Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Publication date: 8 June 2017
I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review and all opinions are my own.
Page count: 316 pages
September 1909, and Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, have been invited to Lord Riddlethorpe’s country estate for a week of motor racing and parties. They both agree that it sounds like a perfectly charming holiday. But when one of the drivers dies in a crash during the very first race, they discover that what seemed like an uncharacteristic error in judgement may have a more sinister explanation…
Closer investigation reveals that the driver’s car was sabotaged—and the driver murdered. The local constabulary are quick to dismiss the case, but Flo and Lady Hardcastle are determined to find out just who has committed this dastardly act, and why.
As the pair begin to make enquiries of Lord Riddlethorpe’s servants and guests, it seems that, below stairs and above, there is more to this case than meets the eye. And, even in the quiet of the countryside, death is always just around the bend.
This Lady Hardcastle mystery from author T.E. Kinsey follows on from A Quiet Life in the Country and In the Market for Murder. I’ve included images of all three covers below as I rather like the continuity between them:
This third outing for Lady Hardcastle and her multi-talented Ladies’ maid, Flo Armstrong, sees the amateur sleuths invited to the country estate of Lord Riddlethorpe, ‘Fishy’ to his friends, to share in his passions for socialising and the new sport of motor racing. Their dreams of racing on the track are quickly scuppered, however, when one of the drivers who make up Fishy’s new team is killed in the first race in suspicious circumstances.
The police dismiss the death as accidental but the Riddlethorpe residents and guests are not so sure. With Lady H investigating upstairs and Flo investigating downstairs, the formidable duo take on the case and get to the bottom of the mystery, though not before the body count rises and scandal is threatened!
I enjoyed this cosy Edwardian mystery as much as I did the first two in the series and the repartee between Lady Hardcastle and Flo was again a particular highlight. Some of the dialogue is playfully posh in the novel too and I found that people greeting each other in all seriousness along the lines of “What-ho Fishy!” really made me smile.
I was quite pleased with myself that I picked up some of the clues laid out by TE Kinsey throughout the book but I still didn’t work out the specifics of this mystery which I consider to be a good thing. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a feel-good cosy murder mystery with a nice splash of humour. Look out for it from 8 June 2017.