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Scandal Above Stairs

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Scandal Above Stairs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG In the second installment cook and hobby sleuth Kat Holloway is intrigued by a series of burglaries in noble houses where antiquities have been stolen. At her side again her merry band of sidekicks. I love every single one of them. They are colorful, unique and a little eccentric. In Scandal Above Stairs we are being introduced to a new character, Tess, who fits well into Kat's group of friends. Although Tess was a little prickly in the beginning I enjoyed the developing READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG In the second installment cook and hobby sleuth Kat Holloway is intrigued by a series of burglaries in noble houses where antiquities have been stolen. At her side again her merry band of sidekicks. I love every single one of them. They are colorful, unique and a little eccentric. In Scandal Above Stairs we are being introduced to a new character, Tess, who fits well into Kat's group of friends. Although Tess was a little prickly in the beginning I enjoyed the developing friendship between the cook and her new assistant. Kat has a couple years on Tess and is always there for her with her inherent kindness but also leads young Tess with a firm hand. While I enjoyed the mystery I would have liked to see more of Daniel. I don't mind a slow burn romance but I need the page time with the hero to see the relationship develop. I'm aware that this series is more a mystery than romance but I'd still like to see a little more of the developing feelings between Kat and Daniel. Kat is a very rational woman with a clever head on her shoulders but it is obvious that she's come to care deeply for him and his son. I could have told him that nothing short of a hurricane could make me leave at this moment, and then it would be only to seek shelter with him where we might carry on kissing. We get a little more details about the cook's love interest. Daniel is one of those deep waters that hides a lot of secrets. I am very much looking forward to discovering more about him. He is such a sweet man with the heart of a lion and a protective streak to boot. “These men have no honor, Kat. I do not want them to grow angry with me and use you to punish me.” I regarded him in surprise. “Would it punish you?” His voice softened. “Indeed, it would.”   Jennifer Ashley shows us once more that she's pouring all her knowledge of Victorian England into these stories. I love her descriptions of Kat's food although they might get little too much sometimes. Overall this was an enjoyable new book in the Kat Holloway series and I'm looking forward to solving her next case! Hopefully with a little bit more romance and Daniel!

  2. 3 out of 5

    Jennifer Ashley

    Scandal Above Stairs is Book 2 in the Kat Holloway Below Stairs Mysteries series. Reading order: Soupcon of Poison (prequel novella--optional!) Death Below Stairs (Book 1, Jan 2018) Scandal Above Stairs (Book 2, July 2018) Book 3--Title to come In Book 2, you'll learn more about Daniel's past, meet Kat's new assistant, Tess, and catch up with the rest of the cast. I hope you enjoy it! Books will be out in e-book, print, audio, large print, all kinds of things. :-)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a C+ at AAR, so 3.5 stars Scandal Above Stairs, the second book in Jennifer Ashley’s series of historical mysteries featuring the no-nonsense cook, Kat Ashley, takes place a few months after the events of book one, Death Below Stairs, and sees our intrepid heroine once again embroiled in the search for a killer, aided by her love-interest – the enigmatic Daniel McAdam – his son James, and her new assistant, Tess Parsons. It’s a well-written ‘cosy’ mystery, and the reviews I’ve see I've given this a C+ at AAR, so 3.5 stars Scandal Above Stairs, the second book in Jennifer Ashley’s series of historical mysteries featuring the no-nonsense cook, Kat Ashley, takes place a few months after the events of book one, Death Below Stairs, and sees our intrepid heroine once again embroiled in the search for a killer, aided by her love-interest – the enigmatic Daniel McAdam – his son James, and her new assistant, Tess Parsons. It’s a well-written ‘cosy’ mystery, and the reviews I’ve seen have been overwhelmingly positive – but I have to confess to being a bit bored until about the last quarter of the book when the pacing, which is pretty pedestrian throughout, finally picks up as we head into the dénouement and resolution of the central plotline. It’s been a couple of months since Kat helped Daniel to foil a plot to assassinate the Queen, and she’s just a little bit miffed that she hasn’t seen or heard from him in all that time. She still doesn’t know much about him other than that he’s a chameleon who can blend in with workmen, toffs and all the social spectrum in between, and that he must be working for the police or some other government agency. In Death Below Stairs, he promised that one day he’d tell her everything – but that time obviously hasn’t arrived yet. But Kat isn’t one to mope over a man – she knows Daniel must be alright because James would have told her if he wasn’t, and she goes about her normal business as usual – cooking for the Bywaters, now in residence at Lord Rankin’s Mayfair home (they are his cousins) and Lady Cynthia (his sister-in-law), who continues to wear men’s suits, smoke cheroots and, with her small group of like-minded friends, to infiltrate such bastions of masculine privilege as gentleman’s clubs and gaming houses whenever they can. Well aware of Kat’s sleuthing talents, Lady Cynthia asks if Kat will help a friend of hers, whose husband has accused her of stealing some valuable paintings in order to pay off her gambling debts. On the pretext of visiting the house’s cook – most servants in grand houses knew each other –Kat accompanies Lady Cynthia to the home of Lady Clementine Godfrey to see what she can see – and it doesn’t take her long to work out exactly what’s going on and announce that Sir Evan Godfrey is selling the paintings himself because he’s in need of funds. The mystery doesn’t end there, however. Before the visit, Kat had found Daniel again, this time working as the proprietor of a dingy pawnbrokers in the Strand where, he tells her, he’s been placed in order to investigate the recent thefts of a number artefacts and antiquities from museums that have never made it into exhibitions and have been put into storage and forgotten. Not long after this, a dead body is found in Daniel’s shop, and it doesn’t take long for Kat to realise that Daniel’s investigation and her previous observations about the Godfreys’ missing paintings are somehow linked. I liked the way Ms. Ashley laid out her different plot elements and then gradually drew them together, and I was pleased to learn a little more about Daniel – although it is a very little and we’re no closer to knowing exactly who he’s working for and why. Kat continues to be an admirable heroine, a woman who’s worked hard to get where she is and who is determined to succeed in spite of the lousy hand life dealt her in the form of a bigamist ‘husband’, and I liked the new character of Tess, the young woman – a former thief – sent to her by Daniel when he learned Kat was short-handed in the kitchen. Tess is prickly to start with but soon proves to be a quick learner and a genuine help and support to Kat, both in the kitchen and in her investigating. The author does an excellent job of setting her story very firmly in late Victorian London, and her descriptions of the locations, whether a Mayfair mansion or the dingier London streets, are vivid. There’s something (still) brewing between Lady Cynthia and Daniel’s good friend Elgin Thanos (a scholar and mathematical genius), but Kat and Daniel’s relationship here is pretty static. It’s clear they care deeply for one another, but neither of them is in a position – or hurry – to change anything at this stage, which, while it makes sense given their situations in life, is just a bit frustrating. I’m aware this is a mystery novel rather than a love story, but given the author has chosen to include a romance on the side, I’d have liked to have seen a bit more of Daniel – and of him Kat together. As I said at the beginning, I had issues with the slow pacing of the novel, which made it difficult for me to fully engage with the story for around half of the book. There’s also a fair bit of telling-not-showing going on; and while the descriptions of the food Kat prepares are mouthwatering, there are too many of them – as I said in my review of Death Below Stairs, I felt as though I was being hit over the head with reminders that Kat Is A Cook. The biggest problem, however, is that when I sat down to write this review a day or so after I finished reading, I found I could recall very little about the plot – not even the identity of the villain – and had to look at the notes on my Kindle to refresh my memory. The pace quickens in the final chapters and the eventual reveal is a good one, but it all came too late to save the book, which, ultimately, I found lacklustre and unmemorable. Judging from the positive reactions to the novel elsewhere, it seems that perhaps this is one of those occasions when ‘it’s not you, it’s me’, but I can only recommend Scandal Above Stairs to devotees of ‘cosy’ mysteries. If you like your mysteries served up with a little more tension and a little more romance, this is probably not for you.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mei

