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A Quiet Life In The Country

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Revised edition: This edition of A Quiet Life In The Country includes editorial revisions. Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced ou Revised edition: This edition of A Quiet Life In The Country includes editorial revisions. Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation… As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.

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Revised edition: This edition of A Quiet Life In The Country includes editorial revisions. Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced ou Revised edition: This edition of A Quiet Life In The Country includes editorial revisions. Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation… As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.

30 review for A Quiet Life In The Country

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    A gentle, pleasant historical mystery, written in the manner of an Agatha Christie novel, with murder committed in the library and lots of upstairs/downstairs comings and goings. Lady Hardcastle and her personal maid, Armstrong, make an excellent team. Their relationship is a little different from the norm and Armstrong has hidden depths. It is all great fun, well written and very entertaining.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Settled into their new country house, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid Florence Armstrong amused each other with the usual anecdotes of times past, while deciding whether to employ a couple more staff. The house was much larger than the apartment in London and Flo was sure she couldn’t manage it on her own. Lady Hardcastle soon had many callers – after all, it wasn’t often a lady resided in the vicinity; the invitations also started arriving. But it was when a dead body was discovered in the wo Settled into their new country house, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid Florence Armstrong amused each other with the usual anecdotes of times past, while deciding whether to employ a couple more staff. The house was much larger than the apartment in London and Flo was sure she couldn’t manage it on her own. Lady Hardcastle soon had many callers – after all, it wasn’t often a lady resided in the vicinity; the invitations also started arriving. But it was when a dead body was discovered in the woods that had both Flo and Lady Hardcastle intrigued. Amateur sleuths themselves, they were sure the police had the wrong suspect and were determined to discover the real killer one way or the other. The secrets and lies that came to the surface pointed to only one thing for Lady Hardcastle and Flo – their desire for a quiet life in the country was not about to come to fruition any time soon… A Quiet Life in the Country is the 1st in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by T.E. Kinsey and is a wonderful historical cosy mystery which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had read #3 first, so wanted to start at the beginning. The characters of Lady Hardcastle and Flo are an absolute delight, with a number of laugh out loud moments throughout the story. I’ll be reading more in this series as soon as I can. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀

    2.5 stars. I won this book from the Goodreads Giveaways. This is a cute, cozy mystery with two women sleuths, Lady Hardcastle and her maid/companion Miss Armstrong. It takes place in a small English village in 1908. Lady Hardcastle has retired to the country to enjoy the quiet life when, out walking one morning, she and her maid discover a body in the woods. The usual follows; police who aren't good at their jobs, an assortment of suspects and motives, many pots of tea consumed, danger for our hero 2.5 stars. I won this book from the Goodreads Giveaways. This is a cute, cozy mystery with two women sleuths, Lady Hardcastle and her maid/companion Miss Armstrong. It takes place in a small English village in 1908. Lady Hardcastle has retired to the country to enjoy the quiet life when, out walking one morning, she and her maid discover a body in the woods. The usual follows; police who aren't good at their jobs, an assortment of suspects and motives, many pots of tea consumed, danger for our heroine, then confrontation of the baddy followed by detailed confession from said baddy. Lady Hardcastle and Miss Armstrong have a mysterious past together where they had many exciting, dangerous adventures and each time this past is discussed, it's far more interesting than the mystery of who killed the corpse in the woods. The author should write about these past shenanigans instead. Also, these characters would work better written as men, since they don't ring true as Edwardian women. This was better written than most books of this type but it didn't quite work for me. Lots of potential here though, I hope the author perseveres.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I wasn't sure about choosing to read this title. However I'm glad I did. I need to be careful not to spoil the plot. So I'll ignore comment on the storyline and just comment on the writing. T.E. Kinsey has managed to take an old tried and tested genre and bring to it a new lease of life. Very much a period murder mystery. At the start I thought this was a missing Agatha Christie story, but it is so much more. The author has taken the country house drama and used the ideas from the game Cleudo or th I wasn't sure about choosing to read this title. However I'm glad I did. I need to be careful not to spoil the plot. So I'll ignore comment on the storyline and just comment on the writing. T.E. Kinsey has managed to take an old tried and tested genre and bring to it a new lease of life. Very much a period murder mystery. At the start I thought this was a missing Agatha Christie story, but it is so much more. The author has taken the country house drama and used the ideas from the game Cleudo or the play The Mousetrap and has added humour to the mix. I love the central characters of Lady Hardcastle and Florence Armstrong. The red herrings are there in shoals. The twists and turns in the plot wouldn't be out of place in the maze at Hampton Court. I really look forward to reading more of these stories. My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Thomas & Mercer for a copy in exchange for this honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ingie

