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Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  3,040 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
Kate Ardleigh is not a Victorian lady - outspoken, egalitarian, American, and a writer of penny-dreadfuls. Aunt Sabrina invites her to Essex England, for help with the Order of the New Dawn. Aunt Jagger beats the servants to suicide, and someone feeds her Death mushrooms. Next door, Sir Charles photographs a fresh body in an archaeological dig, and seeks his killer.
Paperback, 296 pages
Published July 1998 by Penguin Berkeley (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30)
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Stevie
Nov 21, 2013 Stevie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Recently re-read this series of historical mysteries and once again was quite taken with the main character, Kate, an independent woman living in Victorian England. The earlier books are my favories, with Kate squarely in the spotlight and our other hero, Charles-- a man whose interest in science and photography give him a great edge in investigating crime scenes-- playing a secondary role. Later in the series, Charles' role grows and Kate's seems to fade a bit. While each book is enjoyable on ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
Feb 07, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Victorian historical fiction and mystery readers
To me these are more than a cozy mystery. The husband and wife team that write under the pseudonym of Robin Paige put a great deal of research into each of these. Each centers on a different historical person or event and they do not scrimp on these details. That is what them so endearing and comfortable.

You may ask why only a three stars rating? I wanted to leave room for the others in the series. Also in this first entry they had to set up the backgrounds of the two main characters. Although n
...more
Helen
Robin Paige is the pseudonym of husband and wife writing team Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert. This is the fourth novel in the victorian england series they co-write.

I really like Wittig Albert's Beatrice Potter Series and someone at 'Murder By the Book' suggested this series to me. It is the first one I have read and I will be reading others.

Kate Ardleigh is an American who writes. She is trying to eke out a living to do what makes her happy and to be independent. She thinks she is above '
...more
Patricia Gulley
Dec 10, 2010 Patricia Gulley rated it really liked it
A female, penny dreadful story writer in the late 19th century heading for the 20th with a good attitude about women's intelligence and rights. Good character, smooth writing style, and interesting information. I especially like the way the character paid close attention to what was going on around her as research for her stories. And it looks like a long series. Will it hold my attention? Well, she goes off to England and comes into money. That may take away from the spunky, hard-working writer ...more
Jennifer
Dec 13, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable read! Well written and fast paced with two very likable lead characters in Kathyrn Ardleigh and Sir Charles Sheridan.

I really liked the fact that I was actually stumped as who the guilty party was right up until the revelation was made.

There's 12 books in this series, if the remaining 11 are as charming as this one, I cannot wait to begin reading them.
Georgie
I've said before that I think the first book in a detective series has a very tough job to do. It's got to establish character and history, it's got to set out the author's logical credentials as a mystery writer, there needs to be Atmosphere, and - these days - it also needs to set up some form of romance/developing relationship that is both developed enough to be satisfying, and tentative enough to draw readers into the next installment. Whew. So perhaps it's no wonder that most don't quite ...more
Jo Jenner
May 29, 2016 Jo Jenner rated it really liked it
When America Kathryn Ardleigh is brought to England to act as her previously unknown aunt's secretary she see it as a great opportunity to meet her long lost relative and to do some research to help her in her secret occupation as a writer of penny dreadfulls.
Assisted or assisting sir Charles together they must discover the identity of a mysterious murdered man.
This is a great murder mystery and the attitude to women in Victorian England is frightening but Kathryn is a wonderful breath of fresh
...more
Marcia
Jun 02, 2009 Marcia rated it liked it
This is a light weight, but interesting historical mystery series. What makes the series outstanding is the authors' blend of real characters and extensive research into the stories. Folks like Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchhill and the Prince of Wales show up. An excellent series for those of us who love historical mysteries.
Janet
Nov 25, 2009 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A fine, gentle, Victorian series. Kate is just sedate enough to be believable as a 1800s lady, and more than modern enough to scandalize her societal counterparts. I mean, really. How dare Kate wear a skirt short enough to show an entire inch of ankle!
Talia
Apr 20, 2012 Talia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love the style of writing and humor in this book. Love the main character and her "American" ways. Definitely want to read the whole series.
Laura
Nov 01, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Susanna
Recommended to Laura by: Hayes
Kindly sent by my dear friend Hayes. What a lovely and surprising book.
Viji
May 07, 2014 Viji rated it really liked it
A fast moving mystery.
Lori McD
3-3.5 stars

Promising start to a series of mysteries featuring Kathryn (Kate) Ardleigh and Sir Charles Shreridan. The author, Robin Paige, is the pseudonym of husband & wife writing team Susan Wittig-Albert and Bill Albert. (I find that interesting alone! Wonder if they take turns writing the scenes. Or if he writes Sir Charles and she writes Kate?)

