Death Below Stairs has at its center a cook from Victorian Era named Kat Holloway. Recently hired as part of Lord Rankin’s household in London, she finds herself immersed in a murder mystery. Set to solve the killing of her kitchen maid, Kat turns to the resourceful Daniel McAdam, who is more than meets the eyes. With the help of a mathematical genius and Lord Rankin’s eccentric sister-in-law, Kat and Daniel will soon found out that the household murder was the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger plot against Queen Victoria.
Death Below Stairs – My Opinion
When I requested this book, I only skimmed the book’s summery. I read “murder,” “Victorian Era,” and “young cook Kat [woman]” and that was enough for me to get hooked. You can imagine the surprise I had when I realized that there is more to the murder.
First, I fell in love with Kat’s voice as a character. Her background story was unexpected. She is an ordinary woman with an unfortunate past. The overall cast of characters was intriguing. We have the eccentric woman who was born in the wrong era, the nice and work-absorbed mathematician, the rebel teenager, and the man with all the answers, Daniel. Danial was a total mystery however, I have a slight idea about what he might be. No spoilers.
Kat is smart, independent, and hard working. She has her mind set with a realistic view of the world even though her heart fancies a guy. The only person she relies on is herself. As a a woman in that time period, Kat works assiduously to be acknowledged by the pompous society. Although, she is not afraid to challenge the authority when something is wrong. As a mother figure character, Kat feels responsible for the kitchen girl’s death, thus, her courage and determination put the cook in dangerous situations.
Despite the lovely characters, the pacing of the story had a bit of an issue. The narrative was executed strangely. We are halfway through the book and merely anything happens. There is too much description of food making which feels like page fillers than part of the actual story. I know what you are going to say next, “But, wait! Isn’t she a cook?” And my follow up answer will be something like, “Yes. Yes, she is. Although, we have a murder which is tied to a plot that might threaten the queen’s life and only 50 percent of the book is dedicated to that.”
The major scenes are rushed and unpolished. It first starts as a a slow burner book then the narrative accelerates and you try to keep up. Some unfolding of events seemed improbable due to lack of development space. The murder is brushed to the side as a subplot, despite the book being called Death Below Stairs , putting the book in a precarious position. I wished the murder had a bigger role in the plot.
The ending, though… Let’s just say that it was explosive and it saved the book for me. Wink.
Overall, I gave this book a 3/5 stars on Goodreads. Death Below Stairs was somewhat my cup of tea and I am tempted to read the next book in the series. Also, I would like to thank you Penguin Random House for the ebook arc in exchange for an honest review.
This is my sole opinion. ^_^
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