Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,141 ratings  ·  135 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.
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCatering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Cozy Mystery Series
44th out of 405 books — 1,256 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
87th out of 571 books — 620 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jeannette
A good, solid 3-star cozy mystery, set in the late 1800s. This is the first in the series, so it suffers a little bit from the necessity of introducing a whole set of characters. But, by the end of this volume, personalities are defined, and further volumes are set on the path to proving even more enjoyable to read. The author(s) rounds out a not-too-mysterious mystery with interesting bits of historical information. Sir Charles is an "amateur" photographer, and he's even experimenting with came...more
Stevie
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...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
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
Claudine
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
Marcia
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
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
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Barb
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
Chrystal
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
Steven
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
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 se...more
Jeanne
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
Vickie
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
Babs
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...more
Michelle
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
Larry Hostetler
Subtitled "A Victorian Mystery" I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy reading this book (I picked up two volumes in this series at the same time). It turned out to be enjoyable, and not just because it fit in with my Anglophile sensibilities.

Well-written by a husband and wife under the nom de plume Robin Paige, the characters were interesting, the story engaging, and the development/solution/denoument well-done.

I look forward now to reading the other book by this "writer" already in my library,...more
Nicole
Sir Charles Sheridan a second son but with personal means. He is a typical amateur scientist of his era he studying nature using cutting edge technology. Expert with a camera, he is recoding an archeological site but staying with friends when a body is found dumped at the dig.
Kate Ardleigh, an American, is contacted by an English Aunt she was unaware of having. Miss Ardleigh owns Bishop's Keep. She also is in need of a secretary to help so decides to heal the family breach by offering her brothe...more
Tracy
A nice, lightweight Victorian murder mystery. Kathryn Ardleigh is American born and raised of Irish and British parentage. In her late 20s and on her own she is found by Aunts in England she did not know existed. One of them invites her to come live with them and be her personal secretary in connection with a new Eastern religion temple being founded in the area. On Kathryn's arrival in the small English countryside area a man has been found deead in an archealogical dig area. Things begin to ap...more
Cate
This was a fun and easy book to read. I very much enjoyed it and found it charming. The story of Kate Ardleigh, this young American woman who decides without a backward glance to change her life and move to England is well told. At the same time, Charles Sheridan is wrapped up in his fascination with the budding science of criminology and photography and getting the local police to accept his version of a murder at a nearby archaeological dig. That the two meet and come to work together seems in...more
Beverly
These move a little slow, but I enjoy them because there are always a couple of historical figures written into the action. It's fun to see how they are made to fit into the storyline.
« 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 Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
  • Death on a Silver Tray (Beau Brummell, #1)
  • Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple, #1)
  • Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2)
  • The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #3)
  • Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery, #1)
  • The Servant's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #2)
  • Snobbery With Violence
  • Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding, #1)
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • Murder on Nob Hill (Sarah Woolson Mystery, #1)
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...
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)

Share This Book