    I was really looking forward to this one and I'm disappointed... While the first book was a novelty, this one is a repeat. I was expecting something much more exciting, but got a lot of mouthwatering recepies. I also wanted to know more about Daniel, but apart from "I'll tell you everything, but not just now" we don't get anything... This could be defined as a historical cozy mistery... Let's hope the next is much more exiting!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    I absolutely adore this series; it's so well written. I love period series on Britbox and Masterpiece theater and this series has the linguistics down to the proper mannerisms that they used back then. This book introduces a street urchin, Tess to Mrs. Holloway’s kitchen. She was recommended by the elusive Mr. McAdam who knew that Mrs. Holloway needed a kitchen assistant. Tess proves to be a quick study in the kitchen as well as helping Mrs. Holloway and Lady Cynthia in their latest caper. She's I absolutely adore this series; it's so well written. I love period series on Britbox and Masterpiece theater and this series has the linguistics down to the proper mannerisms that they used back then. This book introduces a street urchin, Tess to Mrs. Holloway’s kitchen. She was recommended by the elusive Mr. McAdam who knew that Mrs. Holloway needed a kitchen assistant. Tess proves to be a quick study in the kitchen as well as helping Mrs. Holloway and Lady Cynthia in their latest caper. She's rough around the edges but with Mrs. Holloway as a mentor, she's coming around. If you like Victorian mysteries, this one doesn't disappoint. I can't wait to read the next installment in this series.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Karishma

    Very well written - this series keeps getting better book by book!

  7. 3 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I adored Kat Halloway in the first 1.5 books of this series and have been looking forward to more of her adventures all summer. Scandal Above Stairs picks up shortly where the previous book ends. Kat is thrown into an art theft investigation, which leads to other mysteries. There seems to be nothing Kat can't do; and I love all her sleuthing abilities in addition to her delicious meals. "I am a cook, not a police detective." While many familiar faces have returned, there is the introduction of I adored Kat Halloway in the first 1.5 books of this series and have been looking forward to more of her adventures all summer. Scandal Above Stairs picks up shortly where the previous book ends. Kat is thrown into an art theft investigation, which leads to other mysteries. There seems to be nothing Kat can't do; and I love all her sleuthing abilities in addition to her delicious meals. "I am a cook, not a police detective." While many familiar faces have returned, there is the introduction of new faces as well. Tess quickly became one of my favorites characters in this series. She is the complete opposite of Kat in many ways, but they compliment each other perfectly. I could not get enough of their blossoming friendship and can't wait to see how Tess continues to develop. She brings a new radiance and humor to keep Kat on her toes. "Well, I ain't meek..And anyway, what would I do with the Earth?" I adore Daniel and was saddened he doesn't appear more prevalent in this installment. He continues to be the most elusive character, and I am desperate to learn more. This is turning out to be an intriguing, slow burning romance. If you are a historical mystery fan, I definitely recommend this series. The outstanding character development easily compensates for the lighter mystery aspect. I cannot wait to see what adventures await Kat and crew next. A huge thank you to Penguin/Berkley for my advanced review copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meigan

    Just as charming as its predecessor, Scandal Above Stairs continues the adventures of resourceful and level-headed Kat Holloway and her merry band of friends and acquaintances. In this installment, Kat is tasked with solving the mystery of who’s been stealing artwork and various fancies from some of Mayfair’s most well-known residents. Still working as a cook in the Rankin kitchen, circumstances have changed since Mrs. Rankin passed away. Mr. Rankin has left in order to process his wife’s death, Just as charming as its predecessor, Scandal Above Stairs continues the adventures of resourceful and level-headed Kat Holloway and her merry band of friends and acquaintances. In this installment, Kat is tasked with solving the mystery of who’s been stealing artwork and various fancies from some of Mayfair’s most well-known residents. Still working as a cook in the Rankin kitchen, circumstances have changed since Mrs. Rankin passed away. Mr. Rankin has left in order to process his wife’s death, leaving Lady Cynthia mostly alone in the mansion, which certainly works in Kat’s favor. Lady Cynthia is no slouch when it comes to sneaking about and she makes a delightful partner for investigations. She’s got the name and status to get both herself and Kat in the door, Kat has the name and status to get the help to talk. Together, they make a formidable pair, and the investigation is even better once the elusive Daniel and his son make an appearance. This series is quickly growing to become one of my favorite historical mystery series. Equal parts witty and charming, but there’s also a fair bit of danger and mayhem to be found and it’s certainly a nice balance. My favorite aspect, though, is definitely the characters, specifically Kat and Daniel. Kat is such a strong character, resourceful, level-headed, tough-as-nails, and so incredibly smart. Smart enough to not get tangled up so quickly with a man like Daniel, although I wish she would. The romance in this one is the slowest of all slow-burns, but I strongly suspect the wait will most certainly be worth it. There is another romance that seems to be blossoming between one Lady Cynthia and someone familiar, and I’m rooting just as hard for them as I am for Kat and Daniel. Bottom line - Scandal Above Stairs was a fantastic second installment in the Kat Holloway series and I definitely can’t wait to see what Ashley brings for the third installment. I’m quite certain there will be more danger and shenanigans (and plenty of stick in the mud Mr. Davis, who I also adore), and hopefully more Daniel and James. Together with Lady Cynthia, they make a fantastic foursome that I can’t get enough of. Highly recommended for lovers of mysteries who like a little humor, excellent characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing. *ARC received courtesy of the publisher.

