My Kyrosmagica Review of PorterGirl: First Lady of The Keys by Lucy Brazier


Goodreads Synopsis: 

‘Porters are not the carriers of bags, they are the keepers of keys!’

As one of the most ancient and esteemed establishments of the academic elite, Old College is in for something of a shock when it appoints its very first female Deputy Head Porter.

She struggles to get to grips with this eccentric world, far removed from everyday life. PorterGirl, the proverbial square peg in the round hole, begins to wonder quite what she is doing here.

PorterGirl – First Lady Of The Keys is a touching, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, glimpse into a world that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society.

Whether she is chasing after naked students, drinking copious amounts of tea or getting embroiled in quaint, polite murders, Deputy Head Porter is never far from adventure.


My review

I’ve had PorterGirl on my must read radar for some time. For three reasons, one it’s set in Cambridge, (and I live in Cambridge too,) and two I have enjoyed reading Lucy’s blog Porter Girl and following her.

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Also, my youngest daughter works part-time as a waitress in one of the colleges in Cambridge so I hear all about college life from her, and all about the sumptuous food….

So my impressions of PorterGirl… I really enjoyed PG. It’s one of those books that lifts your spirits up and puts you in a fantastic mood. It prompts you to put the kettle on and eat lots of forbidden biscuits! Lol… Porter G’s experience as the first female porter of a prestigious Cambridge University college is a lively riot from start to finish, full of humour, tea, and jokes about eating fabulous food when and wherever PorterGirl can… Being a foodie, this constant ambition to raid the fridges and steal food from under her colleagues’ hungry noses had me in stitches, as did crazy but ever so serious tasks such as PorterGirl rescuing a most important College cat via a precarious punting escapade. There’s never a dull moment, but a dollop of rising fear ensues as PorterGirl discovers murders are being committed in Old College. She begins to fear for her life, but PorterGirl is no coward, (a former copper,) she manages to keep herself safe, until…. it gets a bit hot under the bowler hat. Even so, her bowler hat remains proudly on top of her head, never to be removed not even in the most dire, calamitous of circumstance!

My recommendation: 4 stars. A favourite read that will make you smile a lot – and smiling is one of my favourite pastimes. Lucy has a pleasing writing style that makes you feel as if you know her personally. But, this novel should come with a health warning: This will make you laugh so much that you will splutter out your tea and biscuits! I reckon our friends across the water will find the copious amount of tea drinking that is a signature style of PorterGirl exceedingly amusing!

Opinion: I felt that perhaps PorterGirl lacked the ‘real’ names (and from Lucy’s point of view the promote-able aspects,) of the  ‘real’ Cambridge. I would love to have read about the ‘real’ University college that Old College applied to, and the ‘real’ haunts that Lucy mentions. But, I can understand why Lucy didn’t do so, why she used fictitious names. I expect she wanted to keep the secrets of the establishment, and anonymity of some of the characters in the book. If she had set it in the ‘real’ Cambridge, (and put a few folks noses out of joint,) for me it would have been a five star read. But, that’s just me…. and of course I can see why she wouldn’t want to do that! Lol…

I’m really looking forward to reading more from Lucy Brazier.

I recommend that you get a copy of PorterGirl, rush, before Lucy’s tea gets cold!


Buying links: Amazon – Lucy Brazier: Porter Girl – First Lady of The Keys

Lucy’s next novel:

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Lucy has a new fan. 🙂

Bye for now,





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7 thoughts on “My Kyrosmagica Review of PorterGirl: First Lady of The Keys by Lucy Brazier

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  1. Marje, a great review and a book that has been on my radar too. I imagine it is difficult have to be discreet about names and exact settings but that this can affect the book as well. Tricky. Still one I hope to read soon.

    So, when can we expect yours daughter’s book with all her experiences at the college?!😀😀 Hope you’re having a great weekend in beautiful Cambridge! 😀 (Ps. Any advice how to cope with GCSEs?! My son starts on Monday!! Don’t know whose worse, him or me!😀😀)

    1. Yes, it’s definitely a recommendation Annika. But tricky with regards to names and exact settings… That’s the trouble with writing sometimes we have to take matters like that into account. I had a bit of an issue with a piece of writing I started a while ago re: my dad’s life. Again, he wanted me to preserve some of the anonymity of people in the story. I might have to alter some of the names, etc. So, same sort of problem. It is an issue which makes it hard for writers to give the full story. But, we have to respect peoples’ wishes. Oh, and I do hope your son’s GCSE’s will go well. I remember that experience… Very stressful. I’m so glad that’s all over – my youngest daughter now does diplomas (100% coursework,) and there are no traditional exams. She is so much happier and her grades are considerably better. My eldest has just finished university! Can’t believe three years have gone by so fast 🙂

  2. It sounds like a great read. I appreciate the honest review too.. I agree that knowing the real names would be great.. but it sounds like she has such a fun writing style! Happy weekend reading I wish for you 🙂

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