    Review written April 24, 2017 3.6 Stars - Cozy nicely told crime solving fiction. I chuckled and truly enjoyed a lot. Serial book #1 A Quiet Life in the Country is the first in a cozy historical mystery serial. Got it on a chance. — Well choosed! 7:43 audiobook hours narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden. ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ England 1908 about Emily, Lady Hardcastle, a 40 years old widow, and her a bit younger personal maid, Florence Armstrong. Since years both friends and companions. — Moving to the countr Review written April 24, 2017 3.6 Stars - Cozy nicely told crime solving fiction. I chuckled and truly enjoyed a lot. Serial book #1 A Quiet Life in the Country is the first in a cozy historical mystery serial. Got it on a chance. — Well choosed! 7:43 audiobook hours narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden. ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ England 1908 about Emily, Lady Hardcastle, a 40 years old widow, and her a bit younger personal maid, Florence Armstrong. Since years both friends and companions. — Moving to the countryside and some "fun" ladies adventures, like a murder investigation to snoop about, starts immediately. Adorable (female) characters, very British old feeling plot, fun bantering and a listening making you chuckle and laugh a lot. Simply terrific for a cozy historical mysteries lover. Yes, sure it's a bit ridiculous and very easy-going. The ladies are kinda nerdy, but if you like old fashioned even in murder investigations fiction, this style is what I would classify very good easy-to-eat entertainment. Add perfect fitting narrator voices. — It will be more. I LIKE - funny snooping ladies

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It is 1908 and Lady Emily Hardcastle, and her maid, Florence Armstrong, have decided to settledown in a country house near the village of Littington Cotterill. It soon becomes apparent that neither are quite as traditional as might be expected. There are lots of hints about various adventures overseas and it is also clear that the women are friends, rather than servant and mistress. Referring to each other as, “ageing employer,” and “tiny servant,” they are very much a team and raise eyebrows by It is 1908 and Lady Emily Hardcastle, and her maid, Florence Armstrong, have decided to settledown in a country house near the village of Littington Cotterill. It soon becomes apparent that neither are quite as traditional as might be expected. There are lots of hints about various adventures overseas and it is also clear that the women are friends, rather than servant and mistress. Referring to each other as, “ageing employer,” and “tiny servant,” they are very much a team and raise eyebrows by eating together and enjoying each other’s company. Although Florence is hoping for a quiet life, it seems that adventure is to follow them. Shortly after their arrival, the two go for a stroll in the nearby woods and discover a body hanging from a tree. It looks like suicide, but Lady Hardcastle questions events and decides that she and Florence should investigate the crime. Locally, the most exciting news prior to the murder was the engagement of the daughter of Sir Hector and Lady Farley-Stroud, who knew Lady Hardcastle when she was young, with the son of James and Ida Seddon, owners of a shipping company. Before long, there is another murder at the engagement party, as well as a missing jewel, and both Lady Emily and Florence are thrown into an exciting and challenging case. This is a fun mystery, with interesting characters. I look forward to enjoying more in the series. I listened to this on audio and found the narrator excellent and this a well told story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dana Stabenow

