Black Cats and Butlers - Book Review
UK PUBLISHER: Little Brown Books
UK Release Date: 9th March 2016
The Clockwork Sparrow meets Downton Abbey.
Rose Ravensthorpe loves nothing more than wandering around Yorke with her beloved butler, Argyle, listening to the stories he tells about the city. So when Argyle is murdered - the third butler to be stabbed in a week - Rose knows she must find out what really happened.
Rose’s investigation leads her on a journey into a hidden world of grave robbers and duelling butlers, flamboyant magicians and the City’s ancient feline guardians.
Knives aren't just for cutting cucumber sandwiches, you know.
This was a really cute story that I devoured in one night. Full of history, mystery and a hint of magic, Black Cats and Butlers is a lovey book with fun characters and a clever storyline. A perfect murder mystery for a Middle Grade audience!
Rose Ravensthorpe is a lady of class and pedigree, but when her beloved butler, Argyle is murdered, she sets out on an unladylike mission to find Argyle’s killer. Along the way she discovers grave robbers, magicians, a whole bunch of missing feline statues… and a secret society of sword-wielding butlers. Now Rose must find out how they are connected if she is to have any hope of bringing Argyle’s killer to justice…
There were so many things I adored about this book. First, all the butlers came with really creative names that I enjoyed reading aloud. You know, those kind of words that just roll off your tongue, particularly if you are putting on a posh accent... and this book made me want to do a lot of posh accents :)
Secondly, I liked that this book was set in York (one of my favourite places) and I could easily imagine and relate to many of the buildings. Considering most English books are set in London, or sometimes Edinburgh - York was a refreshing change.
Rose was quick witted and brave, overall a pretty awesome heroine. However, I would have liked to have seen the secondary characters filled out a little more. I’m hoping both the butlers and grave robbers get a little more page time and backstory in the next book since they certainly caught my interest in this one. However, I think Rose’s gothic best-friend, Emily was one of the most amusing characters of the book. I really hope she will be making an appearance in the sequels!
Otherwise as far as the story goes, the plot was fast paced with plenty of action. Each problem intrigued me - although some were easily resolved - while others were less obvious and harder to work out. The killer’s identity was particularly well hidden with plenty of red herrings - and while I did guess who it was before the big reveal, the story certainly kept me on my toes right up until the end.
I also enjoyed the hint of magic at the end of the book. I thought it fitted well with the story since there was always an underlining promise of it, and it makes me curious to read more books in this series.
Overall a most enjoyable story that I think fans of Stephanie Burgis and Katherine Woodfine will enjoy. A deliciously sharp edged tale, I give Black Cats and Butlers 4 stars!
Have any of you guys read this book? If so I would love to hear your thoughts!