Friday, July 6, 2018

Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley [Review]

 Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
Scandal Above Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries #2) by Jennifer Ashley
Format: ebook
Source: provided through NetGalley
Date read: June 18, 2018

Kat Holloway Mysteries
0.5. A Soupcon of Poison
1. Death Below Stairs
2. Scandal Above Stairs - Paperback | Kindle

Jennifer Ashley
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
A mystery of stolen antiquities has Kat Holloway setting aside her apron once again for the intrigues of the upper echelons of Victorian London

Priceless artwork has gone missing from the home of a wealthy baronet, and his wife stands to take the blame. When Kat's employer asks for help in clearing her friend's name, Kat trades her kitchen for the homes of Mayfair's wealthiest families. Soon antiques are disappearing not only from the extravagant households of connoisseurs and collectors, but from the illustrious British Museum.

As the thefts increase in frequency, Kat calls upon her friend Daniel McAdam, who has already set himself up in a pawnshop on the Strand as a seedy receiver of stolen goods. When a man is murdered in the shop, Kat must use all of her wits to see that the thieves are caught and justice is done.
Thoughts on Scandal Above Stairs: I've enjoyed the variety of genres Jennifer Ashley writes in, but I'm REALLY digging her historical mysteries right now. I mean, we're being given a badass Victorian cook who not only slays in the kitchen, but also solves crime with her cadre of loyal friends. I SERIOUSLY love that.

To begin my swoony love affair, we have Kat. She can cook. She can run a kitchen with military precision. She's smart and confident enough in herself enough to look deeper into something fishy that other people might gloss over. Considering the strict gender and societal roles of Victorian times, that's pretty awesome in itself. Throw in her willingness to judge a person on their actions instead of their standing and we've got a winner.

Kat also has layers. She has an illegitimate daughter who she adores. She makes friends with the sheer force of her competence (although there are some who aren't enamored of a woman who knows what she's doing, but we don't need those people, do we?) and she's well aware of her place in society. Somehow, she finds a way to work within the narrow confines she's given and do great things.

Stolen goods, a dead body or two, and a few harrowing instances made this book a winner. I like Kat. I like Daniel despite the secrets he has to keep. I like the lengths Kat is willing to take to protect those who are important to her. *thumbs up*

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