    Emily, Lady Hardcastle and maid/paid companion/best friend/Jane of all trades Florence Armstrong (think Bunter in a skirt) move from London to the rural village of Chipping Bevington in pursuit of a quiet life. Alas or hooray, almost the very first thing they stumble over is the body of a young cricketer hanging from a tree, meant to look like suicide but speedily proven by Lady Hardcastle's acute observation to be homicide. The joy of this book is less about the murder(s) and more about tantali Emily, Lady Hardcastle and maid/paid companion/best friend/Jane of all trades Florence Armstrong (think Bunter in a skirt) move from London to the rural village of Chipping Bevington in pursuit of a quiet life. Alas or hooray, almost the very first thing they stumble over is the body of a young cricketer hanging from a tree, meant to look like suicide but speedily proven by Lady Hardcastle's acute observation to be homicide. The joy of this book is less about the murder(s) and more about tantalizing the reader with Emily and Flo's backstory, as on page 61 when Flo casually drops this showstopper about her antecedents The life of a circus child was lived in cheerful chaos. Wait, what? And on their experiences in China "It was all rather a pleasant adventure until Sir Roderick was murdered and we had to flee for our lives." which escape was aided by a young Shaolin monk, who passes on knowledge much to the two grasshoppers' advantage in the adventures rural England is going to throw their way. And then there is Emily and Flo's relationship, which ain't Downton Abbey. "Good morning, my lady," I said, placing her coffee tray on the bed. "And good morning to you, too, Flo, dear," she said sleepily. "How kind of you to bring me a tray." "I always bring you a tray." "Yes, and it's always very kind. Are the serfs here?" "...please don't let them hear you calling them 'the serfs.' It's the twentieth century now. We servants will be rising up and overthrowing you lot before you know it." "Righto, dear. You will keep an eye out for me if there's a rebellion, won't you." "I shall do my best, my lady, but I'm only little." "I knew I could count on you." Fun, and an obvious first in series, with plenty here for future mining.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    A Quiet Life In The Country is book one in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by T. E. Kinsey. Lady Hardcastle decided to move from London to the country for a quieter life. However, it did not happen Lady Hardcastle became involved with the small rural community. Also, Lady Hardcastle got involved in the investigation of the death of a young man she found in the woods. The readers of A Quiet Life In The Country will follow Lady Hardcastle investigation into the murder of the young man. A Quiet Life I A Quiet Life In The Country is book one in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by T. E. Kinsey. Lady Hardcastle decided to move from London to the country for a quieter life. However, it did not happen Lady Hardcastle became involved with the small rural community. Also, Lady Hardcastle got involved in the investigation of the death of a young man she found in the woods. The readers of A Quiet Life In The Country will follow Lady Hardcastle investigation into the murder of the young man. A Quiet Life In The Country is a historical crime mystery and the first book I have read of T. E. Kinsey. I did enjoy reading A Quiet Life In The Country. I like T. E. Kinsey portrayal of her characters and the way they intertwined with each other throughout the book. I do like T. E. Kinsey main character Lady Hardcastle and the way she interacts with her lady maid Florence Armstrong. I love T. E. Kinsey writing style and the way he describes his settings. The readers of A Quiet Life In The Country will learn about law enforcement procedures in the early Nineteen Century. Also, the readers of A Quiet Life In The Country will see how people live in rural English communities in the first part of last Century. I recommend