ASK Musings

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December 2023



The Housekeepers by Alex Hay

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
Fans of mysteries set in a different time.

In a nutshell:
Mrs King has been let go from the fancy De Vries household, where she served as a housekeeper. She now has a plan to pull off the most dramatic heist London has ever seen.

Worth quoting:
“Choose your first move wisely, and you could steer things any way you liked.”

Why I chose it:
I was looking for something interesting but somewhat mindless as I’ve been having some trouble finishing the non-fiction books I’ve started reading lately (I have three I’m in the middle of right now).

What it left me feeling:
Decently satisfied.

This was a fun book with some darkness in it, which I appreciate. Set in London in the early 1900s, nearly the entire story is told from the perspectives of people who society overlooks: housekeepers, servants, shopkeepers, those living in poverty, those trying to get by outside the system because the system doesn’t work for them.

We open with Mrs King being fired from her job as head housekeeper in the De Vries household. One imagines she would be disappointed to lose a job without anything else lined up, and no references, but she’s calm. And we later learn why: she is planning the greatest heist of her former employer.

There are a few characters in the book, including the lady of the manor, a deceased lord of the manor, and many players (all women) helping to lead the heist. But there are some unexpected bits, and until the end it’s not clear what will happen, which is delightful. It’s a fun read that is as described on the tin.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
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