Title: The Housekeepers

Author: Alex Hay

Publisher: Headline/Hachette, 2023; RRP: $32.99

Alex Hay has been writing as long as he can remember.  He studied History at the University of York, and wrote his dissertation on female power at royal courts, combing the archives for every scrap of drama and skulduggery he could find, and this knowledge is evident in this, his debut novel, that won the Caledonia Novel Award 2022.

Mayfair, 1906, a Park Lane mansion and a recently dismissed housekeeper combine for an audacious heist orchestrated by a talented and criminally connected group of women.  Never underestimate those below stairs. 

A combination of Ocean’s Eleven and Upstairs, Downstairs, this is an engaging novel with a well-developed plot and characters.  The heist is not just a matter of monetary gain or simple revenge for some of the characters.  As dark and long-held secrets emerge, the stakes become higher and higher. 

Alex Hay talks about The Housekeepers

@ the bookstorm podcast

The plan is to strip the mansion of all its goods on the night the former employer holds the ball of the season.  Seven women; two former housekeepers, a seamstress, a black-market queen, an actress and the amazing duo of Jane 1 & 2 all have skills to offer, scores to settle and everything to gain. 

Well written, well researched and set against a background of new technology, social change, suffragettes, and political conflict.  A fun read with depth and insights into the glamorous world of the newly and the established rich and those who serve them. 

Reviewed by: Marian Chivers, August, 2023

Ballarat Writers Inc. Book Review Group

Review copy provided by the publisher

  • Maria Chivers has a lifelong interest in reading and writing with her work and study involving books from children’s literature to post-graduate studies.