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Jennifer Ashley | Conversations in Character with Kat Holloway


Speculations in Sin
Jennifer Ashley

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Below Stairs Mystery

March 2024
On Sale: March 5, 2024
336 pages
ISBN: 0593549910
EAN: 9780593549919
Kindle: B0C76Y8YKB
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Jennifer Ashley:
Speculations in Sin, March 2024
Add to review list
Hal, September 2023
Pride Not Prejudice, June 2023
The Secret of Bow Lane, August 2022

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Book Title: SPECULATIONS IN SIN - Below Stairs Mysteries, Book 7

Character Name: Kat Holloway

 

How would you describe your family or your childhood?

I had a marvelous childhood, though I did not know it at the time. My mum was loving and kind and did everything she could to keep me safe. My fondest memory is of her coming home from her long day of scrubbing floors and holding me tight. Though she must have been exhausted, she always had time to fix me bit of supper, or we’d take a walk and nibble on the buns she’d purchase with her earnings at a bake shop. My mum was the most wonderful woman on Earth, I think. Alas that she was taken from me too soon. My life hasn’t been quite the same since.

 

What was your greatest talent?

I am a cook, and if I do say so myself, an excellent one. My skill is why I can command a decent wage and a day and a half out each week, without fail. I am good at both plain and honest fare and some of the more complicated and exotic dishes, though I don’t often see the need for those. A hearty meal seasoned well is fit for a king, in my opinion.

 

Significant other?

Well … I was married once, which is a secret. Or rather, I was not married, when I thought I was. I keep that great scandal to myself. The man is deceased, no longer around to plague me. I now walk out with Daniel McAdam, who is much more than he seems. A clever man, and a kindhearted one underneath, but there is always something a little mysterious about him … I have grown very fond of him, perhaps too fond for my own good.

 

Where do you live?

I live in London. For now, in the heart of Mayfair, where I am cook in a large house in Mount Street. I find London a bit large and smelly, but I will not leave, not while my daughter dwells in Clover Lane near Cheapside. I grew up in this city, near the church of St. Mary-le-Bow. I’m a child of London, and I’m not certain I’d understand how to live anywhere else.

 

Do you have any enemies?

Only those who try to keep me from my daughter.

 

Greatest source of joy?

My daughter, Grace.

 

What do you do to entertain yourself or have fun?

Well, there isn’t much time for entertainment when you’re a cook in a big house. But on my days out, Daniel sometimes joins Grace and me. We’ll go for long walks or, during Christmas, to the pantomime. Daniel has once or twice taken me to a music hall, though I prefer walks in the parks. There is so much to see in London if you open your eyes to it. As long as I am with Grace and Daniel, though, it doesn’t truly matter what we do.

 

What is your greatest personal failing, in your view?

My greatest failing is likely my pride. I do know I’m a good cook and expect others to recognize that. I also feel I am right about many things, when sometimes, I am proved quite wrong—trusting the man I thought I’d married, for instance. On the other hand, someone in my position has to be resolute. Cringing and fawning has never been my way. If people do not respect you, they will walk all over you. A bit of pride is a good thing, in my opinion.

 

What keeps you awake at night?

I work hard and sleep very soundly, thank you. But sometimes I do worry. For my daughter and what will become of her as she grows up. For my friends, who are good people in a bad world. For Daniel, and what dangerous thing the man who controls his life will ask him to do next. Life is so very precarious.

 

What is the most pressing problem you have at the moment?

My dear friend, Joanna, with whom I grew up, has the caring of my daughter while I work. Now, her husband has been accused of not only embezzlement, but murder! Poor Joanna is terrified out of her wits, as am I. Not only do I want to help Sam for his own sake, but if he is lost, Joanna will never be able to look after her four children and mine. What will become of them all? What will become of Grace? I must do everything I can to help him, but I am at my wits’ end. I know Daniel will help, and dear Lady Cynthia, but we are only a few against the wealthy and powerful, who hold all the cards in this world, don’t they?

 

I hope you enjoy SPECULATIONS IN SIN!

SPECULATIONS IN SIN by Jennifer Ashley

Below Stairs Mystery

Speculations in Sin

To save an innocent man’s life, amateur sleuth and cook Kat Holloway must expose a financial scam that could ruin the most powerful aristocrats in Victorian-era London, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret of Bow Lane.

Kat Holloway is distressed to learn that Samuel Millburn, husband of the woman who looks after her daughter, has been accused of embezzling funds from the bank where he works as a clerk. The accusation is absurd, and Samuel’s wife fears that her husband will not only lose his post but be imprisoned. Kat vows to uncover the truth.

When she discovers the bank is involved in shockingly murky business dealings, Kat realizes she’s treading in dangerous waters. She turns to her confidante and handsome suitor, Daniel McAdam, for help. To exonerate Samuel, Kat and Daniel may have to expose the unseemly financial dealings of prominent aristocrats and government officials, and even those working to bring down the royal family. Kat will risk everything to protect the man who has sacrificed so much for her daughter, even if it means endangering herself and the friends she has come to love

 

Mystery Historical [Berkley, On Sale: March 5, 2024, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593549919 / eISBN: 9780593549926]

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About Jennifer Ashley

Jennifer Ashley

Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over Europe and Asia, once sailing from San Francisco to Japan in a cargo ship. She has now settled with her husband and cat in the sunny southwest to work hard on her next books and drink gallons of gourmet iced tea. Her books have won the Golden Quill and RT Reviewers Choice awards and RWA's RITA award.

Immortals | Shifters Unbound | Highland Pleasures | Riding Hard | Captain Lacey | Nvengaria | Below Stairs | Leonidas the Gladiator | Regency Bon Bons

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