Above the Bay of Angels

Above the Bay of Angels

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"A single twist of fate puts a servant girl to work in Queen Victoria's royal kitchen, setting off a suspenseful, historical mystery ... 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"--
Publisher: Seattle, Washington :, Lake Union Publishing,, [2020]
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781542008266
Characteristics: 332 pages ;,22 cm.

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Roundcat
Aug 10, 2020

I do enjoy Rhys Bowen's stand alone novels. She puts so much work into filling in the historical details and fleshing out the characters. A lot of this book turns on fortuitous circumstances that the heroine takes advantage of; but she is a strong woman who looks at her place in life and at the opportunities offered her by chance, and decides which will help her to create a happy life. She also is not afraid to push back firmly when offered an opportunity she does not want. I thoroughly enjoyed taking a vacation from my life to spend some time with the royal household in England and southern France.

p
phyllis94941
Jul 25, 2020

I really liked this entertaining and very readable historical novel about a young woman who takes advantage of an opportunity in Victorian London that enables her to improve her lot. Similar to a Dickens plot, the reader is carried along as Bella finds herself moving down and up the class stratification, making connections that prove fortuitous as the story develops, and having to keep the secret of her true identity. While it is a murder mystery, you'll have to wait for it as the murder takes place in the last third of the book. I have read a few Rhys Bowen novels, and this well-researched stand-alone is the best one yet, with a satisfying story, a strong female protagonist, incredible period details, and well-plotted intrigue.

IndyPL_LoriO Jul 17, 2020

Another compulsively readable historical mystery from Rhys Bowen! This book, about a young woman working as a cook in Queen Victoria’s kitchen in the 1890’s, includes delectable descriptions of royal meals. If you like a complex, suspenseful mystery, this won’t fill the bill – the mystery doesn’t even start until the last 50 pages of the book and is quickly resolved. But if you like a relaxing, easy read and enjoy historical fiction, give this one a try.

c
Chateau2
Jul 04, 2020

Very absorbing story smoothly written. First 85% is excellent, especially all the kitchen personalities and class distinctions. Lame ending but it is seen coming. Fun book to read.

h
HLibR
Apr 05, 2020

A charming story where the mystery is easily resolved. The characters and setting are the main focus. Bowen explores class and gender in the 1890s in a gentle story with no foul language. Recommended for "Downtown Abbey" fans.

t
thebritlass
Mar 16, 2020

Classifed as a mystery, it is really more of an adventure story about a woman making her way in a Victorian world. Hard to put down.

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PeggyJ_0
Feb 24, 2020

I just finished the book and it was terrific. I promise I'll return it to the library tomorrow so the next person on the list of 154 can enjoy it as much as I did. Such a good story, such a good author

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teacher0808
Jun 29, 2020

teacher0808 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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