I love reading Kat Holloway mysteries, each of which is carefully researched so that the young cook’s preparations and meals are what might have been served in Victorian England. I was so enamored of her seed-cakes that I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to recreate a healthy version without butter or eggs. I love her evening preparation of yeast dough that rises all night so that she can do the second rising in the morning before baking it – exactly how I do it! It’s delightful to hear how Mrs. Holloway plans and executes the meals she’ll serve ‘above stairs,’ in addition to how she puts together her own and the other servants’ meals. There’s usually something in the oven that needs tending, or a complete meal that needs serving when Mrs. Holloway leaves to help a friend solve a problem.
Ancillary characters like vivacious, cross-dressing Lady Cynthia, mysterious, renaissance man Daniel Macadam, and snooty butler Mr. Davis are well-drawn and interesting. Mrs. Holloway is always putting on her apron and getting to work in the kitchen or removing her apron and donning her coat, hat and gloves to venture into the bustling city. She treasures her days off with her little daughter, tries to convey proper behavior to her staff, and strives to make the lives of poor beggars a little easier with coins and extra food that she brings outside after the evening meal. Solid Mrs. Holloway is indeed a most charming and dependable hero.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]