"Death in Kew Gardens" By Jennifer Ashley: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murhpy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Kat Holloway is an excellent cook. It’s September 1881, and she’s in the employ of Lady Cynthia, a most unconventional society woman. Technically, Kat is employed by Cynthia’s brother. After all, only sons can inherit. To make sure Cynthia is behaving, or at least not being totally outrageous, he has her aunt and uncle, the Bywaters, live in as chaperones. Mrs. Bywater is tight with the purse strings, a burden on a cook who uses fresh ingredients and serves quality food. It causes difficulties between the staff and Mrs. Daley, the new housekeeper. During a trip to the shops, Kat and her assistant, Tess, run into Mr. Li, a Chinese man, literally. Kat helps him to his feet and is rewarded with a box of special tea, unlike any she’s ever tasted.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Two days later, Cynthia, knowing Kat has assisted in murders before, breaks the news that Sir Jacob Harkness, their neighbor, has been killed in his bed. The house is crammed full of relics he’s brought home from his travels. Some are valuable antiques while others are modern replicas. It’s hard to say if anything is missing.
Image Source Berkley

Worse news as far as Kat is concerned, is that Mr. Li was seen in the neighborhood and being Chinese, therefore must be the killer. The more Kat investigates, the more confusing the case becomes. Two widows are “consoling and advising” Mrs. Harkness who thinks items are going missing from Jacob’s collections. Mr. Li has vanished but clues lead Kat to Kew Gardens where he worked as an advisor. She’s hardly surprised to see the newest employee is Daniel McAdam. He is a handsome man, able to fit into society or a barn. Kat is learning to accept his mysterious past but with difficulty.

When matters at home put Kat’s job in jeopardy and Mr. Li is arrested, the action moves into high gear to save her livelihood, his life, and the sanity of all concerned.

This is book three in the series. As a cook, Kat is separated from society, but Lady Cynthia, who rebels against the restraints of it, is her conduit for information. Working together, the pair are delightful. The attraction between Daniel and Kat is obvious and readers will look forward to the progress they make.

Ashley weaves a tight tale, crossing from high society to working class without a misstep. For an intriguing mystery and characters you’d love to meet, take a trip back in time. Kat might make a seedcake for the occasion.

To enter to win a copy of Death in Kew Gardens, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "kew,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 19, 2019. US residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. And if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! The last 2 episodes are perfect for Halloween, don't miss them!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Opens to author website

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I love Historical Mysteries. This one sounds really good.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  2. New series for me. Eager to find out more about it. Thanks for the review.

  3. Sounds like a fascinating book. Would really like to read.

  4. Sounds like a good read. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. The book looks great, Thanks for your generosity.

  6. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. Sounds interesting!



Post a Comment