It’s Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart, read unabridged by Hannah Curtis and out on CD from Books on Tape. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:
When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless by the sudden death of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favour home in Hampton Court Palace. Though rumoured to be haunted, Alexandrina and her lady’s maid, Pooki, have no choice but to take the Queen up on her offer. Aside from the ghost sightings, Hampton Court doesn’t seem so bad. The princess is soon befriended by three eccentric widows who invite her to a picnic with all the palace’s inhabitants, for which Pooki bakes a pigeon pie. But when General-Major Bagshot dies after eating said pie, and the Coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body, Pooki becomes the #1 suspect in a murder investigation. Princess Alexandrina isn’t about to let her faithful servant hang. She begins an investigation of her own, and discovers that Hampton Court isn’t such a safe place after all.
With her trademark wit and charm, Julia Stuart introduces us to an outstanding cast of lovable oddballs from the palace Maze Keeper to the unconventional Lady Beatrice (who likes to dress up as a toucan — don’t ask) as she guides us through the many delightful twists and turns in this fun and quirky murder mystery. Everyone is hiding a secret of the heart, and even Alexandrina may not realize when she’s caught in a maze of love.
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