Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Kat Holloway Mysteries #5
Published by Berkley on July 6, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
While attending an exhibition at the Crystal Palace, young cook Kat Holloway is approached by a woman in distress. Lady Covington is a wealthy widow convinced that her entire family is trying to kill her. Kat feels compelled to help, and she escorts the lady home to discover whether she is delusional or in true danger.
It is quickly apparent that the threat is all too real, and Kat promises aid. Her charming confidant Daniel McAdam is busy infiltrating a plot against the Crown, and she worries he will not have time to lend his sleuthing expertise. This might be for the best, as Kat fears her growing emotional entanglement with Daniel can only lead to disaster. But soon, Kat faces a more serious threat when her involvement in both investigations plunges her into peril.
I was very happy to continue the Kat Holloway mysteries. Each mystery is standalone though there is an ongoing series arc for Kat’s personal and relationship developments. I know and love many of the characters and I understand the world even if I don’t like some of it. Women of any class have few rights or options. Kat does well because she is smart and skilled but her position is still precarious.
Lady Cynthia’s family is in town to pursue schemes and try to marry her off. There is still some pushback on her being friendly with a cook. Kat is able to help Lady Cynthia by having her visit another family to figure out what is going on in the current investigation. She also figures out a way for Cynthia to have a regular purpose.
Kat sees Grace very little here. She does help Daniel with a dangerous case. They continue their building of a relationship even though the Bywaters are against her having any life or commitment other than as their servant.
The combination of the various characters and their personal relationships and growth along with the investigations make this a fun and fascinating series to read. I also enjoy all the cooking information with Kat being a cook.
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