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The Pigeon Pie Mystery

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  2,279 Ratings  ·  493 Reviews
Julia Stuart returns in her follow-up to the bestselling The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise with this clever murder mystery set in Victorian England, brimming with her signature charm and fabulous characters.

When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless by the sudden death of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Ham
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Doubleday (first published 2012)
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Irene Sauman
Mar 19, 2017 Irene Sauman rated it it was amazing
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 f ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
No one captures quirky characters like Julia Stuart. Her latest novel, The Pigeon Pie Mystery will delight readers with a full cast of eccentric and loveable characters. Set in England in 1898 Stuart’s latest is a Victorian murder mystery that will leave readers begging for more! Princess Alexandria, also known as Mink, is devastated by the loss of her father, the Maharaja of Prindur. With the exception of her Indian maid Pooki, who has been her confidant since she was six and suffered the loss ...more
Lydia Presley
Jul 11, 2012 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it
The Pigeon Pie Mystery. Look at that name. Now think about it - maybe you will come to the same conclusion I did at first: the mystery must be about who, on earth, would eat pigeon pie?

However, that is not the mystery contained within the pages of this insanely witty, very dry, very British book about the HH Princess Alexandrina (Mink) and her maid from India, "Pooki". I don't read a lot of mysteries these days, and when I do I stick to authors that I've found through a (very painful) process th
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Aug 08, 2012 Jo (Mixed Book Bag) rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery

The Pigeon Pie Mystery caught my attention when I read that it was set in Hampton Court Palace during the 1800’s when it was filled with grace and favor residents. These were given by the Queen for service to the crown. The main character in the book has just moved to Hampton Court Palace and thought it would be a great place for a mystery.

Pacing: Usually l like a mystery with a slower pace but for me The Pigeon Pie Mystery was a little to slow. There is a lot of history woven into the st
Neil Mudde
Apr 04, 2013 Neil Mudde rated it really liked it
What a delightful romp about England, Colonial India, a wonderful love story, dealing with a daughter of a Maharajah, who lost everything during the change over in India, the daughter who is a princess with her wonderful maid. Father dies very happy, meaning during a wild sexual romp which off course in Victorian England is more then shameful.
The Princess whose name is "Mink" reason for this name given in the book is given an apartment by none other then Queen Victoria at the Hampton Court Palac
Jan 02, 2014 Martha rated it did not like it
The book has a wonderful cover illustration by Alison Jay.
Aug 19, 2013 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I'm generally up for light Victorian-set fiction featuring a cast of outsized characters engaged in shenanigans, however... this effort fell kind of flat. The story revolves around Mink -- the half-caste daughter of a deposed Maharajah (and hence, a princess), who finds herself suddenly abandoned, homeless, and destitute upon the death of her father. Fortunately, the Queen favors her with a residence in Hampton Court Palace, where other down-and-out high society members also mark the days. The " ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Tina rated it really liked it
Quirky, idiosyncratic, individual, peculiar, unusual, odd, strange, eccentric, unpredictable, distinctive, unconventional, weird, comical, bizarre, outlandish, wacky.  And that only describes the cast of characters.  Julia Stuart is a comic genius.  She gives us a list of characters so radically different and strange, and bizarre, and etc., etc., etc., that you have to plan an extra half hour just to get control of the tears of laughter rolling down your cheeks.

