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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

The Pigeon Pie Mystery

The Pigeon Pie Mystery - Julia Stuart, Alison Jay

Though the grace-and-favor homes in Hampton Court Palace are said to be haunted, Indian Princess Alexandrina has no choice but to accept Queen Victoria’s offer of rent free accommodation there. After the sudden death of her father she finds herself almost penniless, so the princess and her one remaining servant Pookie pack what’s left of their belongings and go. Historic Hampton Court, dating from the time of Henry VIII, is full of eccentric characters so life is anything but boring. It becomes a little too exciting however when Pookie is accused of murder after loathsome Major-General Bagshot dies of arsenic poisoning and the pigeon pie Pookie baked for him is assumed to be the cause.


Princess Alexandrina has already lost her mother, father, fiancée and home; she is not about to let loyal Pookie hang for a crime she didn’t commit. When the police prove incompetent, the princess launches her own investigation pursuing clues with determination, perspicacity and strategic charm.


Pigeon Pie is delightfully comic and a little absurd, but there is some substance to the story too. As the princess conducts her inquiry into possible murder motives she uncovers secret and often poignant life histories of Hampton Court inhabitants who had previously seemed mostly silly. This is a slow paced, rich with character and detail mystery that ends with a hint of romance. While I’ve heard nothing about it being the first of a series there is some hope of meeting the engaging people of this book again. Solving the mystery hasn’t solved the princess’s money problems, so when it’s all over she places a concise but proper advertisement in the paper hoping to get work as a private investigator.