Entertaining below-stairs crime novel


Death at the Theatre – Celina Grace

Death at the Theatre is the second book in the historical mystery series, Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate. Set in London in 1932, kitchen maid Joan Hart, lady’s maid Verity Hunter and Detective Inspector Marks investigate the case of a fatal stabbing.

Objectively, this isn’t a great crime novel or series. But I recommend it because:

1. The main characters, Joan and Verity, are engaging and interesting and as a duo, they just work.

2. The crime+below-stairs setting works.

3. The glimpse-of-those-upstairs works.

4. The not-quite-a-romance-with-the-policeman works.

Put it all together and it’s a cake. (Maura Laverty wrote, in Full & Plenty,* (I paraphrase): if you put a load of nice-tasting things together, like flour and butter and eggs and sugar, how can it do otherwise than taste nice?)

All in all, the period feel is well conjured, and the book and the series are an entertaining read .

*Full and Plenty, the most entertaining cookbook ever written, now unattainable and lost forever unless you grew up in an Irish household in the 1960s and kept your family’s copy.


Books 1-3 of the Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate series:


You might also like Celina Grace’s police procedural Kate Redman series, including:

Sanctuary | Celina Grace (Book 8)

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