No Spoiler Book Review
Rhys Bowen is one of those prolific authors that pretty much has her own section at the library. While I tend to be wary of authors who publish frequently, I know that Bowen has a devoted following, so I always intended to read one of her books. I was not disappointed.
The main character is incredibly relatable for someone who was supposed to have lived over a hundred years ago. Bella is forced to become a servant after her noble family falls on hard times. As a working-class woman, she struggles with having a career, but also wanting a husband and family. She faces many of the same opportunities and limitations facing women today.
This historical romance set in Queen Victoria’s royal kitchens is deliciously soothing. I don’t have much experience with Cozy Mysteries, but I can now understand the appeal. How does an author manage to maintain a warm comfortable glow in a story filled with accidents, intrigue and murder? That is a special talent. I am looking forward to reading more by Bowen, I know I have a lot to choose from.
Fans of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs will adore this quick read. Readers of historical fiction and romance, as well as cozy mysteries will also enjoy this title. I am personally recommending this book to my English Aunt Mary. Your Aunt Mary will love it too!
You may also enjoy this No Spoiler Book Review of Study in Scarlet Women!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers of this book for allowing me advance access in exchange for this honest review.
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Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand. It’s an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger’s stead, Bella can spread her wings.
Arriving as Helen Barton from Yorkshire, she pursues her passion for creating culinary delights, served to the delighted Queen Victoria herself. Best of all, she’s been chosen to accompany the queen to Nice. What fortune! Until the threat of blackmail shadows Bella to the Riviera, and a member of the queen’s retinue falls ill and dies.
Having prepared the royal guest’s last meal, Bella is suspected of the poisonous crime. An investigation is sure to follow. Her charade will be over. And her new life will come crashing down—if it doesn’t send her to the gallows.