Sunday, December 24, 2017

Black Cats and Butlers - Rose Raventhorpe investigates by Janine Beacham

I am sure Janine Beacham had fun deciding on the names for the characters, many of whom (you won't be surprised to discover) are butlers, in this book Black Cats and Butlers.

Rose Raventhorpe
Her father Lord Frederick
Her mother Lady Constance

Argyle - Butler to the Raventhorpe family - now sadly deceased
Arundel - Butler to the Archbishop
Spillwell - Butler to Emily Proops - she is a good friend to Rose
Herrick - once a Butler now homeless and later sadly deceased
Bronson - Butler at Silvercrest Hall
Charlie Malone - injured by a rapier now works at Silvercrest Hall
Miss Regemont - head of the school for butlers in York called Silvercrest Hall
Tremayne and Guillame sadly both murdered
Harry Dodge - former Butler now a magician

Grave robbers
Miss Deacon

When Rose's beloved butler Argyle is murdered (he is the third victim) she is determined to discover the truth.  Meanwhile cats are also disappearing.  Yorke is famous for the cat statues scattered around the city.  There is a legend :

While all the Cats of Yorke keep watch
On enemy and foe
The city is protected
By the Guardians below.
But if the cats are taken
Then the Guardians will fall
The dead will rise up from their graves
And ruin will come to all.

With such a huge cast of characters the reader, along with Rose, must sort out who has an alibi and who has a motive.  As more butlers are attacked and cats continue to disappear the action races along to a very satisfactory conclusion that I guarantee you will never anticipate.  As a bonus the graveyard scenes and descriptions of the magic show are especially well written.  You can read more plot details here.

Click here to read up to page 28.  I would follow this book with The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, A Most Magical Girl and The case of the Missing Moonstone.

There are three books in this series.  I do like their covers.

... this is a sprightly told tale of murder and trickery with a twisty plot and a cast of unlikely characters led by the smart and determined Rose Raventhorpe.   Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4Kids

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