When the Maharaja of Brindor suddenly dies, his daughter, the Princess Alexandrina is left virtually penniless. Thankfully, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Hampton Court Palace. Shortly after her arrival to Hampton Court Palace she is invited to a picnic with her new neighbors and is given the assignment of bringing a pigeon pie. Unfortunately, the slimy General-Major Bagshot dies after eating the pie, and the coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body. The Princess’s lady maid Pooki, who made the pigeon pie, becomes the number one suspect in the murder investigation.
Convinced of Pooki’s innocence, the Princess sets out to find who the real murderer is. Through her investigation she learns numerous intimacies and secrets of the residents and workers of Hampton Court Palace while at the same time being romantically pursued by a rather silly doctor. Can she find out the truth in time to save Pooki from arrest and being sent to the gallows?
I absolutely love Julia Stuart’s characters. They are so wacky, yet lovable and sincere. The individual stories that Stuart weaves around each character are so sweet and often tender. As was the case in The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise, The Pigeon Pie Mystery is filled with ridiculous, British humor. I often found myself laughing out loud at the quirky things the doctor and Pooki were doing and appreciated how Stuart poked fun at the ridiculous social customs of 1890s, England.
I enjoyed this book, though not quite as much as The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise. Despite the lovable characters, the story moved rather slowly and didn’t have a redeeming ending like ‘The Tower’ did for me. I will be curious to watch this author and see what she comes up with next. I think she has amazing potential to grow in her writing and create fabulous stories in the future. I also think that many writers could learn some valuable lessons about character development from Stuart.
Overall Rating: 1/2
- Sex: a reference to someone having had sex
- Violence: a man is poisoned and dies
- Language: deity, a man attempts to seduce a woman