But intertwined with the personali
Dec 19, 2012 Gina rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This book was really simplistic. Fun, in that it was a quick, easy read and some loveable characters. I enjoyed the setting, learning a bit about the (ridiculous) English manners of the Victorian the same time, it sometimes went too far into trivial, uninteresting information about certain characters, and I found myself skimming that part. The Princess goes along trying to discover the murderer, and while it is a fun read, there aren't any real clues she finds...just motives of individu ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok
I enjoyed Julia Stuart's other novel The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise and looked forward to reading The Pigeon Pie Mystery. This novel takes place in Hampton Court in the late 1800s among the grace and favour residents who were aristocracy who had fallen on hard times and were given apartments free of charge. A Princess and her maid are forced to move to Hampton Court after the scandalous death of her father. Slowly, she makes friends and during the Easter picnic, the generally disliked Gener ...more
Emily Crowe
Jul 23, 2012 Emily Crowe rated it it was ok
Totally disappointed in this book, which lacked almost everything I loved about the author's previous book, The Tower the Zoo and the Tortoise (which I think was published under a different name in the UK). While I thought Pigeon Pie had the potential to be another charmer filled with gentle humor and quirky characters, it mostly fell completely flat, lacking both the sparkle and the emotional heft of the other book.
Sep 11, 2016 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
I very much enjoyed the quirky characters and the humorous writing. The mystery itself wasn't gripping, but the other more charming aspects of the novel carried me through.
Dee at EditorialEyes
Read this and other reviews at EditorialEyes Book Reviews.

4 out 5

The Maharaja is dead, the doctor has driven his bicycle into the Thames, and the pigeon pie might be poisoned. It's all just a day in the life of the characters in Julia Stuart's sly, crisply quirky The Pigeon Pie Mystery.

The year is 1898. Daughter of an English noblewoman and an Indian Maharaja, Princess Alexandrina (nicknamed "Mink" at a young age because of her penchant for sleeping amongst her mother's furs) finds herself wi
Sep 09, 2012 Brittany rated it liked it
When the Maharaja of Brindor suddenly dies, his daughter, the Princess Alexandrina is left virtually penniless. Thankfully, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Hampton Court Palace. Shortly after her arrival to Hampton Court Palace she is invited to a picnic with her new neighbors and is given the assignment of bringing a pigeon pie. Unfortunately, the slimy General-Major Bagshot dies after eating the pie, and the coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body. The Princess's lady m ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans, Anglophiles, Julia Stuart fans
Recommended to Lori by: the publisher
Received an Advanced Reader copy of this and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was at first skeptical about this book because I enjoyed Julia Stuart's first novel, The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise so very much and seeing that she had completely changed time periods I wondered if a different century might diminish my enjoyment of this author...not so! This was simply delightful. When Queen Victoria grants a "Grace-and-favor" residence at Hampton Court to penniless Indian Princess Alexandrina and her l ...more
Jane Reads (Jane in SC)
Jun 13, 2012 Jane Reads (Jane in SC) rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
From the first sentence, "As the hail bounced on the carriage roof, Mink suddenly wondered whether she ought to buy mourning knickers," the reader is caught up in The Pigeon Pie Mystery: A Novel by Julia Stuart, an enjoyable tale of manners and mysteries in Victorian London.

Princess Alexandrina (aka Mink) and her maid Pooki are the newest grace-and-favour residents of Hampton Court Palace. The other grace-and-favour residents are mostly widows of military men, and those who have fallen on hard
Jul 12, 2012 Irene rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, gave-away
A perfect Sunday afternoon read about a curious cache of characters whose wealth has diminished, but honorable reputations remain intact, to which Queen Victoria generously sanctions a “grace-and favour” residence at Hampton Court Palace. Just as Princess Alexandrina learns the appalling news that her father, His Highness, the Maharaja’s (of Prindur) death has left her penniless, an invitation to inhabit one of these dwellings arrives, while certainly not in the lavish style she is accustomed t ...more
Sep 19, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Princess Alexandrina, nicknamed Mink, lives a lavish lifestyle with her widowed father, the Maharaja of Prindur, in London. However, when the Maharaja dies in compromising circumstances, Mink finds herself penniless. Queen Victoria rescues her by offering a "grace-and-favour" home within the Hampton Court Palace. Once she and her servant, the large footed and outspoken Pooki arrives, they are invited to a picnic to meet the other residents. She asks Pooki to bake a pigeon pie for the occasion, a ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Caitlyn rated it really liked it
The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart is a quirky adventure mystery book about a young princess in Victorian England. Mink is not a traditional princess, however. She is an eccentric spender who lost all her money, a woman's suffrage advocate, and an intelligent and witty character. When her dedicated servant soon becomes a suspect in a recent murder that happens in the community of grace-and-favor homes in Hampton Court Palace, she is determined to find the real killer. I thought this book wa ...more
Nov 23, 2012 Ariel rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Mink is an Indian Princess who falls on hard times when her father suddenly passes during some unsavory circumstances. Mink's faithful maid Pooki sticks by her and together they move into a grace and favor residence. The dispecable Major General Bagshot is dispatched with a poisened pigeon pie baked by Pooki so the blame for his death falls on her. Mink must uncover the true murderer in order to save her maid while in the processs uncovering some interesting secrets held by her neighbors in Hamp ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
This is the second book by Julia Stuart I have read. It was not quite as good as The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise. The Pigeon Pie Mystery is set in Victorian England and follows Mink, an Indian Princess, and her maid, Pooki, through a murder for which Pooki is blamed. Similar to The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise, Stuart excellently captures the setting. Instead of central London, the story takes place in Hampton Court Palace, where Mink and Pooki go to live after Mink's father, a displace ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it
first of all, i must thank the kindly people at doubleday publishers for sending me a free arc of this book, due to the fact that i had written what they considered to be a good review of julia stuart's previous book.

