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The Pigeon Pie Mystery: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Julia Stuart

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1851963,896 (3.55)30
Member:tututhefirst
Title:The Pigeon Pie Mystery: A Novel
Authors:Julia Stuart
Info:Doubleday (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Review copies, On Loan
Rating:****1/2
Tags:ARC, Contest win, fiction, England, Victoriana

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The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart

Recently added byClaudia.Anderson, INorris, stratlib, private library, seashell8, elizoria, John_Warner, cygnet81

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Princess Alexandrina, nicknamed Mink, lives a lavish lifestyle with her widowed father, the Maharaja of Prindur, in London. However, when the Maharaja dies in compromising circumstances, Mink finds herself penniless. Queen Victoria rescues her by offering a "grace-and-favour" home within the Hampton Court Palace. Once she and her servant, the large footed and outspoken Pooki arrives, they are invited to a picnic to meet the other residents. She asks Pooki to bake a pigeon pie for the occasion, a favorite dish for the much reviled and fellow resident, Major-General Bagshot. After eating several slices, the Major-General dies from what is later revealed as arsenic poisoning and Pooki becomes the primary suspect. Mink has little time to do her own sleuthing to uncover the true murderer within the many eccentric residents, each with a motive to want to murder the Major-General.

This cozy mystery will have you guessing while walking with Mink as she gathers clues from the often odd occupants. Juxtaposed with her quest, you will also laugh as Pooki plays matchmaker between Mink and the local physician, Dr. Henderson. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 19, 2016 |
Full of Stuart's usual quirky characters and humanity anyone who liked her previous books will love this one. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
After the scandalous death of her father, the Maharaja of Prindur, Princess Alexandrina (or "Mink") is offered a grace-and-favour residence at Hampton Court Palace. She and her maid, Pooki, move into their new home, meet the other palace residents, and soon need to investigate a suspicious death. The names of a few of the characters should give a pretty good indication of the tone of the book: William Sheepshanks, Mrs. Nettleship, Silas Sparrowgrass (the homeopath), Horace Pollywog, Barnabas Popejoy, and Mr. Blood (the undertaker). It is a good book for anyone who would enjoy a farcical Victorian mystery. Twenty years ago, I would have loved it, but I'm just not as drawn to that kind of silliness anymore. As it was, I enjoyed the book, but wasn't deeply engaged. I also had trouble keeping the three widows straight. But it is well done, and deserves a chance from more appreciative readers. ( )
  SylviaC | Nov 24, 2015 |
A fun mystery with a good dose of history. The setting is a grace and favour residence at Hampton Court Palace where Princess Alexandrina has been offered a home after the death of her father, the Maharajah. When one of the neighbours is poisoned, the Princess's maid is suspected of doing the deed. It's up to the Princess to solve the mystery. What I enjoyed most were the details of Victorian life, from protocol, funeral arrangements, clothing, (thanks to the internet I now know what a monkey fur coat looks like) to manners and superstitions. I enjoyed this parody, which is fun and quirky to the point of being bizarre. ( )
  VivienneR | Jan 29, 2015 |
The rather unique The Pigeon Pie Mystery delves into the lives of a host of interesting characters who reside in what was called a "grace-and-favor" situation in Hampton Court Palace at the end of the nineteenth century. This was a way for the Queen to grant a dignified living to those upper-class people who had found themselves fortuneless for one reason or another, mainly widows. Though Mink (officially Indian Princess Alexandrina) is young and vibrant, her father the Maharaja has died and she is left with nothing and is therefore grateful to be invited to reside at Hampton Court. She is accompanied by her servant and they settle in nicely, until they find themselves in a bit of trouble after a murder occurs.

Some parts of this story were a bit too coincidental and others a bit too cute. The main romance was silly but funny. But the period details and research were so well done and there was a bit of "girl power"involved in the story which helped make it a really fun read over all.

http://webereading.com/2014/06/a-three-story-trip-through-london.html ( )
  klpm | Jun 27, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385535562, Hardcover)

Julia Stuart returns in her follow-up to the bestselling The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise with this clever murder mystery set in Victorian England, brimming with her signature charm and fabulous characters.

When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless by the sudden death of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Hampton Court Palace. Though rumored to be haunted, Alexandrina and her lady's maid, Pooki, have no choice but to take the Queen up on her offer.
     Aside from the ghost sightings, Hampton Court doesn't seem so bad. The princess is soon befriended by three eccentric widows who invite her to a picnic with all the palace's inhabitants, for which Pooki bakes a pigeon pie. But when General-Major Bagshot dies after eating said pie, and the coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body, Pooki becomes the #1 suspect in a murder investigation.
     Princess Alexandrina isn't about to let her faithful servant hang. She begins an investigation of her own, and discovers that Hampton Court isn't such a safe place to live after all.
     With her trademark wit and charm, Julia Stuart introduces us to an outstanding cast of lovable oddballs, from the palace maze-keeper to the unconventional Lady Beatrice (who likes to dress up as a toucan—don't ask), as she guides us through the many delightful twists and turns in this fun and quirky murder mystery. Everyone is hiding a secret of the heart, and even Alexandrina may not realize when she's caught in a maze of love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Moving to the reputedly haunted Hampton Court Palace of Queen Victoria when her father's untimely death renders her penniless, Indian princess Alexandrina is befriended by three eccentric widows before her faithful lady's maid, Pooki, is wrongly accused of murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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