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.
Set in 1882, Ashley's solid fourth Victorian mystery (after 2019's Death in Kew Gardens) opens with criminal investigator Daniel McAdam introducing his foster brother, the Rev. Errol Fielding, to his sweetheart, Kat Holloway, a cook in service to Lady Cynthia Shires with a reputation as an amateur sleuth. Fielding serves on the board of London's Foundling Hospital, from which a nurse, Nell Betts, and three children have vanished. Nell was too reliable to depart without warning, and though the institution's director claims that the children were adopted, the addresses to which they were ostensibly sent do not exist. Kat gleans information from the hospital's cook and one of its maids, while Lady Cynthia's niece and Elgin Thanos, Daniel's mathematician friend, use their social clout to probe its board and donors. The investigation takes a dangerous turn after Nell is found beaten to death. Though the puzzle's resolution falls short of the intriguing setup, fans will appreciate new revelations about Daniel's backstory and the nuanced depictions of period London. Readers will look forward to Kat and Daniel's further adventures.