Published by Macmillan on January 13th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Suspense, Thrillers
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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 forbidding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries 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. Martine Bailey's novel opens a window into the fascinating lives of servants, while also delivering a suspenseful tale of obsession and betrayal.
“An Appetite for Violets” by Martine Bailey starts out slow but gets better as you read through the book. As the story develops it because extremely intense. Biddy Leigh has her future all planned but when the new arrival of mistress Lady Carinna comes to Mawton Hall, Biddy ends up on a trip to Europe with a bunch of people should wouldn’t plan on hanging out.
The story starts out foreshadowing that something bad has happened. The story moves along to start from the beginning to get to where it started. This story has a bit of a mystery mixed with historical fiction. The recipes through out the book did make for an interesting addition to the story.
Getting to see Biddy’s viewpoint on the trip and everything she sees and go through it quite an experience. I think this story is very well written and I thought it was a great read. Bailey did a wonderful job with the plot and with the characters. I really liked the characters in this story. I thought it was great to know each and everyone.