Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)” as Want to Read:
Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,717 ratings  ·  152 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death at Bishop's Keep, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death at Bishop's Keep

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeA is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
Cozy Mystery Series
52nd out of 622 books — 1,720 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearSilent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
88th out of 732 books — 801 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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 i ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
Feb 07, 2012 Dawn (& Ron) rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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 '
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.
Patricia Gulley
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
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
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
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.
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!
I read this book for the A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay challenge. 1 - Is the first day of the month. Read a book where the main character (MC) has a first experience of sorts. Or is a one word title. Or is the first of a series.

I think I've read this one before, but I did not remember it at all until the ending. This is a fun cozy mystery set in Victorian England. The historical bits are fantastic, and we have cameo appearances from Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What's not to
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.
An American orphan is making her way in the world acting as secretary to wealthy woman and a secret life as a popular penny dreadful writer. Then she is offered a job by her father's sister to come back to the family home in England and be her secretary. Looking for adventure, she sets off. On arriving she finds a dead body has been found in a nearby archaeological dig and a well to do amateur is helping the police. Her aunt is really one of two and only one likes her. As the American spunk and ...more
Nov 01, 2010 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Susanna
Recommended to Laura by: Hayes
Kindly sent by my dear friend Hayes. What a lovely and surprising book.
Kathy Martin
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
Nola Arganbright
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
Mary JL
Sep 03, 2010 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of historical mysteries/historical fiction
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found while browsing used bookstore
Shelves: mystery-horror
The is the first book in the series of Kate Ardleigh/Sir Charles Sheridan Victionrian mysteries. They are well written, and the historical detail is accurate.

Kate is fun--she is already regarded as 'unsuitable' as she is 1)American 2)Irish ancestry3) "Unladylike" and 4) Way too opinionated for a woman. (She has to keep her pulp-writing a secret--"ladies" were not supposed to read such books--let alone write them!)

Sir Charles Sheridan is an amateur scientist. He is fascinated by all the new techn
An Odd1
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
John Carter
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
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
Karen Patterson
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 t ...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
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
Dec 31, 2010 Chrystal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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: s ...more
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 stori ...more
Debbie Winkler
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 new ...more
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 se ...more
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,
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 peop ...more
First in the series, but my second read of the series. I used to like historical romances and historical mysteries, but kind of lost interest in them. I preferred more contemporary stories. However, I am enjoying these books. The two non-conventional main characters are interesting and not too outside the norm to stretch belief.

As in the first book I read, real life people make appearances in this book as well, though they do just make appearances and were not as central to the story as in Deat
This is the first book in the Victorian Mystery series written by Susan Wittig Albert and her husband Bill Albert under the pseudonym Robin Paige. Kate is a young woman in the US born of an Irish mother and an English gentleman who was disinherited. She writes "penny dreadfuls" and is surprised by an offer to become a private secretary to her father's sister in England. She takes up the offer and finds that her other aunt is not so keen on her and that there is an odd relationship between the si ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Tale of Hill Top Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #1)
  • Death on a Silver Tray (Beau Brummell, #1)
  • The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
  • Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple, #1)
  • Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2)
  • Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery, #1)
  • Sweet Revenge (A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, #1)
  • The Novice's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #1)
  • Snobbery With Violence (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #1)
  • Death Comes to the Village (Kurland St. Mary Mystery, #1)
  • Murder on Nob Hill (Sarah Woolson Mystery, #1)
  • Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen Mysteries, #2)
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 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)

Share This Book

“Novel reading tends to inflame the passions, pollute the imagination, and corrupt the heart. It frequently becomes an inveterate habit, strong and fatal as that of a drunkard. In this state of intoxication, great waywardness of conduct is always sure to follow. Even when the habit is renounced, and genuine reformation takes place, the individual always suffers the cravings of former excitement.” 0 likes
More quotes…