Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley

Death in Kew Gardens

Jennifer Ashley

Set in Victorian London, Kat and Daniel find themselves embroiled in a world of deadly secrets that reach from the gilded homes of Mayfair to the beautiful wonder of Kew Gardens.

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Scandal Above Stairs

Kat Holloway steps out from beneath the stairs and into international intrigue, where murder and stolen treasure lurk among the upper echelons of Victorian London.


In return for a random act of kindness, scholar Li Bai Chang presents young cook Kat Holloway with a rare and precious gift—a box of tea. Kat thinks no more of her unusual visitor until two days later when the kitchen erupts with the news that Lady Cynthia's next-door neighbor has been murdered.

Known about London as an "Old China Hand," the victim claimed to be an expert in the language and customs of China, acting as intermediary for merchants and government officials. But Sir Jacob's dealings were not what they seemed, and when the authorities accuse Mr. Li of the crime, Kat and Daniel find themselves embroiled in a world of deadly secrets that reach from the gilded homes of Mayfair to the beautiful wonder of Kew Gardens.


Advance Galley Reviews

This is the third installment in the Below Stairs Mysteries. And the mystery in this book does not disappoint. The next door neighbor has been murdered and the police are accusing a Chinese man that Kat met only two days before. Kat and Daniel once again find themselves pulled to figure out who would commit this crime. I love that, I couldn't figure out who the murderer was and I am so here for the slow burn between Kat and Daniel! ARC provided by First to Read.

An interesting murder mystery book. It's a worthy read. I definitely found myself enjoying it.

In the newest entry in the Kat Holloway, downstairs cook series, the murder of their neighbor, Sir Jacob Harkness, has upset both households. Det. Inspector McGregor needs to quickly solve this high profile death and is finding evidence that a Chinese man was seen near the home at the time of the murder. Kat has her own worries with a new housekeeper upsetting their routine and she has also befriended Mr. Li, a Chinese scholar, who has secrets of his own. When another death occurs at the Kews Garden, where Daniel McAdams is working, Kat takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of this mystery. An entertaining cozy mystery with well rounded characters and a satisfying conclusion. Thank you First-to-Read for this free e-copy of "Death In Kew Garden".

With each installment, I fall more in love with these characters and series. Ashley does an excellent job of balancing humor, mystery, and personal relationships. I just adore Kat, Daniel, Tess, Cynthia, and all the secondary characters. They continue to create a fascinating world set against the kitchen backdrop. This is my favorite one to date, and I can't wait for the next book. I am saddened Penguin has canceled its First to Program as it was the way I was first introduced to this beloved series. Of course, I'll continue to collect the paperbacks.

I love this series! Not only are they captivating mysteries, but I always feel like I learn a little something from these book at the same time. This installment expanded my knowledge of tea cultivation and general plant exploration and cultivation, as well as the relationship between England and China during the Victorian period. While most series follow the upper class members of society, I like that you get to see what life could be like for those in service and below stairs. I enjoy the slow build of the relationship between Kat and Daniel, though I have to say I'm left always wanting more on that front. I can't wait to see what comes next. I received a free advanced copy from the Penguin - First to Read program in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Loved the character development and it never felt awkward. The budding romance is sweet and please make us wait :) Seemed a bit of a stretch at the end but I was willing to go there. Love the food references and below stairs perspective. Would read this author again.

In Jennifer Ashley’s third Below Stairs mystery, Sir Jacob, who made his fortune in China, is found murdered in his home. Mrs Holloway, the cook for the home next door, is no stranger to murder and when a suspect is identified it is time for her to become involved once again. The suspect is Mr Li, a Chinese scholar who Mrs Holloway met earlier in the day. Mr Li arrived from China in pursuit of a tea plant that had been stolen from his father and Sir Jacob was an old China Hand who made his fortune working for merchants and collecting treasures of his own. He also brought back foreign plants which he provided to Kew Gardens. When Mr Li disappears and another body is found in Kew Gardens, Mrs Holloway is assisted by Lady Carolyn and her kitchen assistant to prove his innocence and discover the killer. Jennifer Ashley provides a number of suspects and a look at the contrast of life above stairs and below stairs in 1800s England. Her characters have developed nicely over the three books in the series and in this story Mrs Holloway entrusts her friends with the secrets from her past, solidifying their relationships. This is an entertaining story with characters that will charm the reader and I look forward to Mrs Holloway’s next adventure.

"Death in Kew Gardens" is an entertaining and engrossing mystery that brings together characters from Victorian England and China, and develops friendships that cross social classes. Though part of a series, this book worked well as a stand-alone story, and I did not feel that I was missing important details despite the fact that I had not read the previous books. Overall, I enjoyed this cast of characters, and would recommend this book to others who enjoy mystery novels.

I enjoy this upstairs downstairs mystery series. I have grown quite fond of Kat Halloway and Daniel, Lady Cynthia, Mr. Thanos and Tess.

This is another great read in this series. I haven't read the first in the series but have been lucky enough the read the last two and have thoroughly enjoyed both. I am loving the main character and she is collecting a very likable band of characters around her that are extremely well developed. This story was interesting as it was bringing the relationship Britain was having with China into the plot. I can highly recommend this series to anyone who loves British Victorian cozies.

