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Black Cats and Butlers

(Rose Raventhorpe Investigates #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The Clockwork Sparrow meets Downton Abbey

Rose Raventhorpe loves nothing more than wandering around Yorke with her beloved butler, Argyle, listening to the stories he tells about the city. So when Argyle is murdered - the third butler to be stabbed in a week - Rose knows she must find out what really happened.

Rose's investigation leads her on a journ
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  222 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first, in what will hopefully become a series, featuring Rose Raventhorpe. Rose lives in Yorke, daughter of Lord Frederick and Lady Constance Baron of Yorkesborough. There have been a spate of murders, with all of the victims being butlers. When Rose’s beloved butler, Argyle, is murdered, then Rose sets out to discover the culprit.

The book is set in Victorian times and there is a great sense of time and place. Secret societies and fog abound, carriages bump over cobbled r
Lucy Banks
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Murdered butlers, bodysnatchers and amateur-sleuths... a nice spin on the classic Victorian 'who dunnit'.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was fast-paced, well crafted and full of fun characters.

The book follows Rose, a well-to-do young woman living in York, who finds herself tangled in a murder mystery after her family's faithful butler is murdered. In true Victorian Nancy Drew style, she throws h/>Murdered
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome. like Trixie Belden in the 1800's. I can't wait to read the next one.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
MG historical fiction with a hint of magical realism. Rose is an intrepid heroine who isn't afraid to follow the clues in the face of danger and great loss. She is aided by her overdramatic friend, Emily and by a secret society of butlers, tasked with keeping the city of Yorke safe... Looking forward to reading the next instalment!
The Teacher's Library
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was pretty cool! I love the idea of a secret society of butlers, as well as the hint of magic.

I'll definitely keep reading the series :)

Full review here
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Drawn in by the unusual title and intriguing premise, I picked up the first in the Rose Raventhorpe series and discovered that it was just as good as it looked. It felt unique to other middle grade mysteries that are out just now, possibly due to the vivid, vibrant setting of Yorke, or the colourful cast of characters. I did find that at times I lost track of who characters were, so would have appreciated a list at the beginning of the book, but I really enjoyed the mystery and I didn`t guess wh ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Received from NetGalley for review.

Black Cats and Butlers was so much fun to read. It’s a middle-grade murder-mystery romp through Victorian London, complete with a secret service of Butlers and ancient prophecies regarding cat statues. How could that not be a winning combination?

The story focuses on Rose Raventhorpe, a young girl with a big imagination that doesn’t quite mesh with her mother’s ideas of propriety. She adores her Butler, Argyle, and is obviously distraught when he is murdered – stabbed on
Angela Sunde
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mid-grade
A great premise for a historical fiction story - a serial killer is targeting butlers and cat statuary across the city is disappearing.
I absolutely adored the secondary character of Emily Proops, who, as the side kick, I wish had been given more time on the page. Instead Rose, the feisty and strong willed main character, relies more on the assistance of the butler 'guardians' to help her solve the mystery. And, numerous times, when she finds herself in dire circumstances, one of the butler
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz Filleul
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This debut novel by Aussie author Janine Beacham is a great addition to the children's mystery shelves. Rose is the daughter of a Lord in Victorian England who takes it upon herself to investigate the mysterious death of her beloved butler and other butlers in the city of Yorke.

I found it hugely entertaining and would have loved it when I was in the target age group. The plot was neat and fun, and the characters engaging. My only reservations were the supernatura
L-J Lacey
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced middle grade fiction. A perfect combination of a feisty protagonist, mystery and adventure.

Rose Raventhorpe has basically been raised by Argyle, the family butler. Argyle is murdered on Rose's birthday and she discovers there was more to him than she ever thought possible.

Rose refuses to sit idly by as the cats who watch over the town disappear and the murderer stays at large. It is this tenacious aspect of her character that drew me i
Sonia Bellhouse
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book which I happened on by chance as it was shelved with adult fiction. in the library.
Its middle grade fiction - so I'm not the intended readership. The story was fast paced and exciting. It appealed to me for the crime content- butlers those bastions of respectability being murdered. Additionally I was fascinated to learn about the cat statues of York England being stolen. Note there really are statues of cats on buildings in York in reality. Rose Ravensthorpe is a feisty a
Kathleen Dixon
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: the Bookshop
This is the first in a fun series for kids (ages 8 - 11 I'd say) set in Victorian London. Rose Raventhorpe is the daughter of a society mother and an adventurer father. Needless to say, Rose takes after her father but is forced to fill the role of a moneyed female of the time. Happily her mother is so often engaged in her various activities that Rose can follow her own interests, and when butlers are getting murdered and the famous cat statues are disappearing, Rose is determined to find out who ...more
The Barefoot Crafter
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun read! I grabbed it from my local indie book store not realising it was a kids book, but I still quite enjoyed it. Rose is a 12 year old only daughter of one of the local aristocracy, who gets caught up in a murder mystery, and must help catch the killer with the help of the city's invisible guardians. With prophecies, secret passageways, a dash of fabulous misdirection and some delightfully earnest Victorian Gothic mixed in, I would liken it to Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, c ...more
Sinéad O'Hart
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gripping story, which just keeps unfolding as its mysteries deepen, the first Rose Raventhorpe mystery is simply excellent. Beautifully written and evocatively set in a reimagined 'Yorke', the book takes the reader on a journey as labyrinthine as the Stairs Below, but one in which we can never put a foot wrong due to Janine Beacham's masterful writing. An assured debut.
Anna Bergmark
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
It might be blood soaked but we're still in the kiddies pool. There's no deep end to be had at all. Both intrigue and characters are presented with a somewhat sketchy and superficial haste.

Now if you're nine that's probably fine, but for older children (and positively ancient, like myself) it's just an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit flat. There's humour, charm and adventure, sure, but the plot doesn't exactly grip you and even Rose herself feels like an unknown entity. Spunky but unknown. (The only
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aimed at readers of 8/9+, or as a read aloud, I really enjoyed this murder mystery, with it's 12 year old heroine, Rose. Cats Disappear, butlers get murdered, and somehow Rose has to find out what is going on.
A nice cosy mystery set in fictional Victorian Yorke - well-written and should appeal to readers who enjoy Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike and so on. I would definitely look for more in this series.
Book Bazaar
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The 7-11 year old group read the fabulous Rose Raventhorpe Investigates and it outscored our current winner which was Bad Dad by David Walliams. The group uniformly loved it - the mystery, the murders and the brave heroine who should not be underestimated!

We rated it:
Judy Nickless
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun little book 😍
Suzy Seerden
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book series. I really want to read it again!!
Tracy Smyth
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It was easy to read and very enjoyable. The character of Rose is a determined young lady.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Secret society of ninja butlers and a likeable heroine, will definitely check out future adventures.
Kate Snow
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, fiction
Very enjoyable. Love sinking in to the pure entertainment of children's books from time to time. Can't go wrong with black cats and butlers.
Natalie Hennessy
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute and quick mystery set in Victorian era York. Definitely a younger middle grade than I’m used to reading, but I’m keen to see what else Rose uncovers.
Meredith Mara
3.5/5 stars :)
Stacey Medhurst-Stevens
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good read
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing - most reviews of books in my log appear on this website.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super cute middle-grade mystery set in a highly fictionalised Yorke
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book the starting was said but the as the book went on more suspense built up
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