascinating and had a double set of mysteries that led to a real adventure. I enjoyed the creative characters and connected with them. I highly recommend this book to fans of historical mystery and give it five stars.

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Not my favorite

I always finish listening to the books I purchased. This one was a stretch. On and on with nothing to keep you interested. Shame because I love booths in this era and story lines.

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Another winning series from Jennifer Ashley

Jennifer Ashley has written a new series placed in Victorian England. Kat Holloway is a cook with her own secrets. Daniel McAdam is a mysterious man who looks after her safety. And more. The murder victim is one of the staff. Soon, she and Daniel discover a tangled web of deceit.

Loved the mysteries as well as the details of life in England of the upper and lower classes. And, oh the descriptions of the food! It's hard to believe people routinely ate so much food daily. I enjoyed the building romance between Kat & Daniel. And James is delightful. I hope we will find out much more about Daniel in the next book.

The worst part of the book? Having to wait until July this year for Book 2, Scandal Above Stairs.

My recommendation? For those who enjoy historical mysteries I think you'll like this series.

NOTE: I suggest reading the prequel, A Soupcon of Poison, before this book. In this novella there are more depth about Kat, her secrets, and how she became a cook. We also meet Daniel and learn a little about he and James.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Kat Holloway Mysteries Book One

Kat Holloway Mysteries Book One

Kat is thrown into a deadly mystery when her new assistant is murdered in the night. She seeks out the help of Daniel McAdam, a previous acquaintance who seems to be able to do anything he pleases. The two begin looking for her murderer, only to find a much deeper plot. During their investigation, Kat and Daniel have several moments of romantic interest. Kat cannot figure out who Daniel is, though, so she is wary of getting too involved.

If you're looking for a new Historical Mystery with hints of romance, this is the book for you!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The first of another great series?

I can't answer that yet, But with Jennifer Ashley's track record I would have to say that it will be. A mysterious chameleon of a man, and a no nonsense cook, and a mystery or two. I love Ashley's Captain Lacy mysteries series, so it was a no brainier to dive into this one. I enjoyed it very much and was sorry when it ended.