The Housekeepers by Alex Hay
Mystery | Historical Fiction
The night of London’s grandest ball, a bold group of women downstairs launch a daring revenge heist against Mayfair society in this dazzling historical novel about power, gender, and class.
The blurb for this novel gave me all the Downtown Abbey meets Ocean’s Eleven vibes and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the world of The Housekeepers by Alex Hay. After all, who doesn’t love a good heist story?
The Housekeepers follows a group of women out to exact revenge by robbing and fully emptying a house mid-party. Unfortunately, this novel didn’t quite live up to its premise.
This book features an abundance of unique characters, each with their own secrets and hidden motives. The time period allows for some creative backstories, which made for interesting interactions. But while I found myself rooting for this band of morally grey characters as a whole, I struggled to connect with any of them individually on a deeper level.
Because of this, I found the book to be a slower read. The first two-thirds of the novel center around the characters’ plans. It’s a slow build toward the heist, but as a reader, I didn’t get that sense of building expectation and excitement. I never experienced the “can’t-stop-flipping-pages” or “need-to-know-what-happens-next” feeling, and so when the heist occurred, the payoff wasn’t there for me. This was at odds with my expectations (based on the blurb and endorsements) and that disappointment unfortunately factored into my overall feeling while reading.
I did, however, love the time period this book was set in and I could see it making a really great limited series for TV.
So, while I will no doubt be an outlier with this opinion, ultimately, this book just wasn’t for me.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Harper Collins Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher): Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in Mayfair. The place is packed with treasures, a glittering symbol of wealth and power, but dark secrets lurk in the shadows.
When Mrs. King is suddenly dismissed from her position, she recruits an eclectic group of women to join her in revenge: A black market queen out to settle her scores. An actress desperate for a magnificent part. A seamstress dreaming of a better life. And Mrs. King’s predecessor, with her own desire for vengeance.
Their plan? On the night of the house’s highly anticipated costume ball—set to be the most illustrious of the year—they will rob it of its every possession, right under the noses of the distinguished guests and their elusive heiress host. But there’s one thing Mrs. King wants even more than money: the truth. And she’ll run any risk to get it…
After all, one should never underestimate the women downstairs.