Kate is a twenty-something American living in New York. Her English father died before she was born, and her Irish mother died hen she was five. K
...more
Sarah Webber
Nov 19, 2016 Sarah Webber rated it liked it
Very Victorian, in that the plot and characters run the gamut from servant to lordling and are so detailed, it reminds you of the riot of color and pattern that were common to that time period's sitting rooms. Well plotted but extravagant in every way, almost dizzyingly. Still, it will be interesting to see where the series goes.
Debbie Winkler
Jul 17, 2013 Debbie Winkler rated it really liked it
Robin Paige is a pseudonym for Susan Wittig Albert and her husband, Bill Albert. I thoroughly enjoy reading Susan Wittig Albert’s other series so I was thrilled to locate a new series by her. I will say that the writing style and the characters are completely different from Susan Wittig Albert’s other series, but I really enjoyed the setting and historical details. Death at Bishop’s Keep takes place in Victorian England in the 1890s. Motor cars are brand new. People are up in arms over these ...more
Susan
Death at Bishop's Keep is the first novel in the Victorian Mystery series by Robin Paige, set in Victorian England. The story opens in 1894 America with Miss Kathryn "Kate"Ardleigh, an independent young woman who has worked as a governess but also writes popular fiction "penny dreadfuls" as a sideline. Kate feels she may just be able to support herself by writing, and avoid traditional spinster positions, when she is offered a job as secretary to her previously-unknown aunt in England. Kate's ...more
Kathy Martin
Dec 21, 2013 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it
Kate Ardleigh is the 1894 version of a modern American girl. When she learns that she has an aunt who lives at Bishop's Keep in England and who wants to hire her as her secretary, she is eager for the adventure. Kate has been making her living as the author of serial stories filled with mystery and sensationalism. She views the opportunity to travel to a foreign country as a perfect opportunity to research her books.

Kate hardly expects to find murders, buried family secrets and secret societies
...more
Steven
Oct 17, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a delightful period piece set in England in the 1890s. It stars Kate Ardleigh, an American daughter of English and Irish immigrants, who is asked to return to England by her Aunt Sabrina to work as her secretary. On the day Kate arrives, one of Sabrina's friends, Sir Charles, discovers a murder victim at a nearby archaeolgoical dig, and decides to investigate. Kate is very interested in the mystery, because, unbeknownst to any of the Brits, she's secretly a writer of suspense ...more
Sandra
Mar 03, 2016 Sandra rated it liked it
At the end of the 19th century, plucky, Irish-American Kathryn Ardleigh, orphaned as a child and raised in New York by an aunt and uncle on her mother’s side of the family, is without employment due to the recent death of her employer. Satisfied that she will be able to support herself minimally as an author of penny-dreadful novels, she receives a surprising offer from an unknown aunt on her father’s side of the family to come to England to work as the aunt’s secretary. Kathryn agrees, thinking ...more
An Odd1
Nov 27, 2013 An Odd1 rated it it was ok
American Kate Ardleigh writes penny dreadfuls until estranged aunt Sabrina Ardleigh invites her to England, for help with her secretarial position for the Order of the New Dawn. But Sabrina's vicious malicious sister Mrs Bernice Jaggers abuses, beats servants, who blame her for shaming maid Jenny into suicide last year despite her beau Tom's eagerness to marry.
Next door, visiting Sir Charles finds man's body in his archaelogical dig.
Charles on the trail of the killer and Kate seeking who poiso
...more
Text Addict
A nice, solid cozy-type mystery, set in 1890s Britain - with a short period in New York City to establish the character of Kate Ardleigh, the American niece of gentry spinster Sabrina Ardleigh. Kate is a self-possessed and independent young woman who wants to try making a living as a writer, but the lure of being invited to travel to England to meet and work for her previously-unknown aunt is irresistible. Besides, she can always mail her stories to her editor.

Things in Essex are not the tranqui
...more
Claudine
Jun 01, 2014 Claudine rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book written by Robin Paige (who is Susan and her husband Bill Albert)

I've been looking for new historical mysteries to read and Susan Albert was recommended to me by a friend. Susan writes many mysteries set in different time periods with different aged women detectives. She has a series set in the present day, late 1800's and early depression.

Death at Bishop's Keep is the 1st of her historical series set in American and later in England. The main character, Kate
...more
Catsalive
Feb 23, 2015 Catsalive rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
cover:
Kathryn Ardleigh is everything the Victorian English gentlewoman is not - outspoken, free-thinking, American... and a writer of the frowned upon "penny-dreadfuls". When Kate arrives in Essex, England, she shocks the household at Bishop's Keep - and captures the interest of amateur detective Sir Charles Sheridan as they begin their first case together.

