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Publisher's Summary

"...Sweeping and intimate, warm and gripping. I loved it!" (Louise Penny, number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache novels)

A single twist of fate puts a servant girl to work in Queen Victoria’s royal kitchen, setting off a suspenseful historical mystery by the New York Times best-selling author of The Tuscan Child and The Victory Garden.

Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand. It’s an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger’s stead, Bella can spread her wings. 

Arriving as Helen Barton from Yorkshire, she pursues her passion for creating culinary delights, served to the delighted Queen Victoria herself. Best of all, she’s been chosen to accompany the queen to Nice. What fortune! Until the threat of blackmail shadows Bella to the Riviera, and a member of the queen’s retinue falls ill and dies. 

Having prepared the royal guest’s last meal, Bella is suspected of the poisonous crime. An investigation is sure to follow. Her charade will be over. And her new life will come crashing down - if it doesn’t send her to the gallows.

©2020 Janet Quin-Harkin, writing as Rhys Bowen (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

Editor's Pick

Seizing the day
"Known for her wildly popular Royal Spyness series—a favorite of those of us Audible Editors who love a good cozy mystery—Rhys Bowen delivers a standalone novel that has everything you’d expect and more. Above the Bay of Angels is a turn-of-the-century story about palace intrigue, starring a bright young woman who, despite losing her noble status, maintains a fighting spirit in pursuit of her passion in life. For Bella Waverly, that hunger is for cooking. On her path to independence, lies unravel, blackmail is committed, and assassination attempts are made in her midst. Interspersed are hints of a sweet culinary romance. The narration by Gemma Dawson is the icing atop this delightful listen."—Valerie B., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Above the Bay of Angels

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5 Star Book!

I loved this book! Great book and performance. I want to read other titles by this author. I love historical fiction, and this was a fun story! It has a little bit of everything: historical setting, royalty, blackmail, murder, love story, female main character, triumph over adversity, food and lots of fun elements of a good story. I highly recommend it. It's nice to read a book that relies on good writing rather than crude language and sex.

26 people found this helpful

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Not bad.

I read all of Rhys Bowen’s books. This stand-alone is light and comfy. Nothing too heavy at all. The progression of Bella/Helen through the kitchen of Queen Victoria is rapid and unknown for a woman in that time frame.

Blackmail, murder, and food make for a fun story. I was just waiting for a connection to Georgie, Darcy, or Belinda to pop up.

16 people found this helpful

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Sweet easy story

Easy listen; not to complex but sweet. My first book by this author. The murder plot comes so far at the end of the book it felt somewhat out of place.

16 people found this helpful

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It felt a little rushed

I have enjoyed almost all of Bowen's books. This one was just OK. It felt like She pumped it out. I enjoyed the characters who were well developed but the murder plot seemed Out of place. I think it would have been a better book without it.

12 people found this helpful

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Light and fun cozy mystery!

There is also a touch of romance. Rhys Bowen writes another delightful historical mystery. This one is set in the very late 19th century late in the reign of Queen Victoria. Gemma Dawson does a very nice job of narration.

10 people found this helpful

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Not Worth The 10 Hours Of Your Life

I wish that someone had fed me a poison mushroom before I decided to spend my time and money on this book.

10 people found this helpful

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Uplifting story

Rhys Bowen can always be counted on to provide a well-written and original story. And I always learn something from her books. This story is about a young woman who becomes a cook for Queen Victoria's household, and eventually the queen herself. What could be very boring is instead a great adventure as the narrator finds herself in France, cooking for the transplanted household. Don't want to give away too much, but this is a terrific story, and a splendid narration by Gemma Dawson who switches characters and accents easily and convincingly.

7 people found this helpful

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Nice

This was a very sweet novel , a little less silly than Royal Spyness, but with the same qualities.

6 people found this helpful

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So Enjoyable!

I didn’t know what to expect but this was a lovely surprise. Suspenseful and engaging with a fantastic performance by Gemma Dawson.

5 people found this helpful

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what's a girl to do?

loved the build up of the main character, though a little slow. I wouldn't classify this as a suspense but more a coming of age book. you certainly become enraptured in this story as it seems at any moment Bella is faced with so many consequential turns. i would stay stick through the beginning of this read and you won't be able to put it down afterward. she makes the right choice in the end and that made it very satisfying. the performer did a great job making the characters come alive. each having their own distinct voice.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mo Glover
  • 10-01-20

Great narration

One of the best narrations by Gemma Dawson and loved the story line portraying life as a servant below stairs working for Queen Victoria and the extravagances of above.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JEM
  • 09-01-21

Excellent.

Enjoyed the characters very much and the gentle flow of the story. It was a good ending after quite a few twists and turns.

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  • Louise Roetman
  • 11-17-20

A solid 3 star book

This was a nice easy book to listen to, it's not going to blow you away but it's very enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-20

excellent

I adored this book. The narrator was brilliant and enjoyable to listen to. The story was captivating. A wonderful period drama. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Ruth Potter
  • 02-15-20

An Extraordinary Tale

I loved this inventive story set toward the end of Queen Victoria's reign. The main character Bella struggled against the usual adverse conditions met by single women who wish to work with accomplishment, with admirable ability to stand up for herself. Brilliant ending!