this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    The time is 1908. Emily, Lady Hardcastle and her personal maid, Florence Armstrong, have resettled in Gloustershire, abandoning the night lights of London. This is a country England period piece. So, if you don't care for the following (typical) banter between two: "All taken care of, my lady," I said. "Lamps, oil, candles, matches...alll in that tea chest over there." "What would I do without you?" I thought for a moment. "Starve to death, my lady, in the dark." Then, this isn't your cup of tea. If The time is 1908. Emily, Lady Hardcastle and her personal maid, Florence Armstrong, have resettled in Gloustershire, abandoning the night lights of London. This is a country England period piece. So, if you don't care for the following (typical) banter between two: "All taken care of, my lady," I said. "Lamps, oil, candles, matches...alll in that tea chest over there." "What would I do without you?" I thought for a moment. "Starve to death, my lady, in the dark." Then, this isn't your cup of tea. If you are willing, be prepared for the cascade of period references to such things as the "larder" and the "orangery." And know, that this is an investigative twosome in the well-worn tracks of Lord Peter Whimsey and Bunter, where the "servant" is able to get much of the critical information by being accepted by the lower classes and the "downstairs" contingent. This introductory book brings the reader up to speed gently because you do not have to wait long for the body to appear and the game to be afoot. Kinsey, thankfully, isn't determined to describe the previous adventures of this duo in China, India and other parts of "The Empire" before turning us loose for a romp that involves an engagement, a theft, a troupe of ragtime musicians, a cricket team, several upper class twits, a variety of police and some vandals. If you are nit-picky you may find a few period inconsistencies and deduct a star. I didn't.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    T.E. Kinsey had me within the first amusing ten minutes of listening to A Quiet Life in the Country, the debut book in a series featuring the mysterious Emily, Lady Hardcastle, and her sassy maid, Florence “Flo” Armstrong. After 14 years together — and some harrowing, death-defying adventures only hinted at — they’re clearly friends more than employer and employee, and their banter proves a sheer delight. But, of course, the mysteries are what really make this book shine. A Quiet Life in the Coun T.E. Kinsey had me within the first amusing ten minutes of listening to A Quiet Life in the Country, the debut book in a series featuring the mysterious Emily, Lady Hardcastle, and her sassy maid, Florence “Flo” Armstrong. After 14 years together — and some harrowing, death-defying adventures only hinted at — they’re clearly friends more than employer and employee, and their banter proves a sheer delight. But, of course, the mysteries are what really make this book shine. A Quiet Life in the Country contains three mysteries that are tackled by these shrewd, if flippant, amateur sleuths: a suicide that isn’t, a missing gemstone and a murdered musician. Readers will thoroughly enjoy tagging along with Lady Hardcastle and Flo for a life in the country that’s proving anything but quiet. I can hardly wait for the next volume! Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not extend a shout-out to narrator Elizabeth Knowelden, who did a very fine job, indeed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    A Quiet Life in the Country is a cosy murder mystery. I loved the characters of Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence. Such fun, quirky and eccentric women. I found myself giggling away at some of the things they said. This was a really easy story to listen to, and Lady Hardcastle reminded me of a posh version of Miss Marple and Agatha Raisin, so if you're fans of either of those, you'll probably really enjoy this. I borrowed this in audiobook format through Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terry Parrish

