Book Review: The House Keepers

This feature is in association with NetGalley.

The Housekeepers by Alex Hay

Many thanks to NetGalley and to Headline Review for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of The House Keepers, the debut novel by Alex Hay.

What a wonderful caper this is. Talk about Ocean’s Seven meets Downton Abbey. If you want to read an exciting adventure story set in the Upstairs, Downstairs world of Edwardian London, then this is the heist for you.

When Mrs King is unceremoniously sacked from her housekeeper position she promises herself that she will get her revenge, and she knows people who can help. The trouble is, Mrs King isn’t the only thing with a dark history. The house itself has its own troubled past as well. And so did its late owner.

I really enjoyed this alternative take on historical fiction and had fun meeting Mrs King’s fellow conspirators, the other six of her Lucky Seven. It did take me a few goes to get into it, but once in I was hooked for the duration.

My stumbling blocks at the start of the story were too many people with similar sounding names confusing me: King, Bone, Jane, Flynn, Winnie. I persevered, though, because I absolutely adored the premise of the book and was curious to see how the author might pull it off – and how the characters would do the same.

Later, I got a bit lost during the climax as well and in the immediate aftermath. There was a lot going on with a lot of people doing a lot of things, and I was forgetting characters locked in rooms.

All of the bits in between, however, are wonderful and they paint a fascinating picture of life both above and below stairs as well as in the seedier parts of London at this time.

Overall, the author did a good job, and I’d be interested to read another of his novels in the future.

Four stars.