The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart
I first read about The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart on a blog called The Tea Time Reader. I enjoy Naomi’s blog and decided to add the book to my “to read” list and couldn’t be happier that I did.
After the scandalous death of her father, the exiled Maharaja of Prindur, Princess Alexandrina is left with his debts. Growing up living the life of luxury, the Princess (nicknamed Mink because she used to take naps in her mother’s furs) is forced to sell her home and accept the offer of a grace-and-favor residence at Hampton Court Palace. She gives up all her servants except for Pooki, her personal maid, an Indian with very large feet, and moves into her less than desirable quarters.
The other residents at Hampton Court Palace are a bit kooky: some friendly, and others (like the General Bagshot) Mink genuinely dislikes. When the General dies from what appears to be arsenic poisoning following a picnic where Mink and Pooki are in attendance, Pooki is found to be the main suspect. Taking it upon herself to solve who really committed the murder, Mink must make everyone a suspect in the hopes of proving Pooki’s innocence.
This book was a delight to read. The Victorian time period called for absurd social rules that added to the general wackiness of some of its characters. On a whole, the novel was funny, entertaining and didn’t take itself too seriously. I actually found myself laughing out loud, particularly when Pooki spoke her mind. In going through my highlights and notes of the book, at one line I actually wrote “Cheeky Pooki.” And if you’re able to read the section of the book that details the inquest into the death of General Bagshot with a straight face, then I think I might question your sense of humor.
As an added bonus for me, given its Victorian time period, the language of the flowers was brought up. Having read the book The Language of the Flowers, I was already aware that such a thing existed. I always like when I can establish little connections between books that I read!
If you do read The Pigeon Pie Mystery, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It’s meant to be fun and it succeeds completely.