  9. 3 out of 5

    ☕ Kimberly

    Lady Cynthia asks for Kat's help when her friend's husband accuses his wife of stealing valuable paintings from their ancestral home to pay off gambling debts. That is quite the switch, No? When she bumps into Daniel he is working at an unsavory pawnshop. Once again he cannot tell her what he is doing, but when she shares her kitchen woes, he sends a clever street urchin, named Tess. I liked Tess and hope she continues to be a part of the series. In this installment local homes are being pilfered Lady Cynthia asks for Kat's help when her friend's husband accuses his wife of stealing valuable paintings from their ancestral home to pay off gambling debts. That is quite the switch, No? When she bumps into Daniel he is working at an unsavory pawnshop. Once again he cannot tell her what he is doing, but when she shares her kitchen woes, he sends a clever street urchin, named Tess. I liked Tess and hope she continues to be a part of the series. In this installment local homes are being pilfered for ancient artifacts and something is going on with the kitchen door. Is it Tess the new help or is this somehow linked to Lady Cynthia's friend? Kat will face danger before it's all sorted out and what an adventure it was. Once again Ashley pulled me right into the story. I found myself at the kitchen table below stairs, sipping tea and taking it all in. I love not only the mysteries in Kat Holloway mysteries, but the talks of food as Kat prepares meals. I will not be applying for Kat's job anytime soon! We even get to visit another kitchen in the area and oh my what a night that was. Kat Holloway is one of my favorite characters and I love the relationship she has both with Lady Cynthia and the staff. Then there is her complicated relationship with Daniel. We see some development and it delighted me. Secondary characters from suspects, gentry and staff added depth to the story and were all colorful. Danger, near death, suspense and delightful banter made Scandal Above Stairs a splendid read. Fans of historical fiction, cozy mysteries and strong heroines will enjoy spending time with these characters. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Gardner

    Scandal Above Stairs is Book 2 in the Kat Holloway Below Stairs Mysteries series. Reading order: Soupcon of Poison (prequel novella--optional!) Death Below Stairs (Book 1, Jan 2018) Scandal Above Stairs (Book 2, July 2018) Book 3--Title to come In Book 2, you'll learn more about Daniel's past, meet Kat's new assistant, Tess, and catch up with the rest of the cast. I hope you enjoy it! Books will be out in e-book, print, audio, large print, all kinds of things. :-)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    Intrepid Victorian cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a second investigation; this time occurring among the aristocracy "above stairs." The young woman of the house where Kat works, Lady Cynthia, is very concerned about a close friend. Valuable paintings have gone missing in the friend's house, and her husband is blaming her for it. The friend has a gambling problem, and the husband thinks she has sold them to cover the debts. Lady Cynthia wants Kat to help clear her. While visiting the friend's ho Intrepid Victorian cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a second investigation; this time occurring among the aristocracy "above stairs." The young woman of the house where Kat works, Lady Cynthia, is very concerned about a close friend. Valuable paintings have gone missing in the friend's house, and her husband is blaming her for it. The friend has a gambling problem, and the husband thinks she has sold them to cover the debts. Lady Cynthia wants Kat to help clear her. While visiting the friend's home, Kat discovers that there have been several houses where other objet d'art have been stolen, as well as valuable museum-grade antiquities. It is no surprise that the enigmatic Daniel McAdam is involved in some way in the investigation of the antiquity thefts. In this second full-length novel, a few of the layers of Daniel McAdam are peeled away, and an appealing new character is introduced; Tess, Kat's new assistant in the kitchen. Tess has her secrets, just as Kat and Daniel do, but she has promise, both in the kitchen and out. The investigation proceeds at a somewhat leisurely pace this time with many twists and turns. The Kat Holloway Mysteries are well researched and populated with likable characters. Kat has carved out a place for herself in the world despite coming from humble circumstances. She is so accomplished in her career that she is free from the fear of losing her job and is granted much agency by her employers. She knows that she can find another position with no problem. It is fascinating to see just how much work was involved in running a Victorian kitchen and producing the large multi-course meals the aristocracy demanded. Kat is intelligent, no-nonsense, but has a soft center. Thanks to FIrst to Read for an advance digital copy of Scandal Above Stairs. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries with a dash of romance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    RachelW (BamaGal)

    Another intriguing mystery taking place in London in the year 1880. The intrepid Kat Holloway has taken another job as head cook for a Gentry family in their city townhouse. As usual she finds a bit of mystery to solve; and as always, her special friend Daniel McAdams is smack in the middle of her investigation. Although I found this story a bit on the languid side, I enjoyed the mystery and the flair of the setting...as well as learning the preparation and recipes going into the dishes for the Another intriguing mystery taking place in London in the year 1880. The intrepid Kat Holloway has taken another job as head cook for a Gentry family in their city townhouse. As usual she finds a bit of mystery to solve; and as always, her special friend Daniel McAdams is smack in the middle of her investigation. Although I found this story a bit on the languid side, I enjoyed the mystery and the flair of the setting...as well as learning the preparation and recipes going into the dishes for the ‘upstairs’. There are also some enjoyable secondary characters, who look to be around for a bit in future books. Oh, and a few more layers were also peeled back in the mystery wrapped in an enigma that is Daniel...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Under the Covers Book Blog