    Loved, loved, loved this book. Lady Hardcastle and Flo go together like bread and butter! And their more than Lady and Ladies maid. Their friends. I actually liked all of the secondary characters, too. Some were a hoot! Can hardly wait for their next adventure in the country. They thought it was going to be a little boring, but that didn't happen. You'll have to read it to find out what they got into. I would recommend this to anyone loves stories set in the early 1900's. What? They had telephon Loved, loved, loved this book. Lady Hardcastle and Flo go together like bread and butter! And their more than Lady and Ladies maid. Their friends. I actually liked all of the secondary characters, too. Some were a hoot! Can hardly wait for their next adventure in the country. They thought it was going to be a little boring, but that didn't happen. You'll have to read it to find out what they got into. I would recommend this to anyone loves stories set in the early 1900's. What? They had telephones!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I am a very patient person, as a rule, but at nearly 30% I give up on this novel. It's slow paced and boring and I have so many other books to read. Light and fluffy historical cosy mystery that is supposed to be funny. Not.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Luce

    4 Stars for the audible edition. Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden. She did a fine job narrating the 40 year old widow, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid and best friend, Florence Armstrong. This is a British cozy mystery that takes place in 1908. After leading an adventurous life, the two move to the countryside, hoping for peace and quiet. It doesn't last, as they find a dead body on their first morning walk and within a week, there is another mystery to solve (I don't want to spoil it). Altho 4 Stars for the audible edition. Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden. She did a fine job narrating the 40 year old widow, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid and best friend, Florence Armstrong. This is a British cozy mystery that takes place in 1908. After leading an adventurous life, the two move to the countryside, hoping for peace and quiet. It doesn't last, as they find a dead body on their first morning walk and within a week, there is another mystery to solve (I don't want to spoil it). Although there are mysteries to solve, for me the most fun was their close friendship and humorous banter between the eccentric Hardcastle and the practical Armstrong. They blur convention and class lines between mistress and servant. We only get snippets of their past for much of the book. I almost wanted the past stories hinted about, rather than the present mystery. The third main character, was the Inspector Sunderland. Unlike most mystery books, he allows them to sit in on his interviews and uses Flo's access to the "downstairs" to gather information. Hopefully, in the next book, we and the two meet get to Mrs. Sunderland. This is a coziest of cozy mysteries. If you expect more, you maybe disappointed. But this is my cup of tea, so I enjoyed it. Its been awhile since I read one, so I think I missed it. Nevertheless, I plan to read the series but probably not binge. Small doses is probably best.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    A Quiet Life in the Country is a cozy, fun, mystery. Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Flo, are the best of friends who also seem to find adventure. Perfect for readers who prefer a mystery that is lighthearted.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I chose this book to read with Whispersync because I wanted something quaint, light-hearted and completely unintrusive to listen to around the house. I got exactly what I was looking for. Lady Hardcastle and her ladies' maid, Armstrong, have moved to the country to get away from what seems to have been a very exciting and mysterious life. However, they happen upon a dead body and decide to try their hands at solving the crime. The plot is actually quite good, there are lots of suspects and the two I chose this book to read with Whispersync because I wanted something quaint, light-hearted and completely unintrusive to listen to around the house. I got exactly what I was looking for. Lady Hardcastle and her ladies' maid, Armstrong, have moved to the country to get away from what seems to have been a very exciting and mysterious life. However, they happen upon a dead body and decide to try their hands at solving the crime. The plot is actually quite good, there are lots of suspects and the two ladies are adept at ingratiating themselves and gleaning information from the locals of the village. There are a few mild twists and I couldn't predict what would happen, and to me this is what makes a good mystery novel. The characters are nice enough; they suit the era and setting of the story perfectly. I particularly liked the relationship between Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong, as they have quite the rapport and are obviously more friends that a Lady and her maid. They seem to have been through a lot together in the past, and although there are hints of what might have taken place you never actually get much information about what they had been up to in the years before their move to the country. I would be interested to know if there was another series starring these characters that filled in the blanks, or perhaps the author might have one planned for the future. Overall this was an effortlessly enjoyable read, and nice light entertainment if you are looking for some relief from emotional or more gritty novels. There is none of that here, only a good old-fashioned murder mystery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    A British cozy murder mystery time piece set in 1908. The writing has an Agatha Christie feel. This is the first in a series. The audible narration was top notch, with British accents spot on, to make you laugh out loud at some of the jabs and witty comments of the dignified and nosy Lady Hardcastle and her ladies maid, aka co-conspirator, Flo as they interject themselves into solving a murder. Highly enjoyable, resembling a sort of female fluff version of Sherlock Holmes. I have already started A British cozy murder mystery time piece set in 1908. The writing has an Agatha Christie feel. This is the first in a series. The audible narration was top notch, with British accents spot on, to make you laugh out loud at some of the jabs and witty comments of the dignified and nosy Lady Hardcastle and her ladies maid, aka co-conspirator, Flo as they interject themselves into solving a murder. Highly enjoyable, resembling a sort of female fluff version of Sherlock Holmes. I have already started the next of the series, In the Market for Murder, which does begin right where this one left off, so they should be read in order. I am sure there are inconsistencies in the accuracy of what a woman could do during this time period, of which I am aware but choose to overlook, and just enjoy the cozy mystery for which it is.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ольга Миклашевская

    Потрясающие главные героини со своей атмосферой, чайком и любовью приключениям. Как детектив бы не советовала, но в контексте персонажей очень даже. #жуткийкнижныймарафон

