An Appetite for Violets

An Appetite for Violets

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"That's how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you're invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. Then you find something, something you should not have found." Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the foreboding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets, and lies. Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, she documents her adventures and culinary discoveries in an old household book of recipes, The Cook's Jewel. Biddy grows intrigued by her fellow travelers, but her secretive and unconventional mistress is the most intriguing of all. In London Biddy finds herself attracted to her mistress's younger brother. In France she discovers her mistress's dark secret. At last in Italy, Biddy becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, knowing the secrets she holds could be a key to a better life, or her downfall. Inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes and set at the time of the invention of the first restaurants, An Appetite for Violets is a literary feast for lovers of historical fiction. Like Jo Baker's Longbourn, it opens a window into the fascinating lives of servants, while also delivering a suspenseful tale of obsession and betrayal"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press 2015.
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2015.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781250056917
Characteristics: 391 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.


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Mar 31, 2016

A really enjoyable historical fiction read. The main character Biddy is appealing and her experiences in situations which are not her doing make for compelling reading.

Mar 17, 2015

I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel about life of a poor worker in the house of wealth. It was hard for me to put down.

hgeng63 Feb 02, 2015

A serviceable page-turner. I was hoping for an elegant read; this isn't.


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