    I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. At the request of her employer Kat Holloway is looking into the disappearance of some artwork from a wealthy peer's home. However, as more priceless pieces of art and antiquities go missing Kat realises there may be more going on than first appears. Calling on the assistance of Daniel MacAdam she finds that he is already undercover in a seedy paw I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. At the request of her employer Kat Holloway is looking into the disappearance of some artwork from a wealthy peer's home. However, as more priceless pieces of art and antiquities go missing Kat realises there may be more going on than first appears. Calling on the assistance of Daniel MacAdam she finds that he is already undercover in a seedy pawnshop and working on the case. The stakes are raised when a man is found murdered, a man who looks suspiciously like Daniel MacAdam… This series is fast becoming one of my favourite series, it draws you in with a good mystery and then keeps you there as you become more entwined with the characters’ lives. In this book we are introduced to a new character, Tess, a teenager who just needs someone to take a chance on her. Although she quickly charmed me it was the development of Kat Holloway our cook/detective that kept me captivated. As someone who loves a romance it wasn’t just the mystery that I loved about this book, it was the continuing evolution of the relationship between Kat and Daniel. Kat has been burned by romance before and has made herself a strong and independent woman who doesn’t want or need a man. However, she can’t deny the regard she has for Daniel and the increasing attraction between them. I love the way Ashley has developed their relationship; the friendship and respect between them burns brightly, blazing the trail for their romance. Their friendship was further aided by the revelation of some of Daniel’s mysterious past, something I hope will be explored in a future book. However, although the characters development was an important aspect of this book, so was the mystery. In this book we have the dark world of antiquities and art theft to explore. I was happy to come along for the ride and admit that I didn’t guess who was behind it until it was revealed at the end. The mystery also allowed us to take a glimpse into the life of a domestic servant as Kat had to juggle her place as a Cook in an aristocratic household and her sleuthing. It was an extra aspect to the book which I really enjoyed and added some depth to the story; Ashley had clearly done some research If you are after a mystery then you need to give this series a try, it has a host of excellently wrought characters, a little romance and an interesting mystery to dive into. *ARC provided by publisher Reviewed by Suzanne❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤

  14. 3 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Reviewed for Wit and Sin There’s no rest for Kat Holloway, the most talented cook in Mayfair. Not only has her kitchen assistant quit to be married and thus left her shorthanded, Lady Cynthia has a request: she wants Kat’s help to solve a mystery and clear her friend Clemmie’s name. Valuable paintings have gone missing from her household and Clemmie’s husband is blaming her for it. One mystery begets another and another as first Kat learns that antiquities are being stolen from multiple residen Reviewed for Wit and Sin There’s no rest for Kat Holloway, the most talented cook in Mayfair. Not only has her kitchen assistant quit to be married and thus left her shorthanded, Lady Cynthia has a request: she wants Kat’s help to solve a mystery and clear her friend Clemmie’s name. Valuable paintings have gone missing from her household and Clemmie’s husband is blaming her for it. One mystery begets another and another as first Kat learns that antiquities are being stolen from multiple residences, then she finds out that her friend Daniel McAdam is undercover in in a seedy pawnshop. With her curiosity piqued, Kat will have to use all her detective skills above stairs and below to uncover a mastermind willing to kill to protect his secrets. I love falling into Kat Holloway’s world. In Scandal Above Stairs Jennifer Ashley drew me in from the start with a seemingly simple mystery that leads to something far more complex and I did not want to put the book down. Kat is the heart and soul of the story and she’s a fantastic heroine. She’s clever, observant, loyal, talented, and kind, but Ms. Ashley keeps her from feeling too good to be real. Kat has a no-nonsense attitude, but she also draws people to her, which is how she finds herself in the middle of this latest mystery. Cynthia trusts and respects Kat, which is why she asks for her help in the first place and I love the unlikely friendship between a rather unconventional lady and an equally unique cook. The characters are what makes Scandal Above Stairs shine. Familiar characters and those newly introduced are all incredibly well-crafted and are like puzzle pieces who fit together perfectly. My favorite relationship is definitely the one between Kat and Daniel. This time around, we learn more about Daniel and the past he keeps secret. I was thrilled to learn more about him and I was excited that he opened up to Kat when he doesn’t trust most people. The romantic tension between Kat and Daniel continues to build and I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship progresses. Scandal Above Stairs is the second full-length book in the Kat Holloway series and it can be read as a standalone. However, for a more complete reading experience I recommend first reading the prequel novella, A Soupçon of Poison, and the first novel, Death Below Stairs, in order to get a better understanding of the characters and their relationships (Daniel and Kat’s in particular). I hesitate to say any more about this book because mysteries lose their excitement when you talk too much about them. Suffice it to say that Ms. Ashley never fails to entertain and her blend of fact and fiction, of murder and mystery is wonderful. Kat and her friends are endearing, the story moves at a quick pace, I was thoroughly entertained, and I cannot wait to read the next Kat Holloway book! FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  15. 3 out of 5

    (Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick

    Jennifer Ashley’s latest who dun it is an intricate dance of drama and humor with a light sprinkle of romance. Set in the 1800s, Ashley’s heroine is a no-nonsense cook in a fine household with a solid constitution and a marshmallow heart. A complicated woman whose own life has been a series of trials, Kat welcomes all into her kitchen with a stern word and a warm hug. A hardy cast of personable cast adds to the humor with the intractable Lady Cynthia whose only crime is wanting freedom from her Jennifer Ashley’s latest who dun it is an intricate dance of drama and humor with a light sprinkle of romance. Set in the 1800s, Ashley’s heroine is a no-nonsense cook in a fine household with a solid constitution and a marshmallow heart. A complicated woman whose own life has been a series of trials, Kat welcomes all into her kitchen with a stern word and a warm hug. A hardy cast of personable cast adds to the humor with the intractable Lady Cynthia whose only crime is wanting freedom from her gender to the newest addition, Tess, a former child thief whose own issues appeal to Kat’s maternal instincts. The faint romance that started in book one advances alongside the action-packed mystery though fans may have to wait a little while longer to see what fruit will bear from this liaison. Once again, Ashley proves welds her craft with precision no matter the genre. Grade: B

