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Death and antiquities

Cover of Scandal Above Stairs
A review of Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

Resourceful cook Kat Holloway has a new mystery to solve in the second of this historical mystery series. Though Kat is still the cook for Lord Rankin's household in Victorian London, but the people she's cooking for have changed a bit (after the events of Death Below Stairs). Lord Rankin has departed for the country and Lady Cynthia, though nominally chaperoned by an aunt and uncle, is left mostly to her own devices. Lady Cynthia's latest concern is a close friend whose husband has accused of selling off family antiquities that have been disappearing from the household. Lady Cynthia is sure this isn't the case and wants to help her persecuted friend so she calls on Mrs. Holloway to once again assist in the investigation. Lady C is sure that with her ability to reconnoiter above stairs in the aristocratic homes of Mayfair and Kat's below stairs connections, they can figure out who is stealing from the households of collectors and even the British Museum.

Kat agrees to help and even reconnects with the mysterious Daniel McAdam who has been largely absent from her life lately. When murder occurs in the pawn shop Daniel had temporarily taken over, Kat feels even more urgency. Now she not only worries that he may be the leading suspect, but perhaps, worse, the next victim. 

Jennifer Ashley has a sure hand with her historical setting and characters. Certainly the main characters are well-developed. But so too the supporting cast which includes denizens both below and above stairs. If you're a fan of mystery, and dare I say it? Downton Abbey? Then this one is for you.

Aug 3, 2018