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bea Charmed

    I giggled a lot while reading. Flo and Lady Hardcastle are both witty and snarky and have great chemistry. Flo is Lady Hardcastle's lady's maid, friend, and co-conspirator. At first, their involvement in the first murder they investigate was spurious at best but as they're drawn into their new life in the country, they get more involved with the people and with events and soon their involvement seems inevitable. I loved how well they worked together and their relationship with Inspector Sunderla I giggled a lot while reading. Flo and Lady Hardcastle are both witty and snarky and have great chemistry. Flo is Lady Hardcastle's lady's maid, friend, and co-conspirator. At first, their involvement in the first murder they investigate was spurious at best but as they're drawn into their new life in the country, they get more involved with the people and with events and soon their involvement seems inevitable. I loved how well they worked together and their relationship with Inspector Sunderland. The story gets off to a slow start as Kinsey lays the foundation but it slowly builds up. The mysteries, two murders, a theft, and embezzlement, keep the ladies, and the local police, hopping. Are they connected? Is their new small town a hotbed of crime? Can Flo really torture someone without leaving a mark? I had fun finding out.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    3.5 stars I have already marked this as a favourite series as I know I will love these amusing, cosy mysteries. Set in the 1900's the main characters are Lady Hardcastle and her 'servant' Flo - they are fabulous kick-ass girls in a time when women were just beginning to make lives of their own and the class system was in full force. These unusual ladies made me chuckle and the story is a really good one - recommended!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Even without Lady Hardcastle’s scientific education I knew that being suspended by the neck on a length of sturdy rope wasn’t conducive to long life. This is a historically set mystery by a modern author. Taking place prior to 1909 our main, and recurring, characters are Lady Hardcastle and her maid Florence Anderson. This book is both an introduction to the characters and several current mysteries. There were some points where the author may have tongue firmly planted in cheek, such as when a Even without Lady Hardcastle’s scientific education I knew that being suspended by the neck on a length of sturdy rope wasn’t conducive to long life. This is a historically set mystery by a modern author. Taking place prior to 1909 our main, and recurring, characters are Lady Hardcastle and her maid Florence Anderson. This book is both an introduction to the characters and several current mysteries. There were some points where the author may have tongue firmly planted in cheek, such as when a local Constable tells Lady Hardcastle that her little corner of England actually has the highest murder rate in the country. Lady Hardcastle is an eccentric widow; her husband was murdered in China, of an indeterminate age. Her Ladies Maid / companion / Watson is a Welsh woman who is the daughter of circus performers who has picked up some Eastern self defense techniques on their escape from China. As a duo they can investigate Upstairs and Downstairs. The title itself is a bit of a joke since their first day in the country they stumble upon what appears to be a suicide but turns out to have been a murder. We are introduced to a fairly large group of 'regulars' who will populate the subsequent books. There will be several more crimes before the solution is revealed. I enjoyed this; it is a turn of the century mystery minus the uncomfortable things that are present in real turn of the century mysteries. Vocab: perspicacity NOUN the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness Chronomentrophobia - The fear of clocks abductive reasoning - Abductive reasoning (also called abduction, abductive inference or retroduction) is a form of logical inference which goes from an observation to a theory which accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. secateurs NOUN BRITISH a pair of pruning clippers for use with one hand. argot the jargon or slang of a particular group or class: tiffin NOUN INDIA dated a light meal, especially lunch. impecunious having little or no money trichological the branch of medical and cosmetic study and practice concerned with the hair and scalp. faggots (food) Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. The first use in print cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1851, from Henry Mayhew, where he describes a dish identical to the modern product with chopped liver and lights in an outer wrapper of caul. pother NOUN a commotion or fuss:

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    I'm not quite sure what I expected when I plunked down my money and downloaded A Quiet Life in the Country. A modern variation of the Golden Age country house mystery? If that was it, I didn't get it. What I did wind up getting was a whole lot more. I will warn you ahead of time: if you are a fan of those classic mysteries, T.E. Kinsey's book may not be your cup of tea, and now I'll set about telling you why. Kinsey has written a good, puzzling, multi-layered mystery that gives you a real feel fo I'm not quite sure what I expected when I plunked down my money and downloaded A Quiet Life in the Country. A modern variation of the Golden Age country house mystery? If that was it, I didn't get it. What I did wind up getting was a whole lot more. I will warn you ahead of time: if you are a fan of those classic mysteries, T.E. Kinsey's book may not be your cup of tea, and now I'll set about telling you why. Kinsey has written a good, puzzling, multi-layered mystery that gives you a real feel for village life out in the English countryside at the turn of the last century. While the plot and the setting are first-rate, it's Kinsey's characters that make this book shine-- and what makes the book turn away from those classic mysteries. Inspector Sunderland moves from being a stereotype to being someone rather special, which I always love to see (being sick to death of incompetent policemen in the books I read). Lady Emily Hardcastle's background is very mysterious indeed, and I hope it takes several books to have all the details teased out for us to see. However, it is the relationship between Lady Emily and Florence that is the pièce de résistance of A Quiet Life in the Country. Their dialogue is so full of mutual admiration, wit, and humor that it is, quite simply, a delight to read. As Sunderland witnesses one such conversation, he asks, "Are you two a music hall act?" and you have to admit that he has a point. (If they were a music hall act, I'd pay to see them.) If you're in the mood for something that's light and fun, something that teases your brain, takes you to the English countryside of a century ago, and makes you laugh, have I got a recommendation for you: T.E. Kinsey's A Quiet Life in the Country. I'm on to the second book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Ray

    Topping! I enjoyed this lovely mystery so much that as soon as I finished it I re-read it. It's a perfect little escape. The characters are well drawn and immensely likable. The language and expressions used are occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. A real treat. So looking forward to the further adventures of Lady Hardcastle and Miss Armstrong.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan in NC