  16. 3 out of 5

    Victoria

    2.5 stars - overall rating should be two stars, but I'm still hoping the series will get better and decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. This is one of those books/series in which I love the premise, but the execution has much to be desired. The mystery is once again a bit weak and the investigation had me rolling my eyes at times. Everything just felt so lame... I really like Kat's character, but I don't see why people respect her opinion so much in matters of intrigue. She's intelligent 2.5 stars - overall rating should be two stars, but I'm still hoping the series will get better and decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. This is one of those books/series in which I love the premise, but the execution has much to be desired. The mystery is once again a bit weak and the investigation had me rolling my eyes at times. Everything just felt so lame... I really like Kat's character, but I don't see why people respect her opinion so much in matters of intrigue. She's intelligent, but her observations aren't much better than the average layman, and certainly shouldn't be better than the police's. It really just makes me think she has slightly above average intelligence and is surrounded by idiots. And I can't explain it, but half the time some 'epiphany' to the case is explained or when the villains at the end describe they're 'diabolical plans', it feels stupid. Okay, maybe 'stupid' isn't the right word - simplistic. I guess for a mystery it just isn't clever enough to grab my attention. But, despite all that, I really like the characters - especially Kat, and I love the whole premise. I do plan on reading the next book when it comes out, but this will be the last time I give a 3 star rating if the mystery/investigation doesn't improve. I really like the authors historical-romances and her overall writing style, it's just the mystery aspect I am struggling with.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I really enjoy these books. Jennifer Ashley is such a talented writer in so many genres. In this particular series, you can practically hear Kat Halloway speaking through the words on the page. Wonderful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Keri

    This series has been so good! I can't wait for the next book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/sc... Scandal Above Stairs Below Stairs Mystery #2 By Jennifer Ashley ISBN# 9780399585531 http://www.jenniferashley.com/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis: 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 extravag http://openbooksociety.com/article/sc... Scandal Above Stairs Below Stairs Mystery #2 By Jennifer Ashley ISBN# 9780399585531 http://www.jenniferashley.com/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis: 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.(Goodreads.com) Review: Scandal Above Stairs, the second installment in the Below Stairs Mystery series, definitely does not suffer from a sophomore slump. Full of fabulous characters, an authentic Victorian setting, and a couple of mysteries to solve, it is a well written, entertaining escapade. The Below Stairs Mystery series is quickly becoming a favorite historical series. This installment picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of the last book, Death Below Stairs, and cook Kat Holloway is busy with her own duties and those of the vacant housekeeper, all under the direction of a temporary master. Lord Rankin has escaped London and leaves his deceased wife’s aunt and uncle serving as chaperone to his sister-in-law Lady Cynthia. Lady Cynthia is nothing if not eccentric, preferring gentlemen’s dress and secret late night excursions, but she has become something of a friend to Kat. She asks Kat to “investigate” an art theft at her friend’s Mayfair residence. Quickly resolved, Kat is soon distracted by the ever enigmatic Daniel’s sudden appearance as a pawnbroker. It seems art is not all that is going missing as of late, historical artifacts are also being stolen from museums and private collectors. When someone is murdered, the stakes rise, and Kat finds herself involved in a twisted, baffling investigation. The mystery here is solid, if a little light, and the characters really shine. Kat is an intelligent, practical sleuth. Lady Cynthia, Thanos, James, and new character Tess are all so different yet believable and intriguing. But, of course, it is Daniel who keeps me turning pages. He is so very secretive about his past and his employer that I found myself reading in hopes of learning something, anything, more about him. However, I wish he had been featured here more. He is pivotal to the mystery just not around much. He does appear to be a genuinely good man, and he and Kat seem like a wonderful match. Their relationship is definitely a slow burn. I enjoyed the emphasis on the antiquities, and there are a few twists and turns that kept me guessing throughout the tale. I admit it, I did not see the ending coming. I enjoy being surprised. Scandal Above Stairs is a wonderful read. Highly recommended. *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

  20. 3 out of 5

    Sophia

    After delving into the Downstairs world in a Victorian era Upper class household with a mystery solving cook, I was eager to press forward with the next installment in the series. Scandal Above Stairs is book two in the Kat Holloway series. For those new to the series, I would recommend starting with the prequel if you can where Kat and Daniel are introduced and they have their first murder investigation together. Following not long after the last venture into detecting, Kat is content with her pl After delving into the Downstairs world in a Victorian era Upper class household with a mystery solving cook, I was eager to press forward with the next installment in the series. Scandal Above Stairs is book two in the Kat Holloway series. For those new to the series, I would recommend starting with the prequel if you can where Kat and Daniel are introduced and they have their first murder investigation together. Following not long after the last venture into detecting, Kat is content with her place cooking for quirky Lady Cynthia and her parsimonious aunt and uncle, but then Lady Cynthia coaxes her out of the kitchen for help with robberies going on in her friend's home and her friend getting accused of the theft. Meanwhile, Kat has the training of a new kitchen maid that Daniel sends along and mixes herself up into Daniel's undercover work. These move along at a gentle pace and have the feel of a historical blended with cozy mystery. The time spent with Kat doing her culinary magic in a Victorian kitchen and the world of the serving class below stairs is as fascinating to me as the mystery elements. The details are lavish and add to rather than get in the way of the story. Kat is a wonderful lead character and I enjoyed getting her first person perspective on her work, the people around her, and her curiosity for solving mysteries. Kat sees women as Lady Cynthia and others as movers and shakers and brushes off Daniel's fulsome compliments and admiration because she can't see just how special she is. She raised herself from a char woman's daughter who got deceived into a bigamous marriage to an educated cook and a mother with ambitions for her daughter. She doesn't wallow in her past, but she does have a wary attitude toward men, now. Daniel is slowly getting past her guard as they share each new detecting venture. His work is dangerous and his life is exciting. She doesn't want to admit she cares. The mystery wasn't particularly difficult to figure out, but I did enjoy being along while Kat and Daniel work it out and solve it in an exciting finish. It's a fun series and I will definitely picking up the next one when it comes. I rec'd this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review and had the good fortune to win a copy through GoodReads.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Storm Reads

