Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Kat Holloway Mysteries #6
Publication Date: 8/2/22
Period: 1882 – Victorian London
Number of Pages: 304
I think this is my favorite book in the series so far. So, as I sit here tired and bleary-eyed from reading all night, I’ll try to do it justice in my review. Yes, I was up all night reading because I just couldn’t put it down. It was so interesting and exciting and poignant I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. The characters are as wonderful as ever and the great thing about this book is that we learn more about both Kat and Daniel – but mostly Kat. I think we’ve learned most of Kat’s background now, but I think we have more to learn of Daniel – and I can hardly wait.
Just after breakfast on a lovely Wednesday morning, Elsie, the scullery maid, sticks her head into the kitchen to tell Mrs. Holloway that a woman wants to see her – and the woman is waiting up on the street. Kat considers and then decides to go speak with the woman. Kat was totally shocked when she determined who the woman was. It was Charlotte Bristow – the first wife of Kat’s deceased husband. (As we know from earlier books, Kat’s husband was a bigamist who left her with child when he died at sea.)
Charlotte has quite a tale to tell Kat and begrudgingly asks for her help. Charlotte has information that their bigamist husband did NOT die when his ship sank – he returned to London where he was murdered for a fortune he had accumulated. Charlotte offers to share the fortune with Kat if she will investigate and find the money. At first, Kat doesn’t want any part of anything to do with the man who made a fool of her and left her with a fatherless child. However, being Kat, she couldn’t let a mystery go unsolved.
All of Kat’s friends, above and below stairs, rally around her and start digging into the mystery of what really happened to Joe Bristow. How could a ne’er-do-well sailor come into a fortune? How did he die? Why did he die? Since this all took place twelve years ago, witnesses may have died, moved, or just not remember, so the investigation will be slow going.
Kat ends up revisiting the neighborhood in which she grew up and where she lived as Joe’s wife. She took her daughter, Grace, with her on several visits in order to share her past – at least to a degree. Someday, she’s going to have to share the whole story with Grace – but not today.
Things begin to pop with information coming in from all over and the results are mind-blowing. Could Joe have managed to master-mind that convoluted plot? Surely not? What happened to the fortune? Will Kat actually get any of it to make her life and Grace’s easier?
I can highly recommend this book – and this series. I honestly think you should read the entire series in order (no, you don’t have to) so you can see the growth in the relationships that are so evident in this book. The plot is excellent, the ends are cleaned up, the bad guys are properly dealt with, and maybe, just maybe, we see a bit of a step forward in the relationship between Kat and Daniel. WOW!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.