"Death in Kew Gardens" is part of a series, but works very well as a stand-alone. This book is murder-mystery meets Downtown Abbey with satisfying plotting and ending. Kat Holloway is a cook at a wealthy household, and when the neighbor of her employers is killed, she begins to investigate. The victim was a purveyor of Chinese culture, said to be an expert, and owned a large collection of priceless items from China. Thus, one of the primary suspects for the police is a Chinese man Kat had run into, Mr. Li, who had repaid her kindness with an elegant box of tea before the murder took place. As Kat chases down the clues, she must also worry about the new housekeeper who is generally obnoxious and rude, but may also have some worse qualities. In a combination story following household drama and a murder-mystery, this book chases down the clues in a well-timed manner. With solid pacing and great plotting, readers can enjoy following the clues to discover who did it alongside Kat. This book is engaging and a fun mystery. I have not read earlier books in the series but was easily able to follow everything within. On top of the household drama and murder mystery, there is also a little romance between Kat and Daniel that I would love to follow and see how it plays out. It's very clean and tertiary to other plots, but a nice little bonus in an already great read. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through their firsttoread program. All opinions are my own.

Another very good addition to the series with more upstairs/downstairs interaction and a bit more romance. I also appreciated the quotation from Julian of Norwich. I just wish we could find out a bit more about Daniel and that his romance with Kat could progress a little faster.

Terrific read great addition to the series .Kat&Daniel are so involving g add a Chinese man Kat bumps into and the story starts to unfold.Well written entertaining looking foward to number four in the series.

Murder in Kews Garden takes us on another adventure with Kat Holloway and her eccentric group of friends and fellow staff below stairs. This outing is centered around the murder of Kat's neighbor, Sir Jacob and the search for an unique and precious Chinese tea. Added into the mix - the arrival of a formidable Housekeeper, the discovery of Kat's daughter, and the ever developing relationships of the house hold members. It all sums up to another intriguing read that had me cheering on Kat, Tess and Cynthia, while fervently wishing for their own happy endings. But alas, how would the series continue if all their problems were solved?! Another delightful reunion with Kat and the gang that has me already looking forward to the next one.

This is the third Kat Holloway book I've read, and the series keeps getting better all time. This one added the new interesting Chinese theme to the story, with Kat showing another aspect of her fight for the underdog in her defense of a Chinese scholar she believes is falsely accused of murder. A subplot involving an unpleasant new housekeeper added depth to the story. And I enjoyed seeing Kat and Daniel's relationship develop further. All the recurring characters keep growing along with the main players, keeping the series fresh and interesting. I am looking forward to the next installment!

Jennifer Ashley writes like a dream. I love all her series, but this one is my favorite. I wish these books were longer so I could read them more than one night. Kat has a multitude of problems in this one, so it makes the story a little more up the aunty.

While overall I’ve enjoyed this series this third book wasn’t engaging enough for me. By the time we get to the heart of the mystery I just didn’t care. Kat bumps into a man at the beginning of the book who is later implicated in the murder next door. What follows is a murder mystery coupled with a horrid new housekeeper that moves the plot forward. I found that this book was more enjoyable to read when it focused on the Victorian class lines, everyday historical minutiae, and the descriptive food. The romantic subplot goes nowhere.

I really enjoy this series and this was no exception. Kat literally bumps into a Chinese man outside which is odd enough, but then he brings her a gift of tea as a thank you on what turns out to be the same night the neighbor is murdered. The man has ties to China plus always easy to blame the foreigner so Kat feels the need to chip in on the investigation. BIG secrets are revealed and housekeeper drama keeps everyone on their toes. Such an entertaining series that gets better with each entry.

I absolutely love this series. I adore Kat and Daniel and the rest of the cast. I originally thought this series would give me something to read while waiting for the next Gabriel Lacy book, but quickly discovered this series was just as good. I liked the mystery in this one but I’m giving this a 4.5 rounded up. We have been learning little things about Daniel in each installment but this one was seriously lacking in new info about Daniel. Kat and Daniel did not get to spend as much time together which was unfortunate because I was really hoping for some development in the romance department. I know this is a mystery series with a slow burn romance but I need at least something to keep me going. Their little talk at the end was cute but I need more. This was still a great book and a great addition to the series.

As I love this series and all the historical mysteries by this author, I couldn’t wait to get started on this book. Unfortunately, this one didn’t resonate with me as much as the previous ones did. Normally I’m enchanted with the characters and descriptions, so I’m going to need a re-read down the road to figure out if I just judged it too harshly after the first read. Usually I’m fascinated at the glimpse of under the stairs life we get through Kat Holloway’s eyes as a cook in that era. Parts of this book felt like she forgot she was a cook entirely – she rushes off in the middle of meals, disappears randomly. Then she acts as if she could pick up and leave and go anywhere due to her skills, although I imagine few employers wouldn’t be happy to learn she handed off dinner service to an assistant and left without saying anything to try to solve a murder. Normally I suspend disbelief a bit better – after all, it is a mystery series and our protagonist does have to leave the house to investigate. But the new housekeeper, despite being a tiresome subplot, did have a point or two in how Mrs. Holloway treated the job. Although Daniel and Kat crossed paths and discussed the case, they weren’t heavily involved in the action together. Perhaps it was a way to slow down their presumed eventual romantic relationship, but for most of the book, they didn’t quite have the same chemistry that’s been developing previously. We did get to see more of Tess, and she’s a fun assistant to Kat, but I missed the interaction with Daniel and James. I’m still onboard with this series and looking forward to the next one – for anyone who’s curious about giving it a try, I recommend starting at the beginning so you get a feel for the characters and how their overarching story develops. These characters have endeared themselves to me, and I certainly want to find out more of their secrets, but this won’t be a favorite of mine.

 


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