Above the Bay of Angels
by Bowen, Rhys






When a twist of fate lands her in Queen Victoria's kitchen, a talented young chef is selected to accompany a royal retinue, only to be wrongly implicated in a murder. By the award-winning author of In Farleigh Field.





When her mother dies, aspiring chef Bella Waverly reluctantly goes into service to support her alcoholic father and younger sister. Her life is even more radically altered after her father dies and she helps a young woman, Helen Barton, who was struck by a cab. As she lies dying, Helen gives Bella her invitation to work as a cook in Queen Victoria's castle. Bella assumes Barton's identity and takes the position. She rises quickly, becoming the Queen's favorite scone maker. All this success is imperiled when Bella accompanies the Queen's entourage to Nice, where a visiting duke dies, with food poisoning suspected, and the threat of blackmail looms. In her latest historical mystery, Bowen (Love and Death among the Cheetahs, 2019) presents a plucky heroine whose carpe diem philosophy leads to complications and solutions that are a bit of a stretch. But Bowen serves up a vivid picture of turn-of-the-century London with its strict class distinctions, crowded streets, and devotion to the Queen, and fans of Bowen and Victorian cozies will enjoy this inside-the-palace romp. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.





When her mother dies, aspiring chef Bella Waverly reluctantly goes into service to support her alcoholic father and younger sister. Her life is even more radically altered after her father dies and she helps a young woman, Helen Barton, who was struck by a cab. As she lies dying, Helen gives Bella her invitation to work as a cook in Queen Victoria's castle. Bella assumes Barton's identity and takes the position. She rises quickly, becoming the Queen's favorite scone maker. All this success is imperiled when Bella accompanies the Queen's entourage to Nice, where a visiting duke dies, with food poisoning suspected, and the threat of blackmail looms. In her latest historical mystery, Bowen (Love and Death among the Cheetahs, 2019) presents a plucky heroine whose carpe diem philosophy leads to complications and solutions that are a bit of a stretch. But Bowen serves up a vivid picture of turn-of-the-century London with its strict class distinctions, crowded streets, and devotion to the Queen, and fans of Bowen and Victorian cozies will enjoy this inside-the-palace romp. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.





A split-second decision is life-changing in this stand-alone Victorian-era mystery from Bowen (Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, 2019, etc.). Isabella Waverly's father is an aristocrat estranged from his family who's fallen so far in the world that he sent his oldest daughter out to work as a servant at 15. Her only joy is learning to cook. When a girl is run over by an omnibus before her eyes, Bella automatically picks up an envelope the dead girl had been clutching. The envelope contains an invitation to apply for an under-cook position at Buckingham Palace that very day. Introducing herself as Helen Barton, Bella snags the job. She hides her new position from Louisa, the younger sister who's marrying the son of a well-off family. She struggles to immerse herself in the persona of a girl from Yorkshire, explaining her upper-class accent by saying her father was a gentleman. The only fly in the ointment is the appearance of Helen's brother, who blackmails her into finding a job for him, too. Bella's passion for cooking and her work ethic soon endear her to the mostly male staff. Queen Victoria, who has an enormous appetite for rich foods, so enjoys Bella's scones that she personally asks her to make them every day. When her majesty travels to Nice, Bella goes along and gets to put her knowledge of French to use. She develops a semiromantic friendship with the head chef at the hotel, which was built especially for the queen. Indeed, her life seems idyllic until Count Wilhelm, the betrothed of Princess Sophie, dies, ostensibly from a poisoned mushroom Bella bought in a local market. Now she must juggle cooking and a suddenly active love life as she searches for a way to end her predicament. A treasure trove of Victoriana, especially for foodies. More history than mystery but a truly delightful read. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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