    Scandal Above Stairs was just as fun as the first one though I must say I could have used more banter between Kat and Daniel! Things below stairs is in a bit of a state as they are understaffed and it seems that Kat, the cook and Mr. Davis the Butler are trying to make up for the fact they have no housekeeper. This means they have to try and manage the downstairs and Kat is also in need of an assistant cook. Even with all of these she still manages to keep things flowing pretty good. Then Lady Cy Scandal Above Stairs was just as fun as the first one though I must say I could have used more banter between Kat and Daniel! Things below stairs is in a bit of a state as they are understaffed and it seems that Kat, the cook and Mr. Davis the Butler are trying to make up for the fact they have no housekeeper. This means they have to try and manage the downstairs and Kat is also in need of an assistant cook. Even with all of these she still manages to keep things flowing pretty good. Then Lady Cynthia needs Kat's help because one of her friends is having some problems. It seems some paintings have gone missing and since her friend has a gambling problem, her husband is accusing her of stealing them to pay off her debts.  Soon Kat finds out that there have been a bunch of burglaries going on above stairs in different places. Then she learns that Daniel is working in a pawnshop where seedy things are happening. She still isn't sure what exactly it is that Daniel does for a living as one moment he speaks and acts like a gentleman and the next he acts like a common worker. She finds out he is there to receive some stolen goods but things go wrong when a man is found dead in the pawnshop. Kat fears the worst especially when she doesn't hear from him for a long while. Daniel is hiding out because some of the constables are on the lookout for him as not everyone knows he was working a case. Also, it seems that Daniel has sent Kat an assistant and even though Tess doesn't know anything about cooking she is a quick study and Kat figures that Daniel must know what he is doing. Tess was my new favorite character and I hope she will be in the next book.  I really enjoy the characters in this series. Kat is such a strong female character and even though she works below stairs and knows her station she still doesn't let that stop her. She has hopes and dreams of one day having a house her  and her daughter and quickly takes Tess under her wings when she can tell that she has smarts and could become a competent cook one day. Daniel, I never think much about having a book boyfriend but if I did I believe it would be him. There is just something about Daniel's character that appeals to me. He is a sweet guy with a checkered past and chose to become something better. Still not sure exactly what that something is as it seems he is not really a cop, so I am thinking he must work for the crown or something. I wish he would tell Kat as I want to know! :)I do wish that Daniel was in the story more, he was towards the middle and end but I missed him in the beginning!  I also liked getting to know a bit more about Eglin Thanos who is Daniel's friend and I so hope that him and Lady Cynthia get together, they would be so cute together!  The mystery was done really well and I had a hard time figuring whodunit and was a little surprised to find out the bad guy in this one. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and can't wait for the next one! If you like mysteries then give this series a try!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    4.5 stars. I liked this second installment even better than the first (even though it made me constantly hungry. The dangers in reading a book about a cook!). In the first installment, we got to meet a lot of great secondary characters in James, Cynthia, and Thanos. Scandal Above Stairs built on those characters and added in Tess, someone I loved from the first instant she stepped on the page. Even though I love Daniel and Kat, watching Tess and Kat’s relationship grow throughout this book was on 4.5 stars. I liked this second installment even better than the first (even though it made me constantly hungry. The dangers in reading a book about a cook!). In the first installment, we got to meet a lot of great secondary characters in James, Cynthia, and Thanos. Scandal Above Stairs built on those characters and added in Tess, someone I loved from the first instant she stepped on the page. Even though I love Daniel and Kat, watching Tess and Kat’s relationship grow throughout this book was one of my favorite things. It was a beautiful relationship that often made me tear up. I liked how it paralleled some of the ways Daniel and James were connecting. Now Jennifer Ashley has created a world full of characters I look forward to spending more time with. Even though I enjoyed the mystery, especially since it involves art and antiquities, for me it’s all about the characters in this series. But don’t get me wrong. I loved all the developments between Daniel and Kat. Their interactions in this book were full of chemistry, spark, wit, and emotion. I loved every single moment. We also got some hints about Daniel’s past, and if there was only one complaint I had in this book, it was that I wish we’d gotten even the tiniest bit more. I guess that’s the point of a (hopefully) long series though: little bits revealed slowly over time. I highly recommend this series to fans of historical and/or mystery books.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Mara Pemberton

    Eagerly waiting for book number 3. Hope it comes soon.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Overmoyer

