Review – Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley

About the Book:

A new upstairs, downstairs Victorian murder mystery in the Kat Holloway series from the  New York Times  bestselling author of  Death in Kew Gardens.

When young cook Kat Holloway learns that the children of London’s Foundling Hospital are mysteriously disappearing and one of their nurses has been murdered, she can’t turn away. She enlists the help of her charming and enigmatic confidant Daniel McAdam, who has ties to Scotland Yard, and Errol Fielding, a disreputable man from Daniel’s troubled past, to bring the killer to justice. Their investigation takes them from the grandeur of Mayfair to the slums of the East End, during which Kat learns more about Daniel and his circumstances than she ever could have imagined.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                              Murder in the East End (A Below Stairs Mystery Book 4)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Kat Holloway is a talented cook, working in a fine London household.  She’s also an intelligent woman, one with an inquiring mind, and a knack for solving mysteries.  Kat is a single mother whose circumstances forced her to board her daughter with friends.  She lives for those two days a week when she is able to spend time with Grace, and dreams of the day when she’ll have the means to keep her daughter with her all the time.  During the course of her employment, Kat has come to be acquainted with Daniel McAdam, a deliveryman and so much more.  Daniel occasionally works in assisting the police with investigations, many of which have him requesting Kat’s assistance.  Still, Daniel has a mystery about him.  Though he and Kat have grown closer, there’s a part of his life he withholds, keeping his true occupation a secret, either by choice, or by demand.

The latest case Daniel is investigating involves children disappearing from a foundling home, and Kat is only too willing to help.  The situation grows more serious, when one of the concerned nurses at the home turns up missing, as well.  Their inquiries lead them on a path that suggests someone or several someones on the very board governing the foundling home is using the children for their own financial gain.  The twisted trail also reveals murder, child prostitution, and the usual assortment of bullies who are involved in such schemes.

MURDER IN THE EAST END is the fourth book in the KAT HOLLOWAY MYSTERY series, but can easily be read as a standalone without any confusion or sense of being lost.  What a reader gains from having read the previous books is the knowledge of the developing relationship between Kat and Daniel, as well as their children, the other servants, and the friendships Kat has developed with those from “upstairs.”  Kat is a woman to be admired – she has a toughness about her, yet plenty of compassion for others.  She has a vulnerability regarding her growing feelings for Daniel which she tries to hide, but isn’t entirely successful.  She knows her own worth and has a lot of pride in her abilities.  Daniel is a charming and intelligent man.  In each book, another small layer of his life is revealed, and he becomes more open about his regard for Kat.  I love their relationship and their interactions, and look forward to their becoming even closer.  MURDER IN THE EAST END is a satisfying mystery, one whose resolution left me surprised, though pleasantly so.  My favorite part of the book is definitely the multiple relationships, those that cross class lines, those of family, and those of blooming romance.    ~Rose

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