This Chick Read: Death in Kew Gardens (A Below Stairs Mystery #3) by Jennifer Ashley

Kat and her cooks assistant Tess run out on errands for the evenings meal and run into a Chinese man in the street. Literally. Picking up their various packages, Mr. Li and Kat strike up a brief friendship that grows stronger when he gives her the gift of a fabulous blend of tea. When her next door neighbor is murdered and a “chinese man” is the main suspect, Kat is determined to clear Mr. Li, convinced that this nice man would not harm her neighbor. With the help of her usual casts of characters including the enigmatic handyman Daniel she finds herself enmeshed in another whodunnit that reveals as much about her as the other characters in this novel, including our killer.

I’m a sucker for a great historical mystery and the Below Stairs Mysteries have not yet disappointed. This is the third novel in the series and as each mystery is solved the reader learns more about Kat, Daniel, Tess and the other characters in these books. These tidbits have helped keep my interest making me eager to read the next novel to see what new bit of knowledge will be revealed. Daniel is the biggest mystery still unsolved. He’s a handyman, yet is also a bit of a gentleman making the reader feel as if he’s trying on parts for each investigation. Which is the real man and once that mystery is resolved how will he and Kat’s relationship play out? I will definitely keep reading to find out.

The mystery in this novel was just a little lackluster for me. I enjoyed the new cultural references and found the history of tea to be really interesting, however, I wasn’t as invested in some of the new characters as I had been in the first two books of the series. Not to say it was bad, it really wasn’t! I enjoyed the interaction between Kat, Cynthia, Thanos and Daniel more than I did the mystery and sped through the investigation to get to the meat of their relationships. I’m sure it’s because I’m such a huge fan of romance novels, so I focused on that part of the book more than the mystery.

Do you like historical mysteries with a hint of romance? If so, then this novel and series should be added to your TBR. Each book can be read as a stand alone but they’re so much more enjoyable if you have some back story for the main characters. I’d recommend reading the other novels before picking this one up. Once you do, you’ll really enjoy your trips to Jennifer Ashley’s historical London.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a free copy of the ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Death in Kew Gardens reminded me of both Downton Abbey and Grand Hotel, with a touch of Agatha Christie. I will definitely be reading the forerunners in this series and anxiously await for book number four.” A Wondrous Bookshelf

Click this link to purchase!* Death in Kew Gardens (A Below Stairs Mystery)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (5/27/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

Today is Memorial Day and I’d like to thank all of our men and women who serve our country and help make the US a great place to live!

JUST FINISHED!

Death in Kew Gardens (A Below Stairs Mystery #3) by Jennifer Ashley

First Sentence Read: “The Chinese gentleman ran from between the carriages packed the length of Mount Street and straight into my path.”

JUST STARTED

Turn the Tide (A Heart Pounding Romantic Suspense Anthology) with stories by Katie Ruggle, Adriana Anders, Connie Mann, and Juno Rushdan

First Sentence Read: ‘”I hate the mall.” Molly Said’

I’m a big fan of Katie Ruggle and I’m looking forward to reading the prequel short story to her new series about sisters who are bounty hunters. I also love finding new authors and I think an anthology is a great way to discover if you like an authors style of writing. Will they grab my attention? I’ll let you know!

Now you know what I’ll be doing on my day off, what will you be reading?

Deb

Booklovers Con! #BLC19

The first two days at the Booklovers Con have come and gone and my good intentions to post pictures every day has fallen by the wayside because of my need for sleep. Sorry guys! However, today I’ll give you two days of pics to satisfy your book loving needs!

I’ve met some really great authors and taken a few pictures to share. The first night was the kick off party with a Jazz Fest theme, after all we are all in New Orleans! We paraded into the ballroom to a great jazz marching band.

There were authors stationed around the room and I bee-lined towards Christine Feehan to say hi and take her pic.

Christine Feehan!

I’ll admit that I didn’t want to stand in line for food but there were food trucks galore and the band was fab. My sister and I ducked out to eat at a little Vietnamese place we spotted down the street. Yum!

Thursday was chock full of events. A Harlequin author signing and Indie author soirée were fun! Although the lines…not so much. Lol.

Julia London! (On the right)
Rebecca Zanetti!
Ooohhh my feet!

I really learned a lot from a workshop for bloggers and publishers and will endeavor to meet some new goals!

The evening wrapped up with a pretty amazing Fairy gala with a full dinner. The costumes and decorations were pretty spectacular!

Packaging paper turned into a magnificent dress!

Gorgeous centerpieces!

My sister and I were VIP’s ( we won it in a lottery) and got to sit for dinner at a table with an author. I sat with the wonderful fantasy author C. L. Wilson and she sat with Amanda McIntyre. It was a great hour spent getting to know these authors.

At the end of the day I had a pretty good book haul! Not as much in the past and definitely a smaller amount of swag, but you know what? The experience has been so much better and more intimate!

