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The Pigeon Pie Mystery

by Julia Stuart

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2543082,086 (3.58)38
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.
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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
While I really enjoy her light, humorous writing style, the story didn't grab me as much as her first. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Julia's books are full of colorful characters! This book made me forget that I am living in contemporary America. I felt as if I was another Lady sitting amongst the group of gossips. ;) ( )
  whybehave2002 | Apr 20, 2020 |
I listened to the audiobook version of this story while working. I loved the setting and the characters. The author has a fabulous way of making the characters a little quirky without being too over the top. It makes them seem more realistic. I liked the mystery and the plot surrounding the death of one of the characters. However, the pace of the book was very slow. It felt like there were spaces where chapters would go by without any mention of the mystery. Overall, I liked the book but felt the speed of the events were just too slow. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
I listened to the audio book version of this. A mystery set in Victorian England at Hampton Court Plaza with many charming characters and well-written dialogue. An added twist is that the protagonist is an Indian princess, and the main accused her Indian maid. Highly recommended. ( )
  belgrade18 | Jul 2, 2019 |
Princess Alexandrina, known as Mink, is the only child of the Maharaja of Prindur, whose English wife died when Mink was six. In 1898, when Mink is in her mid-twenties, the Maharaja dies in embarrassing circumstances – el flagrante in an opium den with the girl who cleans the boots and knives. Mink finds herself in straightened circumstances. She is forced to let all the servants go, except for her large-footed Indian nanny/maid Pooki, and to sell their house to pay the Government back for the financial support her father had received as a royal guest of the country.
Mink and Pooki are offered a grace-and-favour house at Hampton Court Palace, among the other poor aristocrats whom Queen Victoria provided accommodation for. Here she meets Lady Beatrice Fisher, the Hon Dowager Lady Monfort Bebb and the Countess of Bessington, who befriend her, and many odd and interesting characters who live and work at Hampton Court and in the surrounding area. Along with reports of ghosts, poor plumbing and damp, the residents also suffer from the fact that Hampton Court and its extensive gardens are also open to the public.
When another resident, Major-General Bagshot, a thoroughly unpleasant fellow, dies after eating Pooki’s pigeon pie at the fair, his death from English cholera is soon changed to death by arsenic poisoning. An inquest is held. The arsenic is believed to have been in the pigeon pie and Pooki becomes the prime suspect. Mink decides to investigate and find the real culprit. I thought I knew how it had happened, but the author had other ideas. Good for her.
This isn’t just a murder mystery. This, by the author of Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo, uses the history of another London landmark to create a delightful read full of interesting and quirky characters. It is about friendship and loyalty that transcend the strictures of the English class system. There is also romance. Recommended. ( )
  IMSauman | Dec 31, 2018 |
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Epigraph
We look at other nations and we pity them because
They're not a little patch on dear old England.
Their trades, their arts, their everything are full of faults and flaws,
So different to clever Model England.
--"Model England," Harry Dacre and Edgar Ward, 1892
Dedication
For my mother, with love
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As the hail bounced on the carriage roof, Mink suddenly wondered whether she ought to buy mourning knickers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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ISBN 0385533284 belongs to The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise.
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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.

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