    A little while ago, I got a message on Goodreads from a lovely person named Jessica at Berkley Publishing Group asking if I would be interested in an ARC of the second book in Jennifer Ashley’s ‘Below Stairs’ series. Would I? I would! I was! And it was like Christmas come again when I got the book in the mail! And for all that I loved the first book, Death Below Stairs (it’s amazing, go read it now!), I love this second book, Scandal Above Stairs, even more! Is that possible? Yes! Am I using too ma A little while ago, I got a message on Goodreads from a lovely person named Jessica at Berkley Publishing Group asking if I would be interested in an ARC of the second book in Jennifer Ashley’s ‘Below Stairs’ series. Would I? I would! I was! And it was like Christmas come again when I got the book in the mail! And for all that I loved the first book, Death Below Stairs (it’s amazing, go read it now!), I love this second book, Scandal Above Stairs, even more! Is that possible? Yes! Am I using too many exclamation points? Probably, but don’t hold your breath for me to stop because this book is worth every maybe annoying punctuation mark! Back in the first book, we meet Kat Holloway, a cook in one of the fancier homes in London while Queen Victoria reigns in England. Kat is in her late twenties, early thirties, I’d say - old enough to have a ten year old daughter but young enough to be considered a young upstart by the older cooks in aristocratic London and the more experienced members of the staff at her own house. Kat is sassy and smart and steady to the core. Cooking is her job, and she takes it very seriously, but she’s as good at everything as any man. And this is exactly what Daniel McAdam, a mysterious jack-of-all-trades tells her and anyone who will listen when he lays out all the reasons he admires and respects her. Kat and Daniel don’t get the happily ever after I very much wanted them to have at the end of Death Below Stairs but… that’s absolutely fine with me. Why? Because that meant there would be a second book, of course! It’s only been about six months since I read Death Below Stairs and getting back into Kat’s world, about six months later in the story, was like catching up with old friends. Kat, Daniel, Mr. Thanos, Lady Cynthia, Davis, James… I missed them! And I got to meet Tess in this story so that’s even better! But anyway… In Scandal Above Stairs, somebody is stealing all sorts of antiquities from the fancy homes of London and, as before, the gossip flows freely through the grapevine of the downstairs staffs. Kat, however, is pulled in more when Lady Cynthia specifically requests that she help figure out the mystery as one of Lady Cynthia’s dearest friends has been repeatedly victimized by the thieves. Things take an absolutely delightful turn when Kat not so subtly plays matchmaker with the mens’ suit wearing Lady Cynthia and the fish-out-of-water Elgin Thanos. Cynthia and Elgin may be the pairing I ship hardest in this book! Tess Parsons, the new girl in this story, is brilliant in her role as a sort of surrogate daughter, cook’s assistant to Kat and I very much love the story more for her being there. But then… then Daniel starts opening up to Kat about his history! Tiny bits at a time but enough that it makes absolute sense when Kat stuns him with the declaration that she would adopt his son James if anything ever happened to Daniel. The mystery gets solved of course, because Kat and Daniel think in tandem even when they aren’t in speaking range of each other. And the twist is fantastic and perfect for the history lover in me (think mummies!) but to explain more would be to spoil the book and, let’s be honest, I really want you to read the book! We’ll talk details after you do! I will say that even though it is a mystery and has a whodunit theme, that is not the overriding theme of Jennifer Ashley’s book. I couldn’t have predicted who was behind it and all and, to be honest, I didn’t really try. I was having way too much fun just reading! A final thing to mention about these books about Kat Holloway? They’ll make you hungry! The way Jennifer Ashley describes the food Kat cooks, the way she writes Kat talking about food… it’s heavenly. It’s a whole new reason to want to time travel back to Victorian England, only this time I want to go below stairs and sample food like Tess does throughout this story! As far as happily ever after goes… it’s getting there. For Kat and Daniel, for Cynthia and Elgin. It’s getting there. Possibly I’m unwilling to commit because I’m daring to hope and dream that there will be more to the story of Kat Holloway. It’s not a bad thing to dream of, really. Unless it doesn’t come. Then I will be incredibly sad. So… Many, many thanks to the kind people at Berkley and Penguin Random House for the chance to read this incredibly lovely book. And, to Jennifer Ashley… please, you are going to write more about Kat Holloway, aren’t you? I adore every bit of it! And thank you for writing it!

  25. 3 out of 5

    Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar

    Full & Detailed review: https://cynthology.blogspot.com/2018/... Since this is the second book in its series, readers may already be aware of Kat’s prowess in the kitchen and her ability to solve murder mysteries. For me, this was an initiation into the series, and I thought the book was quite charming. The book is written in the first person past tense account of Kat. The high-point of the book, more than the murder, was the relationships between the characters. Nearly all the characters have Full & Detailed review: https://cynthology.blogspot.com/2018/... Since this is the second book in its series, readers may already be aware of Kat’s prowess in the kitchen and her ability to solve murder mysteries. For me, this was an initiation into the series, and I thought the book was quite charming. The book is written in the first person past tense account of Kat. The high-point of the book, more than the murder, was the relationships between the characters. Nearly all the characters have a warm and endearing bond with someone or the other. Notably, I am referring to the relationship between Kat and her daughter, Grace, though their interactions don’t give us much of a clue to Grace’s feelings. In fact, we see more of James, Daniel’s son, than we do of Grace, but then again, that is because Grace doesn’t live with Kat. Kat and Daniel, Kat and Tess, and Kat and Cynthia are other interesting pairs that lighten up the pages. The characters are all sweet. Their back stories were handled neatly, without disturbing the flow of the book, or making the introduction jar. That Kat staunchly guarded her day off, for herself and Tess, the waif sent by Daniel to work as an assistant to Kat, I liked. There is Elgin Thanos, Daniel’s friend, with whom Cynthia has a slow burner of a romance. There is a similar slow romance going on between Kat and Daniel. Despite swearing off men, after her disastrous marriage with a man she didn’t know was already married, Kat cannot help the feelings she has for Daniel. Just the way I like it. It’s annoying when the romance element goes overboard. I liked Lady Cynthia, my namesake. She is sweet and has lots of ‘eccentricities,’ particularly when seen through the lens of her time. She dresses in men’s clothes and enjoys her freedom, going out at night, behaviour expressly forbidden for women. Tess was another interesting character, and I admired her wit and intelligence, and the slow buildup of respect between her and Kat. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that Kat manages to cook. For a long time, it seemed as if the cooking overwhelmed the sleuthing. Not that I am complaining. I enjoyed reading about the food portions. All that talk about chopping and hunks of ham and greens nicely crisped, not to mention tarts and pastries, kept me in good humour. The author does a fine job of evoking the period with its hansoms and flounces in women’s clothing, and its oppressive social mores and modes of behaviour and conduct. I found the context very interesting. The class differences are firmly in place, and those who try to cross over from one side to another are frowned upon. It is also worth noting that women from the higher classes were, in their own way, subjugated. In the book, we see how the few women, who wear men’s clothing, either to experience the freedom men enjoyed or to be free of the restrictive female clothing or because of their orientation, are punished, even institutionalized for defying societal norms. There is a Christian element in Kat’s belief that God forgives more than people do, and in Daniel’s willingness to forgive the man from whom he has sought vengeance all his life. The mystery was a good one. And there were lessons on trust and goodness and treating people the way you would want them to treat you, along the way. All served with some delicious food and great descriptions. There was a bit of action towards the end, that saw all the characters indulge wholeheartedly. I’m always appreciative of a book that honours its female characters as much as its male ones, and gives them space to show off their skills. I look forward to catching the previous book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Victorian cook Kat Holloway jumps at the chance to help Lady Cynthia with a problem. Lady Cynthia's friend is being blamed for artwork missing from her home. The woman's husband claims she is selling the paintings to pay her gambling debts. But while she's working on solving that problem, thefts start happening all around the city, and Kat asks for help from her friend Daniel McAdams, who has already set himself up in a pawnshop to get to the bottom of things. The thefts keep happening, and soon Victorian cook Kat Holloway jumps at the chance to help Lady Cynthia with a problem. Lady Cynthia's friend is being blamed for artwork missing from her home. The woman's husband claims she is selling the paintings to pay her gambling debts. But while she's working on solving that problem, thefts start happening all around the city, and Kat asks for help from her friend Daniel McAdams, who has already set himself up in a pawnshop to get to the bottom of things. The thefts keep happening, and soon a body is found in a pawnshop, the very one where Daniel has been working. Kat rushes to see if it's her friend, and as things unfold she must use all her powers of deduction to see that the murderer, and thieves, are caught and justice prevails. If it is possible, I enjoyed this second book in the Kat Holloway series even more than the first. Ms. Ashley builds on the characters introduced in the first book, giving us insight into their background that make the characters come to life. There is also the addition of Tess, a cook's assistant sent to Kate by Daniel. Tess is wonderfully written, a street girl who at first fights against the household rules, but soon realizes that Kat is not your typical person set to judge her. I found the relationship between the two to be very refreshing, and perfectly drawn. The fact that Kat was willing to help, but knew to be a little leery of the newcomer, was very realistic. I feel very at home in Kat's kitchen, and reading this book was like sitting in the corner with a cup of tea watching events unfold. The tea never gets cold, and the scones are always warm. As on the last book, Ms. Ashley gives a great description of a Victorian household, and the way the kitchen is run, including talking about food that left me hungry to taste Kat's dishes. The Kat Holloway mysteries are working their way up my list of "grab it when it first comes out." If you like historical mysteries, this series is perfection. I read a digital ARC of this book through Penguin's First To Read program.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Robin