This is only day 1’s book haul!

I’ll try to get out one more post possibly Sunday from the airport! We are packing in the fun at the BLC19!

Deb

Happy Easter from The Reading Chick!

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and even though today was 50° and I am wearing a sweater you can tell by the smiles on everyone’s faces that winter is over. Unless you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, then Winter is Coming. I couldn’t resist, sorry!

For those of us who celebrate this time of year for religious reasons, may you have a blessed holiday!

For those of us who are looking forward to seeing what kind of candy is in our Easter baskets… what number from the graphic below is your favorite Easter candy? Feel free to share your favorite from your own country if these aren’t familiar!

I am a Cadbury mini eggs gal myself!

May your Easter basket be filled with the blessings of your season, and chocolate! Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

Deb

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (4/1/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

First Sentence Read: “Mae wakes, as she does each morning, to the sound of a train.”

JUST STARTED

Devil’s Daughter: The Ravenels meet the Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas

First sentence read: ” Phoebe had never met West Ravenel, but she knew one thing for certain: He was a mean, rotten bully.”

I love starting a new book! What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

This Chick Read: A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn

At a house party on a secluded island with her partner Stoker and his brother Lord Templeton-Vane, Veronica and Stoker find themselves enmeshed in the mystery of the vanishing bride of their host Malcolm Romilly. This novel intertwines the electric attraction between Stoker and Veronica with the story behind the disappearance of Rosamund. The building tension as they discover each clue and fight their feelings for each other escalates until I was eagerly flipping pages to reach the climax of this story.

As the fourth novel in the series, A Dangerous Collaboration is on the cusp of finally giving the reader what we’ve been waiting for… the end of Veronica and Stoker dancing around their feelings for each other. Well, at least that’s what I’ve been waiting for! Each novel has also had a great mystery for them to solve, and this one is no different. Adding in the personal element of Stoker’s brother Tiberius’ relationship with both the bride and groom and this made for a great whodunnit. However, I continue to eagerly pick up these novels because of the tension filled dialog between our two main characters. This novel did not disappoint in that regard.

I’ve admired Veronica through this series for her modernity, her pursuit of a career, and her intelligence. I’ll admit to being just a little frustrated with her desire to talk herself out of her feelings for Stoker wanting that aspect of this series to speed up. Especially how the last novel ended with their feelings revealed! BUT, this was such a great follow up and true to Veronica’s personality that I can’t stay mad for too long that I didn’t quite get what I’d been looking for from the two of them… I can only hope that day will come soon!

The supporting characters in this book gave this novel a more Agatha Christie feel to the mystery. Unlike the previous novels which were mostly set in a big city, A Dangerous Collaboration was set in a remote island location and the characters were simpler or more country which added charm to what had been a more urban feeling series. I really enjoyed the change of scene and the Clue-like aspect to the mystery. Was Rosamund killed in the observatory with a candlestick? I’ll never tell! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This book’s setting is one of the strongest out of the whole series. It’s nice to get out of London proper and explore this remote island besieged by stormy weather and comprised of eccentric locals. I had as much fun with it as Veronica did. ” Where the Words Take Me

If you haven’t had a chance to read this series yet and you’re a fan of murder mysteries, historical fiction, and slow-burn romances, then please do yourself a favor and pick up the first book! A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book of this wonderful, thrilling series and I’m highly anticipating the next (and I believe last) installment! ” Paws and Paperbacks

Click this link to purchase!* A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club #3) by Joanna Shupe

When Lily’s brother goes missing she turns to ex-husband and Media Mogul Calvin Cabot to help her find him. After their marriage was annulled four years ago after a quick elopement they have done a great job of avoiding being in the same vicinity. When Lily kidnaps Calvin to get him to help her out, they find that the chemistry between them is just as fiery, as is Lily’s personality. When Calvin agree’s to help her he tries to keep her safe, but Lily is determined to be in on the action. Her determination to find her brother is matched by Calvin’s desire for Lily to stay out of the action.

The setting for the Knickerbocker Club series is the Industrial age which makes it these books very unique. Even though Lily comes from money it’s nice to see how men in that frame of time built their fortunes. When Lily and Calvin initially meet and marry he is a reporter, but four years later he owns three papers and is on his way to building an empire. Lily also has grown into her place, taking over for her father as the President of their mining company. Something that is not heard of in that time, and probably inaccurate of what women are allowed to do in that time, but it made for a different kind of romance. They are equals with their brains and with their finances. 

The mystery of what happened to Lily’s brother involves a Chinese gang leader and some rather rough characters. You know when you read a piece of fiction and the characters all feel real and not characterizations, you know that the author did their homework. Joanna Shupe did hers and the realistic characters helped me enmesh myself in their story, not stopping to think “yeah, right” as I do in some lighter historical romances.  

