By Julia Stuart
Julia Stuart returns in her follow-up to the bestselling The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise with this smart homicide secret set in Victorian England, brimming together with her signature attraction and marvelous characters.
When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless through the unexpected loss of life of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria can provide her a grace-and-favor domestic in Hampton court docket Palace. although rumored to be haunted, Alexandrina and her lady's maid, Pooki, haven't any selection yet to take the Queen up on her offer.
other than the ghost sightings, Hampton court docket does not look so undesirable. The princess is quickly befriended by way of 3 eccentric widows who invite her to a picnic with the entire palace's population, for which Pooki bakes a pigeon pie. but if General-Major Bagshot dies after consuming stated pie, and the coroner unearths lines of arsenic in his physique, Pooki turns into the number one suspect in a homicide research.
Princess Alexandrina isn't really approximately to permit her devoted servant hold. She starts off an research of her personal, and discovers that Hampton courtroom isn't really the sort of secure position to reside after all.
along with her trademark wit and style, Julia Stuart introduces us to a very good solid of adorable oddballs, from the palace maze-keeper to the novel woman Beatrice (who loves to gown up as a toucan—don't ask), as she courses us in the course of the many pleasant twists and turns during this enjoyable and quirky homicide secret. everyone seems to be hiding a mystery of the guts, or even Alexandrina would possibly not detect whilst she's stuck in a maze of affection.
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Additional info for The Pigeon Pie Mystery: A Novel
The places of work of Hampton Wick city District Council, that have been regularly used, have been nonetheless smouldering after the Keeper of hairy Park set them alight in retribution for a councillor having bedded his spouse. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 1898 greater than an hour prior to the inquest was once because of begin, a herd of citizens waited within the Mitre’s front room, chattering with the animation of marriage ceremony visitors. that they had rushed over from the monument, a few with no breakfast, hoping to safe a public seat on the listening to. The Countess and woman Beatrice sat on one part with the opposite grace-and-favour women. at the different stood the palace employees who had both secured an afternoon off or contrived an sickness that allows you to be there, together with William Sheepshanks and Thomas Trout. The coroner’s officer, a brief Scotsman with tangerine hair and a mismatching moustache, stood scowling in entrance of the door to the bar, refusing admittance. whilst the time got here, he unlocked the oak-panelled eating room, which were requisitioned for the lawsuits, and stood again as a stampede of widows, elbows drawn, rushed in like offended ducks. They draped themselves over the chairs, saving these subsequent to them for his or her neighbors. The officer, who had had little sleep as a result of his spouse, who flipped like a seal in her sleep, instantly ejected those that had parked themselves within the seats reserved for the jury and witnesses. He then steamed over to the dowager duchess settled within the coroner’s chair, jerked his thumb, and hissed: “Hop it. ” the women who had controlled to bag one of many areas for the general public handed alongside humbugs and polished their opera glasses. Such was once their elation, they controlled to miss the truth that a few of the palace employees have been seated among them, and confined from tutting after they unfurled their napkins and began nibbling German sausages. without notice the door opened, they usually nudged their neighbours with the excited anticipation of a music-hall viewers. In filed the witnesses as hushed as a congregation, led through girl Montfort Bebb in sapphire blue leaning on her cane, through Cornelius B. Pilgrim in his monkey-fur coat, a replica of the Anglo-American occasions tucked below his arm. subsequent got here Mink within the new colour of blue-mauve that have been everywhere in the type columns, with bunches of violets on her white toque. strolling heavily at the back of her used to be Pooki, her face dwarfed by way of an unflattering black bonnet. among the final in used to be Silas Sparrowgrass, who sat down and provided up a brief prayer, holding his reliable eye open. He began plucking at his Newgate fringe once the neighborhood constable entered with a tall guy with a gray waterfall moustache, who instantly took a pc and pencil from the pocket of his raglan overcoat and surveyed the room. The homeopath’s agitation quickly stricken the opposite witnesses. Nails have been bitten, mouths dried, and apprehensive melodies tapped at the flooring. In trooped the all-male jurors, ushered to their seats via the officer, clutching a pile of court docket files. He was once near to to confiscate a hip flask from one in every of them whilst Charles Twelvetrees seemed, his analyzing spectacles on his brow and his hair drifting up from his scalp like mist.