    3.5 stars for a fun, funny, quirky new (to me) detective team, Lady Hardcastle and her friend and lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong. This is their debut. The mysteries presented are rather straightforward- Lady Hardcastle and Flo, after some strongly hinted at but unclear past intrigues, are looking for a quiet life in the country. The book opens as they are settling into a new home in Gloucestershire - Lady H has various hobbies she looks forward to pursuing, and Flo is hoping to relax (from what, 3.5 stars for a fun, funny, quirky new (to me) detective team, Lady Hardcastle and her friend and lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong. This is their debut. The mysteries presented are rather straightforward- Lady Hardcastle and Flo, after some strongly hinted at but unclear past intrigues, are looking for a quiet life in the country. The book opens as they are settling into a new home in Gloucestershire - Lady H has various hobbies she looks forward to pursuing, and Flo is hoping to relax (from what, again, we don’t yet know, but their bantering, friendly relationship tells us they are not your typical British lady and servant). Anyway, on a walk in nearby woods, they discover a young man hanging from a tree - it’s been made to look like suicide, but they soon see through the ruse - and decide to investigate when they think the police have arrested the wrong man. Meanwhile, Lady H discovers old friends living in the village, the Farley-Strouds. They live at the Grange and will clearly play a role in future books, and provide humor and background- their daughter is about to marry into a shipping family, and Lady H is invited to the engagement party, where a musician is killed and a family heirloom stolen; again, Lady H and Flo assist with the investigation. Being a mystery buff, I’m used to giving a new series time in the first book or two to establish the characters and “set the stage” - Kinsey does that quite cleverly with humor and flare, so I rounded up from 3 stars for this solid debut. Lady Hardcastle is different and unique, as is Florence; they’ve lived around the world and had adventures, unusual for this Victorian British setting, but fun and refreshing. I enjoyed the banter and friendship between the two characters, but often had the uncomfortable feeling I walked into the middle of a movie; I imagine the author did that intentionally, to set the two heroines apart in the crowded cozy mystery field. It worked, I am intrigued and interested in them, and plan to read more of this series to find out more about their past lives and adventures. I read this book as part of the Book For All Seasons Equinox challenge to read a book based solely on its title or cover.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Bok