A dead body has been uncovered at a nearby archaeological dig. The investigation provides the perfect research for Kate's fiction. But the cu
...more
Nola Arganbright
Jan 31, 2015 Nola Arganbright rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A very good Victorian Cozy Mystery written by the author team of Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert under the name of Robin Paige.
Katherine Ardleigh has traveled to England from America to be the secretary of her Aunt Sabrina whom she has never met. Kate has been supporting herself in America as a Writer under the pen name of Beryl Bardwell. Kate also meets a neighboring family to her aunt on her voyage and they and their friend Charles Sheridan become her friends and confidantes.
This is an i
...more
John Carter
Sep 17, 2013 John Carter rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A very pleasant read—I’d be happy to read more adventures of Kate and Sir Charles, but not enough to buy them. My biggest problem with the book is that Kate is (under a pen name) the author of penny-dreadfuls (or “shilling-shockers” as they’re known in England); and constantly throughout the story she’s making mental notes for her next book. That’s fine; but it seemed to me that her plans for the story are such thinly disguised adaptations of the real characters and events—especially the secret ...more
Jeanne
Jun 28, 2013 Jeanne rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
This breezy little Victorian mystery introduces readers to Kathryn “Kate” Ardleigh. A spinster at 25, Kate lives in Manhattan and supports herself by writing “penny dreadfuls.” These lurid novels are quite frowned upon, but they are also very much in demand.

Everything changes for Kate when she is summoned to England by an aunt she doesn’t know. Aunt Sabrina needs a secretary, and it is thought that Kate needs a job, since her writing gig is a secret. So, Kate embraces the opportunity to travel,
...more
Karen Patterson
Jul 10, 2013 Karen Patterson rated it really liked it
What a wonderful start to a series written by a husband and wife team. If you enjoy well-written Victorian England murder mysteries these are for you. This one starts off with the main character Kate - an Irish-American, independent woman in her mid-twenties, writing "penny-dreadfuls" under an assumed name and living in America. Having lost both her parents at an early age, and being raised by an uncle with no other known family, she is suddenly asked to come to England to serve as a secretary ...more
Chrystal
Dec 31, 2010 Chrystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrystal by: Lynda Bracken
Susan Wittig Albert and her husband write this book under the pseudonym of Robin Paige. I am so glad that this story turned out to be one I loved in contrast to the Susan Wittig Albert book I just finished and didn't give two thumbs up for (Thyme of Death). The story is set during the Victorian period (which I always enjoy) it mentions Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes) as well as Yeats. "Author" Paige also discusses areas that give great insight to the time period: ...more
Vickie
Mar 25, 2012 Vickie rated it it was amazing
When I think of cozies, I think of gentle mysteries set in mellow locales with interestingly quirky characters. The Victorian Mystery series fits the bill. It's set in Victorian times where women were expected to behave in a certain fashion, especially in England. Kate is strong-willed and does as she pleases, at least that's what it seems to others. I like Kate, because she has to earn her way to live and she has found a talent at writing 'penny-dreadfuls', those titillating thrillers that ...more
Barb
Jul 09, 2011 Barb rated it liked it
An Enjoyable Mystery and A Good Beginning

This is a perfectly enjoyable historical mystery set in Victorian England. Our heroine is a young American woman who makes her living by writing "penny-dreadfuls". She has agreed to become the secretary for her aunt in England, an aunt she had no idea existed until now. Looking for adventure and fodder for her current novel she makes her way to Essex, England where many things are amiss and begins sleuthing into a local murder.

I found this mystery to be
...more
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aka Bill and Susan Wittig Albert

The Robin Paige Victorian-Edwardian mystery series was written by Bill and Susan Albert from 1994-2006. There are a dozen books in the series (now completed), beginning in the mid 1890s and continuing through 1903.

The series features two sleuths: Kate Ardleigh Sheridan and Sir Charles Sheridan. Kate is an Irish-American woman who writes under the pseudonym of Bery
...more
More about Robin Paige...

Other Books in the Series

Kathryn Ardleigh (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Death at Gallows Green (Kathryn Ardleigh, #2)
  • Death at Daisy's Folly (Kathryn Ardleigh, #3)
  • Death at Devil's Bridge (Kathryn Ardleigh, #4)
  • Death at Rottingdean (Kathryn Ardleigh, #5)
  • Death at Whitechapel (Kathryn Ardleigh, #6)
  • Death at Epsom Downs (Kathryn Ardleigh, #7)
  • Death at Dartmoor (Kathryn Ardleigh, #8)
  • Death at Glamis Castle (Kathryn Ardleigh, #9)
  • Death in Hyde Park (Kathryn Ardleigh, #10)
  • Death at Blenheim Palace (Kathryn Ardleigh, #11)

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