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Life is back to normal for cook Kat Halloway after the scandal and excitement of solving mysteries The household is short staffed and Lady Cynthia s aunt is cheap and won t hire new help so Kat is very busy In addition to her regular duties, Lady Cynthia begs Kat to look into the mysterious disappearance of priceless works of art from one of the best London homes Cynthia s friend Clemetina, wife of Sir Evan Godfrey, has been accused to stealing HIS paintings to pay her gambling debts Cynthia Life is back to normal for cook Kat Halloway after the scandal and excitement of solving mysteries The household is short staffed and Lady Cynthia s aunt is cheap and won t hire new help so Kat is very busy In addition to her regular duties, Lady Cynthia begs Kat to look into the mysterious disappearance of priceless works of art from one of the best London homes Cynthia s friend Clemetina, wife of Sir Evan Godfrey, has been accused to stealing HIS paintings to pay her gambling debts Cynthia is positive her friend didn t do it Kat s search for clues in the home leads her nowhere except to one logical conclusion When the papers report a dead body found in a seedy pawn shop and Kat s friend Daniel McAdam is nowhere to be found, she panics Daniel was last seen undercover at said seedy pawn shop meeting with a dangerous character Kat is terrified for her friend and determined to find out whether the man was her friend and who killed him and why This mystery is not as engaging or as exciting as the first but it s also not as dark I came to the exact same conclusion about the paintings as Kat did but luckily there wasto the mystery The initial guess was too obvious There s a lot of social commentary on how horrible marriage was for upper class women who were treated as property of their husbands Kat s marriage was terrible but she has skills that give her some measure of independence She ruminates a lot on the subject of women s rights and that feelslike the author sticking her opinion into this period piece While I don t disagree with her, it seems unlikely that Kat would be thinking about such things Lady Cynthia, yes Kat, no Cynthia also has her own thoughts about the wickedness of men The romance takes a back seat to the mystery but heats up a little bit at the end I wantedromance I just love the characters Kat is still strong, independent and capable She s also very nurturing She can be a bit brusque at first until one gets to know her and sees her big heart I do believe she loves Daniel but because of circumstances, they can t be together Kat is determined to be independent, at least for now, but I think there will come a time, hopefully, when Kat, Daniel, James and Grace can be a family together Daniel is still mysteriously employed but he revealsabout his past His past is pretty dark and Dickensian It s amazing he was able to overcome it We still don t know what he does but he s dropped a lot of hints I still think someone from the Home Office hires Daniel, someone to whom Daniel owes a debt I agree with Kat that Daniel should retire but I think his job earns himthan he would as a laborer and like Kat, he wants the money to support his child James is still a cheeky lad but here we see his vulnerable side He s still a boy who loves his dad and doesn t know what to do when faced with a crisis I love how Kat and Daniel support each other and have that bond that brings them together Lady Cynthia is a littlesubdued now, in mourning for her sister, but she still rejects traditional gender norms She s become cynical about men but I think there s a romance brewing in her future I hope so Daniel s best friend Elgin Thanos appears again, in a larger role, to help solve the mystery AND help Cynthia avoid doltish suitors I love his scholarly mind and how patient he is explaining things Not many scholars can actually explain what they know to others who are ignorant I love how he sees the measure of a man or woman quickly and treats everyone with respect, even the idiots Cynthia s uncle finds for her to marry We learnabout how Daniel and Thaos met and why they re so close Mr Davis is limited to only a few scenes and nothing major I found him an annoying gossip in the first book He seems interested in Kat but not for the right reasons I think he d like to marry her just to cook for him I don t like how he insinuates she spends her day out with a beau That s none of his business and I bet if she did, he d tattle to the family above stairs There are only a few new characters here Lady Cynthia s aunt and uncle, Mr and Mrs Bywater are staying in Lord Rankin s house to chaperone Cynthia Mr Bywater seems nice enough but just doesn t understand Cynthia Mrs Bywater seems stupid and she s cheap She doesn t understand or care to understand what it takes to run a household and she is strict in her notions for being only upper middle class The most important new person in the house is Tess, the new kitchen maid Tess, an orphaned street rat, is sent to work with Kat by Daniel While Tess is impressed