    It’s 1908; Emily, Lady Hardcastle, and her personal maid, Flo Armstrong (the first-person narrator), have decided to retire from London to the country. Right away the reader senses there’s something different about this pair. Armstrong is scarcely a deferential servant, and Lady Hardcastle is no die-away lady. They settle in briskly, ready for peace and quiet, but on their very first walk in the countryside they encounter a dead body. Both women are perhaps relieved, as hints of their adventurous It’s 1908; Emily, Lady Hardcastle, and her personal maid, Flo Armstrong (the first-person narrator), have decided to retire from London to the country. Right away the reader senses there’s something different about this pair. Armstrong is scarcely a deferential servant, and Lady Hardcastle is no die-away lady. They settle in briskly, ready for peace and quiet, but on their very first walk in the countryside they encounter a dead body. Both women are perhaps relieved, as hints of their adventurous past keep bubbling up to the surface and it becomes clear that a slow village life is not at all what they are accustomed to. With verve they begin to run rings around the local gentry and constabulary, charming some with their eccentric ways and terrifying others. It’s an enjoyable romp and the dialogue is deliciously snappy but I was left with a bit of a hollow feeling, as I often am when the dark deeds are taken too lightly in a mystery. I prefer stories in which the death(s) are treated with a measure of gravity; the real loss and pain felt by survivors should not be glossed over. In this case, (view spoiler)[one fiancée is treated as faking her distress over the possible guilt of her betrothed and we don’t even hear how another fiancée takes the guilt of hers (hide spoiler)] . I wanted a little more darkness with my light.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    It is 1908 and the widowed Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong, have left a more active,eventful life behind. On the surface, Lady Hardcastle and Flo are just what they seem, typical Edwardian stock characters. Beneath that surface, though, are two women who have lived a life of adventure and danger and have formed a unique bond. Instead of a contented retirement, they first encounter a dead body in the woods, then a murder at a country house party and a jewel theft. So much for the It is 1908 and the widowed Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong, have left a more active,eventful life behind. On the surface, Lady Hardcastle and Flo are just what they seem, typical Edwardian stock characters. Beneath that surface, though, are two women who have lived a life of adventure and danger and have formed a unique bond. Instead of a contented retirement, they first encounter a dead body in the woods, then a murder at a country house party and a jewel theft. So much for the quiet life. A Quiet Life in the Country takes the conventions of the traditional British Cozy and turns them upside down. The characters are quirky, refreshing and more than a little off-center. Lady Emily's and Flo's repartee is witty, bringing more than one laugh out loud moment. By the time I finished the book I was hungry for more of the adventures of Lady Emily and Florence and more about their lives in India and China. Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for a free copy in return for an honest review. I am looking forward to the next in the series, The Spirit is Willing, coming in December 2016. RATING- 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    In 1908, Lady Emily Hardcastle, and her maid Flo have returned to rural England after an exciting life in the Orient. Both are quite refreshing characters, especially Flo, the narrator, who has managed to pick up some kung fu along the way. The problem with the book is in the plotting. The mysteries are not particularly challenging and are usually solved with some information discovered by Lady Hardcastle, but not made available to the reader. Add to that the timeworn tropes of the stupid police In 1908, Lady Emily Hardcastle, and her maid Flo have returned to rural England after an exciting life in the Orient. Both are quite refreshing characters, especially Flo, the narrator, who has managed to pick up some kung fu along the way. The problem with the book is in the plotting. The mysteries are not particularly challenging and are usually solved with some information discovered by Lady Hardcastle, but not made available to the reader. Add to that the timeworn tropes of the stupid policeman and the evil nemesis and, aside from the characters, the book just seems a bit stale.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I really enjoyed this, it was a diverting read and I loved the characters. They put me in mind of Vastra and Jenny from Doctor Who. I would love to hear some of the back story from their times in China and India, I thought the story really took off when we began to learn about their past. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I finally got a #1 book series. Yea, life is good. This book, "A Quiet Life in the Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)". T.E. Kinsey had me hooked within the first amusing ten minutes of listening to "A Quiet Life in the Country", the debut book in a series featuring the mysterious Emily, Lady Hardcastle (M'lady), and her sassy Ladies Maid, Florence “Flo” Armstrong. After 14 years together — and some harrowing, death-defying adventures only hinted at — they’re clearly friends more than employe I finally got a #1 book series. Yea, life is good. This book, "A Quiet Life in the Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)". T.E. Kinsey had me hooked within the first amusing ten minutes of listening to "A Quiet Life in the Country", the debut book in a series featuring the mysterious Emily, Lady Hardcastle (M'lady), and her sassy Ladies Maid, Florence “Flo” Armstrong. After 14 years together — and some harrowing, death-defying adventures only hinted at — they’re clearly friends more than employer and employee, and their banter proves a sheer delight. But, of course, the mysteries are what really make this book shine. I got a real tickle out of them getting their home set up, meeting their neighbors, and meeting the police in the area. A Quiet Life in the Country contains three mysteries that are tackled by these shrewd, if flippant, amateur sleuths: a suicide that isn’t, a missing gemstone and a murdered musician. Readers will thoroughly enjoy tagging along with Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong for a life in the country that’s proving anything but quiet. I can hardly wait for the next volume! Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not extend a holler to narrator Elizabeth Knowelden, who did a very fine job, indeed. I really liked how clean the language was. That was as enjoyable as anything. Well done, I recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I thought I would like this book much better than I did. In fact, I purchased the first two books as I was sure that I would want to read the second one. The book was just ok for me. At first, I was moving through it pretty fast and then it slowed down for me. I almost lost interest in the book but I finished it. The relationship and humor between Lady Hardcastle and Flo Armstrong seemed contrived to me. I am in the minority concerning this as most readers find this to be the strength of the boo I thought I would like this book much better than I did. In fact, I purchased the first two books as I was sure that I would want to read the second one. The book was just ok for me. At first, I was moving through it pretty fast and then it slowed down for me. I almost lost interest in the book but I finished it. The relationship and humor between Lady Hardcastle and Flo Armstrong seemed contrived to me. I am in the minority concerning this as most readers find this to be the strength of the book for them. There are many books written so our likes will vary.

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