This is the third book in the Knickerbocker Club series but you can read these novels as stand alone’s no problem. The other men in the club do show up as supporting characters but you don’t need to know who they are to enjoy this or any of the other stories in the series. If you’re like me and like to start at the beginning, then pick up Magnate, which is book #1. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Mogul (The Knickerbocker Club)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: A Twist in Time (Kendra Donovan #2) by Julie McElwain

A Twist in Time has our FBI Investigator turned time traveler on the hunt after another murderer. This time she travels to London because the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew, Alec is a suspect in the murder of his ex-mistress Lady Dover. Kendra, the Duke, Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly and her lover, Alec have two weeks until the House of Lords decides to try Alec. More importantly, his reputation is on the line and in 1815, reputations are more deadly than the stiletto used in this murder.

This series is so much fun because we are watching a prodigy investigator use her mental skills to catch a killer instead of technology. Socially inept at best, Kendra has to (somewhat) play by society’s rules. Her roll as the ward of the Duke of Aldridge will only get her so far. Her best means of finding out the facts seem to be pissing people off enough to make mistakes. The fact that Alec and she are new lovers adds a little personal tension that makes the scintillating details of his past affair, well, fun!

The Kendra Donovan series has quickly become one of my favorites. I do love a great historical mystery and a time travel mystery scores this author some bonus points in my eyes! If you haven’t tried out the first novel, A Murder in Time, and you enjoy this genre, please give it a try. You won’t regret the time spent, I promise! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

A Twist

Click this link to purchase!* A Twist in Time: A Novel (Kendra Donovan Mysteries)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserve

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by Julie McElwain

Our heroine Kendra Donovan is an FBI profiler. She is on the task force that is taking down two drug kingpins when she finds out her team was undermined from the inside, men on her team killed, and one of the criminals goes free.  Kendra goes rogue and decides to take care of this criminal herself. She tracks him down to a castle in England but before she can kill him she gets thrown back in time to the 1800’s where another murder quickly takes place. Is this the reason why she has traveled through time?

Another book blogger wrote about being excited that the third novel is coming out soon and made me curious enough to look this one up. THANK YOU! I’m sorry I can’t remember who you are, but this was a fabulous recommendation! A time traveler mystery is a bit of a stretch but this author set it up so well. Kendra was a child prodigy and is quite young, only in her early 20’s when she gets thrown back in time. Thank goodness because she’s not seen as an old maid. She is briefly thrown by the time traveling, but kind of rolls with it hoping she can find her way home again. It does help that the Duke whose castle she finds herself in was progressive and a scientist of sorts and is fascinated by this brilliant young woman. When the first young woman shows up dead Kendra puts her profiler skills to work and the Duke puts his societal standing behind her giving her gravitas, and allows her to investigate. I love it when a woman enthralls men with her intelligence instead of her beauty!

A Murder in Time is part mystery with a hint of romance. The Duke is not Kendra’s romantic partner, but instead it’s his nephew that she ensnares. The tension between the two of them is intense but really the story revolves around solving the mystery of who among their peers is the killer. This novel held my interest and truly I didn’t want to put it down.

If you love a good mystery and don’t mind a little time traveling, then please pick up this book! I do not think you’ll be disappointed. The great news is that the second is available in book stores and the third is being released soon. Yeah! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A Murder

Click this link to purchase*! A Murder in Time: A Novel (Kendra Donovan Mysteries)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether tells the story of two women living in different times. Lydia Wilde lives with her family during the war in the colonies between the French and the English. During that time if a battle was lost and soldiers surrendered, they would be billeted in homes until they were exchanged for their own soldiers that were being held. Lydia, her father and two brothers “hosted” two French Lieutenants. Charley is in present time and has been hired as historian and curator of the house Lydia lived in with her family. that will soon be a museum. As Charley unearths historical facts about the family that lived in that house, Lydia’s story is told. When Charley hears about a forbidden love story between Lydia and one of the French Lietenants, she wants to make their story part of the museum.

I loved the back and forth between Charley revealing a new item and Lydia’s history playing out. It was so easy to fall in love with both of these women and watch them live through very similar emotions. Susanna Kearsley writes as a historian. You read the descriptions of the clothing they are wearing and can fell the weave of the cloth running through your own fingers. She has a real talent. Both heroines had stories unfold in a very loving and gentle manner, dealing with grief in different ways. Charley’s story was more humorous as she is helped along by a spirit and Lydia’s a little more stoic as being the only female managing a family of men. What they had in common was heart, each defined by their own circumstances but at their core very similar.

I love the flow of a Susanna Kearsley novel. They’re not something you speed through, but savor slowly. The language unfolds and every sideways look has a meaning. She has a deft hand with description and doesn’t get bogged down with the details in a sewing basket. You are able to enjoy the story without needing to skim through pages. I was enmeshed in the story and actually wanted a few more chapters of Lydia’s story to end the book. That is the sign of a good book! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Bellewether

Click this link to purchase!*

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate