Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Secret of Bow Lane by Jennifer Ashley

Posted December 7, 2022 by Jen in Historical Fiction, Listen Up!, Mystery, Rating B Tags: , , , , ,

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Audiobook review: The Secret of Bow Lane by Jennifer Ashley

audiobook cover of The Secret of Bow Lane by Jennifer AshleyThe Secret of Bow Lane is the sixth title in the Kat Holloway mysteries, following the adventures of Mayfair cook and local sleuth, Kat Holloway. While each story is an independent mystery, the books are tightly linked together through the development of Kat’s personal growth and evolution; The Secret of Bow Lane more so than others. This time around, Kat herself is at the center of the mystery as she meets her deceased husband’s first (and legal) wife, who tells Kat that Joe left behind a fortune. 

Overall, The Secret of Bow Lane is a wonderful tale. One of the things I love about the Kat Holloway mysteries is the balance between the standalone mystery and Kat’s personal life. This time around that balance felt a bit lopsided since the mystery directly relates to Kat’s past. Listeners find out all about Kat’s mysterious deceased husband Joe and her life before moving to her current position. I enjoyed finding out more about Kat, including some of her fears when it comes to a personal relationship with Daniel. I enjoyed watching the pair learning how to open up to one another.

Due to the case, more folks find out about Grace, Kat’s daughter, as well as the fact that Kat wasn’t legally married to Joe. This stressed me out because the more people who know, the greater the risk that Kat will lose her job. I was left a bit hopeful, but also worried… I feel like the stories either need to move away from her personal life or she needs to marry and be safe. She’s got so much to lose. Additionally, she’s spending more time with Lady C, going out and leaving Tess… I feel like it will all crumble. Her friends will be there for her, but in that era, she’d be tossed and never find work, no matter how good and endearing she is. 

Narration: Kat’s story is shared via her first person POV. The narrator provides a strong, working class female British accent, very suiting to Kat’s role. The narrator changes up her performance for dialogue, adjusting for social class, gender, and age. She is most successful with the other females and the working class characters. Her males are slightly deeper, and generally, each character is unique. While overall I enjoy her performance tremendously, I’m not wow’d by her portrayal of Daniel, which has a whispery quality, making it difficult to follow and a bit too soft at times. 

In the end, I enjoyed the complexity, yet simplicity of The Secret of Bow Lane. I loved hearing more about Kat’s history and seeing her personal life continue to develop and flourish. 

My Ratings
Story: B+
Narration: B+

About the Book:

A stranger who appears on Kat’s doorstep turns out to be one Charlotte Bristow, legal wife of Joe Bristow, the man Kat once believed herself married to—who she thought died at sea twelve years ago. Kat is jolted by Charlotte’s claims that Joe was not only murdered but that he also had amassed a small fortune before he died. Charlotte makes the cook an offer she cannot refuse—if Kat can discover the identity of Joe’s murderer, Charlotte will give her a share of the fortune Joe left behind. 

With the help of Daniel McAdam, her attractive and charismatic confidante, Kat plunges into her own past to investigate. When it becomes apparent that the case of Joe’s death goes far deeper than simple, opportunistic theft, Kat and Daniel’s relationship is put to the test, and Kat herself comes under scrutiny as her connection to Joe is uncovered. She must race to catch the real killer before she loses her job and possibly her life.

Author: Jennifer Ashley
 Anne-Marie Piazza
 Kat Holloway Mysteries #6
Genre: Historical Mystery
Audiobook Release Date: August 18, 2022
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Length: 9 hrs; 17 mins
Source: purchased
Audio Speed: 1.3x

Purchase info:
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)

Reviews in Series:
Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries #1) – Audiobook Review
Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries #2) – Audiobook Review
Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries #3) – Audiobook Review
Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries #4) – Audiobook Review
Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley (Kat Holloway Mysteries #5) – Audiobook Review