"This superb heist story sees a street savvy sisterhood of Edwardian women exact delicious, audacious revenge — think the Ocean's movies meets TV classic Upstairs Downstairs."
Effortlessly stylish and audaciously entertaining, Alex Hay’s The Housekeepers debut is an absolute humdinger of a heist story.
Park Lane, 1905. Unmarried 35-year-old Mrs Dinah King (her surname was chosen, the Mrs bestowed upon her) is housekeeper of London’s grandest mansion. After being seen entering the gentlemen’s quarters, she’s let go after years of fastidious service, mere weeks before her mistress’ grand ball. Miss de Vries has been excited about hosting the party of the season for some time. After losing her father, Mr de Vries, she’s also set on clearing out his “dead wood” staff and marrying a blue-blooded man.
Meanwhile, sacked Dinah wastes no time in planning a robbery of revenge. She takes herself off to enlist the considerable skills of Mrs Bone, a notable entrepreneur who knew Mr de Vries before he made his millions. Dinah already has other women lined up to realise her boldly ambitious plan, including Winnie, her housekeeper predecessor, with her sister Alice working on the inside, already commissioned to create Madam’s gown for the ball. Add to them actress Hephzibah and the circus trained “two Janes”, and a quality, multi-skilled crew is in place.
Though housekeepers tend to keep secrets (while in office, at least), as Dinah sets her heist in motion, we learn more than a few truths about connections to the de Vries family, along with some unsavoury household secrets.
Incredibly gripping, entertaining and funny, The Housekeepers’ story world is one you’ll be hard pushed to leave, largely thanks to its cast of whip-smart grafters and grifters — distinctly shrewd individuals with axes to grind and the fortitude to wield them with precision. I loved it!