Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley – Review & Giveaway

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley – Review & Giveaway


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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 by Jennifer Ashley is the 1st book in her new The Below Stairs Mystery series.  Though Ashley writes in many different genres, this was the first time I was going to read a Victorian style mystery.  What I enjoyed the most about this mystery was that it spent a lot of time in a mansion, which had a wonderful feel of ‘Downton Abbey’, with the normal household staffing with housekeeper, cooks, house steward, maids, footman, valet, butlers, etc. 

Kat Holloway, our heroine, is a well known cook, who takes a job in household of the Rankin family, after her recent job ended when her employers moved.   She is a smart, confident, independent, a strong heroine, who immediately shows her strength to the household staff, even to the master of the house, Lord Rankin.   Kat, who is just around 30 years of age,  is also very loyal and protective of those she works with, and will stand up for them.  Before the next day begins, she discovers the dead body of her assistant, and a murder investigation will begin.

Daniel McAdam, our hero, is not a member of the household, but he is a friend (future love interest) of Kat, and when she decides to investigate, it will be Daniel who will step in to help her.  Daniel is sort of a mystery man; one who cares for Kat, and she slowly for him, but one who seems to have different disguises.  Who is Daniel McAdam?  He can look like a gentleman; a servant, a spy or is he with the police. Either way, he is one of the good guys, and very protective of Kat.  Daniel also has a young son, who was a nice added element.  Kat has her own secret, with a daughter, Grace that lives with a friend, since Kat cannot take care of her, having to work all the time to pay the bills. 

As they investigate the murder, Daniel with help from Kat, and two other very good secondary  characters begin to realize that this murder was a cover-up of a higher complex crime that could go as high as the safety of the Queen.   There were a number of situations where their lives were in danger.

The mystery was good, but the background, with all those secondary characters (especially Lady Cynthia and Daniel’s friend) made this a very good read.  I did like Kat and Daniel together and as a team.  I expect we will see more romance between them in future books.  If you enjoy Victorian stories, with a mystery theme, a Downton Abbey background, two very good leading characters and very well written by Jennifer Ashley, I suggest you start this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



Jennifer Ashley’s publisher, is graciously offering a paper copy of DEATH BELOW STAIRS to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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