you know how when you start reading a book, in many cases you can tell almost right away whether or not you are going to love it or hate it? well this book was definitely one of the former. from the very first page, i was completely swept up in the story.

what a wonderful book it was
Katey Thompson
Jan 15, 2014 Katey Thompson rated it it was ok
Although the dialogue had its moments, this story suffered from a lack of conflict. Sure there was a murder, but I like my sleuth to be imperiled too- not just politely shunting from one conversation to the next. Give me a reason to care! To be anxious! To turn pages at a healthy speed!
The cast of character thrust upon my notice before the story had even begun was confusing too. I kept getting them all mixed up and had to constantly refer back to the list so I wouldn't get them mixed-up, which w
Lillian Carl
An Anglo-Indian princess and her Indian maid take up residence in a grace-and-favo(u)r apartment in Hampton Court in 1898. When another resident dies in a suspicious manner, dubious eyes are cast upon the maid and the princess decides to solve the mystery.

The story has lots of quirky characters and charming incidents but not much mystery at all. In fact, I say hypercritically, the actual mystery part turns out to be quite contrived. But I enjoyed the book overall---it's written very nicely inde
Sep 01, 2012 Bobby rated it really liked it
This book is definitely fun! It is an extension of the English tradition beginning with the romantic comedy of William Shakespeare with quirky characterization and bumbling police who cannot solve a problem, to the awkward propriety in love relations of the English as shared by Oscar Wilde, to the intellectual deductions of a sleuth and his counterpart by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or to the cast full of plausible characters in a murder mystery in Agatha Christie. Julia Stuart is a smart writer who ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Marie rated it it was amazing
This is wonderful mixture of classic drawing room comedy and cozy mystery. Think Wodehouse meets Austen meets any excellent cozy author. I laughed out loud on each and every page with the exception of those related to the resolution to the mystery. I cannot wait for Mink's next adventure.
Carlie Hughes
Feb 08, 2012 Carlie Hughes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I think Julia's novels just keep getting better. I loved this book.
Linda Thompson
Oct 11, 2015 Linda Thompson rated it really liked it
A little bit mystery, a little bit romance and a limitless bit comedy. I thought I had guessed the outcome and I was wrong! It was a delightful read. I'll look for the author's other books!
Mar 18, 2016 MsKarmen rated it liked it
Witty, funny and simple.
Sep 22, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Charming and fun. Going to go find the other books by this author.
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Free Books, .99 &...: The Pigeon Pie Mystery Giveaway 1 15 Jul 08, 2012 07:47AM  
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Julia Stuart grew up in the West Midlands in England. She studied French and Spanish, and lived for a short period in France and Spain teaching English. After studying journalism at college, she worked on regional newspapers for six years. She then became a staff features writer for The Independent, where she worked for eight years, including a spell with The Independent on Sunday. In 2007, she re ...more
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