A Quiet Life in the Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)
by T.E. Kinsey
and narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden
My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: no romance so far
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.
I love cozy mysteries, but had never tried a historical cozy mystery until now. I was asking for cozy mystery audio recommendations and someone recommended this one, after listening to a sample and reading a great review by one of my blogger friends as well I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I picked this up. The narrator was awesome for this book and I am glad I listened to it. I had a lot of fun listening to this one and I am glad I finally gave this new-to-me subgenre a try.
A Quiet Life in the Country follows the point of view of Flo who is the maid for Lady Hardcastle. They have a close bond and more akin to friends in some sense. I really enjoyed reading about the two of them. They had quite a few adventures in the past already as we slowly find out throughout the book and in this book they move to the country hoping for a quiet life and end up getting involved in solving mysteries instead. I really liked the interactions between the two of them and it was one of my favorite parts of the book. Flo and Lady Hardcastle are both likable characters and they way they communicate with one another and understand each other was great to see. I also thought it was interesting that the maid is the main character here instead of the lady and it worked well here.
The mystery in this one was a good one. It starts with one mystery, but there are more mysteries popping up later. It did feel at times like there was a lot going on with the multiple mysteries they try to solve. There are also a lot of characters involved and I struggled at times remembering who was who, the narrator really helped here as the way she did everyone’s voices often could help me remember who they were. I also thought it was a bit heavy on the detective interviews late in the book as they sit in during interviews, but I liked seeing how they interacted with the detective. I really liked how the mystery came together at the end and the way it all got wrapped up, although I would’ve loved a chapter more so it all could really sink in.
I am so glad I listened to this one as the narrator did an amazing job with all the voices. She really brought the characters alive and it was pleasant to listen to this audiobook. Multiple times the way she did the voice for a certain character helped me remember who they were. I am definitely planning to listen to the rest as well.
To summarize: A Quiet Life in the Country was the first historical cozy mystery I tried and I really enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun listening to this one. The narrator was awesome and really brought the characters alive with the different voices she did. I really liked main character Flo as well as Lady Hardcastle and seeing the two of them interact. It’s so much fun to hear the way they interact and it’s clear they’ve worked together for a long time. The mysteries are interesting, but it did get a bit complex later in the book and I had trouble remembering who was who at times. I’ll definitely be continuing the series!
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