    Jennifer Ashley is so good at creating lovable and fascinating characters, I just want to eat them up (pun intended). Kat is much more astute than her profession as head chef requires, her observant and inquisitive mind is always looking for puzzles to solve, and one of her employers, Lady Cynthia, is more than happy to provide her with one. Asked to look into the disappearance of a few paintings from the wealth household of one of Lady Cynthia's friend's, it only takes Kat mere moments to sort Jennifer Ashley is so good at creating lovable and fascinating characters, I just want to eat them up (pun intended). Kat is much more astute than her profession as head chef requires, her observant and inquisitive mind is always looking for puzzles to solve, and one of her employers, Lady Cynthia, is more than happy to provide her with one. Asked to look into the disappearance of a few paintings from the wealth household of one of Lady Cynthia's friend's, it only takes Kat mere moments to sort out what's been going on. But more significant thefts have been happening around London too, in the dark underworld of the antiquities black market, and the mysterious and elusive Daniel McAdam is, of course, right at the heart of it. Kat thinks herself too sensible to get involved with someone who jumps in and out of her life, someone she knows precious little about, but when a man turns up dead in the pawnshop Daniel is working undercover in and she's overwhelmed with concern for him, it's difficult to deny her feelings. We learn a little bit more about Daniel, but each morsel of information leaves us wanting second helpings. Clever plots, witty dialogue, compelling characters, yummy food descriptions - what's not to love? I didn't want it to end. Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley. My opinions are my own. Historical Readings & Reviews

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    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 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* -Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Wendy introduced me to this series a while back, and I read and enjoyed Death Below Stairs. When NetGalley offered Scandal Above Stairs, I wanted to find out what Kat Holloway and Daniel and all of the characters introduced in the first book had been up to! I suppose both books can be classified as Victorian cozy mysteries. The characters are an interesting mixture of above and below stairs, although the main character Kat Holloway is definitely below stairs as she is the cook in a prominent hou Wendy introduced me to this series a while back, and I read and enjoyed Death Below Stairs. When NetGalley offered Scandal Above Stairs, I wanted to find out what Kat Holloway and Daniel and all of the characters introduced in the first book had been up to! I suppose both books can be classified as Victorian cozy mysteries. The characters are an interesting mixture of above and below stairs, although the main character Kat Holloway is definitely below stairs as she is the cook in a prominent household. Daniel...well, Daniel McAdam is a bit of a mystery. We know he comes from a rough background, but he has the ability to transform himself and be accepted in almost any role, from handyman to gentleman. I liked that Cynthia and Mr. Thanos (above stairs) get to play a role in solving the mystery in this one and wouldn't mind these two graduating into even larger roles. Tess is a new addition, and her character also shows promise of evolving. When I read Death Below Stairs, I didn't initially realize that Jennifer Ashley and Ashley Gardner were the same person. I've read and enjoyed Ashley Gardner's Captain Lacy series set in Regency London. Both historical mystery series develop interesting characters, are well-researched, and are entertaining. :) Read in May; blog review scheduled for June 20. NetGalley/Berkley Publ. Historical Mystery. July 3, 2018. Print length: 320 pages.

  30. 4 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    In Scandal above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley, set in 1881, Mrs. Holloway, cook of a mansion in the rich neighborhood of Mayfair, has served as cook there for three months and, while settled in, desperately needs a cook’s assistant. One day Mr. Davis, the butler, tells her that he saw Daniel McAdam working in a seedy pawn shop, the first that Mrs. Holloway has heard of Daniel since their adventure three months earlier in Scandal before Stairs. So on her day out, Mrs. Holloway makes a point to look In Scandal above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley, set in 1881, Mrs. Holloway, cook of a mansion in the rich neighborhood of Mayfair, has served as cook there for three months and, while settled in, desperately needs a cook’s assistant. One day Mr. Davis, the butler, tells her that he saw Daniel McAdam working in a seedy pawn shop, the first that Mrs. Holloway has heard of Daniel since their adventure three months earlier in Scandal before Stairs. So on her day out, Mrs. Holloway makes a point to look for this pawn shop and find Daniel, who indicates he is there to look for stolen goods. The next day James, Daniel’s son, comes to the mansion with Tess, Daniel’s suggestion of a new cook’s assistant for Mrs. Holloway. In a couple days, Mr. Davis reads from the newspaper to Mrs. Holloway and Tess that a body has been found murdered and with a disfigured face in the pawn shop where he earlier saw Daniel. At Scotland Yard, the pair of frantic women and James, who joined them en route, get warned off asking about Daniel after discovering that the body does not belong to him. But to whom does it belong? And what has happened to Daniel? Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at Fangirl Nation

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