Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review - Death Below Stairs

Title:   Death Below Stairs
Author:  Jennifer Ashley
Series:  Kat Holloway Mysteries #1
Genre:   Mystery/Thriller
Publisher:   Berkley Books
Format:  Audio
No. of Pages:  313
Date of Publication:  January 2, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars

Victorian class lines are crossed when cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a murder that reaches all the way to the throne.

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. 


Kat Holloway is a young cook with great references. Her newest job is at a Mayfair Mansion in the household of Lord Rankin. For the most part, Kat was content to see to her duties in the kitchen, but she heads above stairs in the interests of protecting another. When that person, a young Irish assistant cook is murdered, Kat finds herself embroiled in the mystery.

Kat is determined to find out what happened to the young woman and in so doing request the aid of Daniel McAdam. The man is a mystery to her, and he is currently a delivery man. Kat senses that this is just a role to Daniel and that there is much more than meets the eye about him. The two begin working together and end up finding out that the murder, as tragic as it was, was just the tip of the iceberg because other nefarious activities are in the works.

Death Below Stairs is a delightful Victorian-era mystery with wonderful romantic elements. There is a strong sense of friendship, loyalty and family in this story. It is full of drama and suspense. It is an excellent debut novel to an excellent series that I have had the pleasure of reading to-date.

I loved the air of mystery surrounding Daniel as well as the slow burn of romance between him and Kat. This lays a fine groundwork for future books in the series. The next two books are Scandal Above Stairs and Death in Kew Gardens.


Jennifer Ashley / Allyson James

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.

Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s more than 100 novels and novellas have won RWA’s RITA award, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian, Thai, Indonesian, and several other languages.

Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.

If you have any comments or questions, e-mail Jennifer from the contact page!


  1. that title intrigues, and sounds like i might enjoy it too

  2. I like books set in the Victorian era. Great review. Sounds good.

  3. Sounds like an interesting one, thanks for sharing.
    Gemma @ Gemma's Book Nook