3.75 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin
I always love entering Kat Holloway’s world. In Murder in the East End my favorite no-nonsense cook and amateur sleuth is on the hunt to find out what happened to children who have gone missing from London’s Foundling Hospital. She’s brought into this case by Daniel McAdam and his foster brother, a vicar who is more than he seems. As the trio and their unlikely band of allies (the bold and kindhearted Cynthia, adorable and brilliant Thanos, and mysterious newcomer Judith) delve deeper into the Foundling Hospital’s practices they’ll find themselves in the slums, where danger and heartbreak await.
Kat is the heart of the Below Stairs mysteries and she continues to be a fantastic heroine. She’s got a way of getting people to open up and I like watching her put the puzzle pieces together. And as you might guess from the introduction of a man from Daniel’s past, we do finally learn a bit more about the mysterious Mr. McAdam. I practically gobbled up these crumbs of information alongside Kat, though of course I still wanted more. I cannot wait until the day Daniel’s full history is revealed. As for the supporting cast, author Jennifer Ashley continues to flesh out these wonderful characters. Everyone’s voice is unique and their trials and tribulations make the world of the story feel rich.
I thoroughly enjoyed Murder in the East End but I struggled with rating it because the mystery itself fell a bit short for me. Even though they’re hunting for missing children who are in terrible danger, there’s an almost meandering quality to this story that didn’t quite go with the dire situation. The mystery lacked intensity and wasn’t as well defined as I’m used to. And though I won’t spoil the plot, I will say I didn’t feel quite satisfied by the revelations that occurred. Of course, part of the reason for that is due to an overarching plotline that will continue in future books so I’ll be content to wait and see what happens there. Even with these issues, I love spending time with Kat, Daniel, and their friends and I am always sucked into their world and their developing relationships. I cannot wait to see where Ms. Ashley takes these characters next!
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.