Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Kat Holloway Mysteries #5
Publication Date: 7/6/21
Period: Victorian – London 1882
Number of Pages: 304
The books in this series can never come out fast enough for me. I procrastinate starting each new one because I know it will be a long time before the next one – and then I mourn when it is finished – because I know it will be a long time before the next one. I think I like everything about the series; while there are aristocrats, the ‘stars’ of the show are of the domestic class; the aristocrats don’t always get to walk free; there is a background romance that I love watching grow; and, I love the relationship Kat has with her daughter Grace. In this book, we had two cases to solve – one for Kat and one for Daniel (with Kat’s help). You could read this as a stand-alone, but you might be a bit fuzzy on some of the relationships and some of the secondary characters if you haven’t read the previous books in the series. And goodness – those secondary characters are definitely worth getting to know and I certainly look forward to more encounters with them in the future.
On her day out, Kat Holloway has taken her daughter, Grace, to the Crystal Palace to see the exhibits. Kat values every minute of time she has with Grace because she only gets to see her on her full day out on Monday and her half-day out on Thursday, so, the cry for help she hears is dismaying on several levels. The person who cried out, Lady Covington, is deliberately seeking Kat because she has heard about Kat helping solve other mysteries. Lady Covington believes she is being slowly poisoned and she wants Kat to find out who it is and stop them. Kat agrees to visit Lady Covington at her home, and after speaking with her, Kat believes she really is being poisoned. With a house full of family and servants, there are a plethora of potential poisoners. Kat’s job won’t be easy because her own household has new arrivals as well, so her cooking duties have expanded. In order to manage her time constraints, she enlists the help of her usual cohorts and together they work to solve the issue of the poisoner. But it doesn’t happen before a death occurs in Lady Covington’s family – from poisoning.
While Kat is occupied with poisonings, Daniel is working on a very intense case for his guv’nor, Alden Monaghan. The guv’nor is a cold, ruthless man with nary a kind feeling to be had and he has a stranglehold over Daniel. There have been some high-profile murders of government officials and they are sure it has to do with the Irish who want Home Rule. There are also rumors that the Duke of Daventry, one of the richest and most powerful men in the country, is funding the Irish. It is Daniel’s task to prove or disprove those rumors. Daniel wants to keep Kat totally away from anything to do with his mission, but … the best-laid plans…
I highly recommend this book, this series, and this author. The book is well-written, well-plotted, and filled with exceptional characters you’ll quickly come to love. It did leave me wanting more information on Henry though – I’d love to know what actually happened with him. Maybe I’ll learn in the next book!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.