Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Review: The Secret of Bow Lane by Jennifer Ashley

The Secret of Bow Lane by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Below Stairs Mysteries, Book 6
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Mystery 
The Secret of Bow Lane cover
ISBN: 9780440001799
Release Date: August 2, 2022
Source: Publisher
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Jennifer Ashley Reading Order

A stranger who appears on Kat's doorstep turns out to be one Charlotte Bristow, legal wife of Joe Bristow, the man Kat once believed herself married to—who she thought died at sea twelve years ago. Kat is jolted by Charlotte’s claims that not only was Joe murdered, but he had amassed a small fortune before he died. Charlotte makes the cook an offer she cannot refuse—if Kat can discover the identity of Joe's murderer, Charlotte will give her a share of the fortune Joe left behind.

With the help of Daniel McAdam, her attractive and charismatic confidante, Kat plunges into her own past to investigate. When it becomes apparent that the case of Joe’s death goes far deeper than simple, opportunistic theft, Kat and Daniel's relationship is put to the test, and Kat herself comes under scrutiny as her connection to Joe is uncovered. She must race to catch the real killer before she loses her job and possibly her life.

Gifted cook and not-so-amateur sleuth Kat Holloway is back with a cold case that hits close to home in The Secret of Bow Lane. When Charlotte Bristow – the legal widow of the man Kat had once believed herself married to – shows up on her doorstep with a tale of murder and a lost fortune, Kat is taken aback…but also intrigued. With the help of her friends (and the man who is slowly becoming much more than a friend) Kat looks to the past for answers, and learns more than she bargained for. It’s a cold case, but because of how closely it’s tied to Kat’s past it’s a very interesting one. I enjoyed learning more about Kat’s history and to see her interact with those who knew her before she had become the woman she is today. Along the way, author Jennifer Ashley also doles out more information about Daniel McAdam, which I was equally excited by. Kat and Daniel have a very slow burn romance but as they open up to each other more and we learn more about their pasts, the two become closer and the love story moves forward.

The Secret of Bow Lane is the sixth novel in the Below Stairs series and to fully enjoy it you should at least be familiar with the cast of characters before diving into this book. Kat and Daniel’s relationship is one of many connections in this story that makes the world come alive. I adore the entire supporting cast, from Cynthia to Mr. Thanos to Tess and beyond. All the characters are well-drawn and come with unique personalities and voices that help make the book come alive. With its enjoyable characters, Ashley’s engaging writing style, and an interesting mystery that both stands on its own and moves overarching plots forward, there’s no way The Secret of Bow Lane could fail to entertain. I finished Kat’s latest adventure a well-satisfied reader and I’m looking forward to seeing where Jennifer Ashley takes our favorite cook 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.