with Daniel, she s less than impressed with the duties of a kitchen maid Tess is anuanced character than she appears at first It sounds like she never had an upbringing or anyone to love her, to teach her right from wrong Tess has a big heart under her tough girl facade She pretends to be devil may care, chip on the shoulder but she really isn t and I grew to like her She s a work in progress The new characters who will likely not reappear in future novels include Lady Cynthia s friend Clemmie, Lady Clementina Godfrey She s silly, naive and bored Personally, I don t have much sympathy for her Yes society matches were made for wealth and connections but really, find someone you can tolerate, find out what kind of man he is BEFORE you marry him If he s a collector, run away as fast as you can because he will not cherish you above his collections and may even look at you as an object to be possessed I believe Sir Godfrey has secrets and is lying about his background Like Lord Rankin, he s strict in his notions of how he appears to outsiders but his morals are repugnant This is obviously not a happy marriage with no way out Two policemen appear to investigate the crimes in this novel Inspector McGregor is surly, grumpy and suspects Daniel of murder and Kat of covering up for Daniel I believe he is rather arrogant and has a nasty, suspicious mind He s too quick to try to find an easy solution without thinking about alternatives Chief Inspector Moss is softer,kind and understands the ways of the nobility I did not agree with him about handling them with kid gloves because that leads to corruption but neither do I agree with McGregor s gruff, tough ways There s also one very scary bad guy, Pilcher, who may have connections to Daniel s past While this is the second book in the series, it stands alone as a mystery I look forward to catching up with Kat, Daniel and Cynthia in Kew Gardens soon 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 bedanger and shenanigans and plenty of stick in the mud Mr Davis, who I also adore , and hopefullyDaniel 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 I was really looking forward to this one and I m disappointedWhile the first book was a novelty, this one is a repeat.I was expecting something muchexciting, but got a lot of mouthwatering recepies.I also wanted to knowabout Daniel, but apart from I ll tell you everything, but not just now we don t get anythingThis could be defined as a historical cozy misteryLet s hope the next is muchexiting 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 Very well written this series keeps getting better book by book I adored Kat Halloway in the first 1.5 books of this series and have been looking forward toof 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 toof 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 appearprevalent in this installment He continues to be the most elusive character, and I am desperate to learnThis 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 nextA huge thank you to Penguin Berkley for my advanced review copy Intrigue amongst the upper classes An engaging read following the exploits of seemingly mild mannered, intelligent cook for a well to do household, Kat Holloway, and her mysterious friend, Daniel McAdam.Valuables and priceless artifacts are being stolen from wealthy neighboring homes, and it seems even the British Museum is not immune.Kat and Daniel find themselves onceat the crossroads of doings above and below the stairs of the mansions of Mayfair.I still have not built a mental image of Intrigue amongst the upper classes An engaging read following the exploits of seemingly mild mannered, intelligent cook for a well to do household, Kat Holloway, and her mysterious friend, Daniel McAdam.Valuables and priceless artifacts are being stolen from wealthy neighboring homes, and it seems even the British Museum is not immune.Kat and Daniel find themselves onceat the crossroads of doings above and below the stairs of the mansions of Mayfair.I still have not built a mental image of Kat, although my emotional image is that of a strong, determined woman.We find out a bitabout the enigmatic Daniel, but he s still shrouded in a veil of secrecy The where s, why fore s, and who s are definitely up for grabs And what is the relationship between Kat and Daniel Another captivating murder mystery showcasing the upstairs downstairs relationships of Victorian England.A NetGalley ARC 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 I ve given this a C at AAR, so 3.5 starsScandal 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 starsScandal 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 d nouement 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 littleabout 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 bitof 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 littletension and a littleromance, this is probably not for you `Download Book ⇠ Scandal Above Stairs ↿ 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 MuseumAs 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