My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: no romance
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.
I really enjoyed this third book in the Lady Hardcastle series. After DNF’ing the audiobook I listened to before this I knew I wanted an audiobook I knew I would enjoy and decided to return to this series. This was another great read, I thought the change of scenery worked well and the mystery kept me guessing. The narrator for this series is great too.
In Death Around the Bend Lady Hardcastle and her maidFlorence, who is the main character, travel to Lord Riddlethorpe’s country estate. Most of the book takes place there instead of in the usual small town where they live. I thought the change in scenery worked well. The start and end of the book still take place in the town where they live and the rest of the book at Lord Riddlethorpe’s estate. I liked the new setting and getting to know the new cast of characters. It also had a bit of a locked room mystery vibe as it was clear the murderer is someone who is at the estate.
I had a lot of fun figuring out who had done. Shortly after the murder took place I came up with quite the solid theory. Then with new events and hints I had to amend things a bit and while I couldn’t figure out who had done it anymore, I was pretty spot on for some of the other aspects like the motivation and a certain twist that the characters figured out only quite late in the book, I felt quite proud for realizing that right after the murder took place. There were some great twists and turns and I liked how the mystery progressed with plenty of clues and suspects.
I like reading about Florence and Lady Hardcastle and how they solve these murders. I still find it interesting how the maid Florence is actually the main character and I think it works really well with how she has access to the servants as well. It’s also interesting how these two have had a whole lot of adventures before the series starts, which I rarely see to this degree in books. It makes them feel real and alive and like they had interesting lives before the series started.
To summarize: I had a great time listening to this book. The narrator for this series is great and a good fit for this series. I liked the change of scenery in this book as most of the book they spend at Lord Riddlethorpe’s estate instead of at the village they live in, I thought it worked well here. The mystery felt a bit like a locked room mystery with how it was clear someone at the estate is the murderer. The mystery kept me guessing and I figured out a few things really early on, but the mystery kept me guessing with new twists and turns that led me to adjust my theory. I liked seeing how it all played out and how the characters figured things out. I liked reading about Lady Hardcaste and Florence as well as some of the new side characters introduced in this book.