Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1) by Jennifer Ashley

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. In...

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

TitleDeath Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1)
Release DateJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherBerkley Books
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction, Romance

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

  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth
    ✮✮✮ 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 l...
  • Holly B
    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 ...
  • 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 tr...
  • 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. ...
  • 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 Death Below Stairs from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review. Death Below Sta...
  • Caz
    I've given this a B- at AAR, so that's 3.5 stars rounded upJennifer Ashley is the author of a number of very popular historical romances about the various members of the MacKenzie family as well as of the Captain Lacey series of historical mysteries, which she publishes as Ashley Gardner.  I confess that I haven’t read any of the Captain’s regency-set adventures, but as I enjoy historical mysteries, I was intrigued to see that Ms. Ashley i...
  • Mei
    What a novelty! The heroine, Kat, is a cook!!! And a chef too!!! Yeah!!!I loved all the descriptions of how the food was cooked! And I loved how she organized the cooking process! Much better than I’m able to do! But, in my favor, I don’t have helpers like she did! LOLA very cute and a joy to read little mystery, little love story, little insight of household servant’s life!Also the hero, Daniel, with all his secrets, was a very interesting...
  • Jody McGrath
    This was a really great book. I loved all the historical descriptions and the mystery. I was so caught up in the red-herring I forgot about the mystery, lol! I definitely recommend this book!I would strongly suggest you read the short story A Soupçon of Poison before you read this first in the series full length novel. I didn't and I feel like I missed a lot of the chemistry between characters being set up, and a lot of the backstory being told ...
  • ☕ Kimberly
    First I must tell you there is a prequel to this story. A Soupçon of Poison and while it isn't necessary to read it, it does offer an intro to principal characters and is one I recommend. You will quickly learn that Kat has a habit of stumbling over dead bodies.Mrs. Kat Holloway is one of the youngest cooks in London and comes highly recommended. In Death Below Stairs, she takes a position in the Mayfair district in the home of Lord Rankin. T...
  • Ingela
    Review written January 5, 20183.7 Stars - Simply fun, thrilling and lovelyWritten by a favorite author Jennifer Ashley (Ashley Gardner) and I was once again surprisingly hooked by a novel by her. I was listening to the (newly published) audiobook, 9:28 hours very well narrated by Anne Marie Piazza, in a two day rush. Wow, it isn’t often I finish a book so fast nowadays. **********************************************Set in London 1881 ..A myster...
  • Jenny Q
    Given the popularity of contemporary food-themed mystery series, it's about time someone brought that trend to historical fiction. As a big fan of Jennifer Ashley's MacKenzie & McBrides historical romance series, I had high hopes for Death Below Stairs, and I was not disappointed!I do recommend you begin with the novella that kicks this series off, A Soupçon of Poison. Originally written as a stand-alone for a historical mystery anthology, it pe...
  • RachelW (BamaGal)
    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. Danie...
  • Barbara Rogers
    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 hous...
  • Milena
    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 ...
  • Anna's Herding Cats
    Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup.Amazon: just adore Jennifer Ashley's books and getting to jump into a new series? Yes, please!Death Below Stairs was a fun adventure with a no nonsense cook and a squirly acquaintance who pull together a ragtag group of eccentrics to save the world! LOL Well, okay just a small part of it, but still!The Gist: Kat has started a new job as a household cook and her first week? Well one ...
  • Giselle Bradley
    I really liked this! Such a fun book!
  • Meigan
    Delightfully dark and peppered with slight humor, Death Below Stairs was a good first installment in Jennifer Ashley’s new Victorian mystery series. The mystery starts almost immediately with the death of a maid in the Rankin mansion, Kat’s newest place of employment. Everyone is under suspicion, as seemingly everyone had means and opportunity to commit the crime. Kat takes personal responsibility for the maids death because caring and sweet ...
    Full of elements of romance and dynamic characters. I was emersed in the Victorian times setting. A complex, multi-layered plot. Non-stop suspense.Kat Holloway is a cook for the Lord and Lady Rankin. Kat is a sympathetic character with heart.She is not unlike your modern-day sleuth. With a willingness to solve a murder. No matter what the cost. The ending left me unsettled. I later realize that it would possibly be an absolution to a crime commit...
  • Christa Schönmann Abbühl
    The four stars are for the setting, the characters and the audio narration. The plot was ok, but did not always keep my attention.It was great reading about a cook as a mystery solving heroine. I loved her no nonsense attitude and her obvious intelligence, her competence and her integrity. What there is of romance was nice. I enjoy a couple who is a bit older, with life experiences and hidden depths. I also felt that the psychological aspects wer...
  • LJ
    First Sentence: I had not been long at my post in Mount Street, Mayfair, when my employer’s sister came to some calamity.Cook Kat Holloway has a new position in the home of Lord Rankin. He’s not a man you’d trust with the young maids, but would he really have killed a young Irish kitchen maid? With the help of Daniel McAdam, who is far more than he appears to be, and his son James, a plot is uncovered that extends far beyond the household.A...
  • Kathryn
    Thoroughly enjoyed this historical story of crime. Loved Kat and her cooking and her common sense, good heart and nose for solving a crime. Looking forward to reading the next Kat Holloway mystery.
  • Christina T
    While much of this book is actually very well written I just wasn't as engaged as I could have been.The Good, The Bad, and Everything In Between: A mystery set in Victorian times told from a servant's perspective was so great. Jennifer Ashley does a great job of researching her books. The details of Kat's cooking was so amazing I wanted to join the family eating it. Everything Kat prepared was well detailed I was a little surprised I had a hard t...
  • Kathy Martin
    Kat Holloway is a young woman who is a cook. She has worked for a number of homes in Mayfair. Now she has accepted employment in the house of Lord Rankin, a prominent financier and his wife. Also in the household is his sister-in-law Lady Cynthia who enjoys dressing like a man. She is only in the household one day when she steps into her larder and finds her cook's assistant Sinead beaten to death. Kat immediately contacts her mysterious friend D...
  • Kimberly
    My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin Murder, secrets, and seedcake all come together to form one highly entertaining mystery in Death Below Stairs . Jennifer Ashley’s first Kat Holloway novel is a delight, thanks in large part to the wonderful cast of characters.Kat Holloway is a talented cook and I loved seeing how a Victorian-era household chef works. Yet while that’s interesting in its own right, that’s not what endeared her to me. ...
  • Rachmi
    3.5 starsI only knew Ms. Ashley works by her historical romance series, MacKenzies & McBride series which I quite like though I haven't finished it yet. So when I knew that she will release a historical mystery book, I was so excited to read it.This is a story about a young cook named Kat Holloway. She is a twenty eight years old cook who works in a high-end household. She's a smart and no nonsense kind of woman, with curiosity that can endanger ...