My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: no romance
Spring, 1909, and Lady Hardcastle, amateur sleuth and all-round eccentric, is enjoying a well-deserved rest. But a week after a trip to the cattle market, Spencer Caradine, a local farmer, turns up dead in the pub, face-down in his beef and mushroom pie. Once again, it is up to Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, to solve the case.
Armed with wit and whimsy, not to mention Florence’s mean right hook, the pair set out to discover what really happened and why. Was it poison or just ill luck?
As they delve further into their investigation, they encounter a theft where nothing is stolen, a séance with a troubled ghost and an ever-increasing number of Spencer’s family and friends who might just have motive for murder. One thing’s for sure: Lady Hardcastle has a mystery on her hands.
In the Market for Murder is the second book in the Lady Hardcastle series. I really enjoyed book 1 and picked up book 2 in audio as well. In the Market for Murder takes place a few months after the events of book 1, Lady Hardcastle has recovered and is up for a new adventure. They visit the cattle market in a nearby city and then a week later at that same market one of the farmer they met there dies. Flo and Lady Hardcastle get asked to help solve the mystery.
As the story progresses more mysteries get added and I kinda liked the variety of mysteries the main character could help with. Especially as the murder mystery stalls a bit after their best attempts to find the killer, so having some other mysteries to keep them occupied before returning to the murder mystery was fun. There is a séance that reveals an unruly ghost as well as trophies that get stolen from the local rugby club. It was fun to follow the main Flo and Lady Hardcastle as they try to figure out what is going on. Then at the end all the mysteries get resolved and it leads to a satisfying conclusion.
I struggled a bit with the murder mystery at first, not being as interested in the rugby club setting as well as getting confused who was who when it came to the suspects as they’re all rugby players and farmers. Once I could pick up my pace with listening to this one I felt myself enjoying the story even more and excited to figure out who was behind all the mysteries. I liked reading about the different mysteries and the way the character got involved and did their investigations in who was behind it. The conclusions of the mysteries were all very well done and satisfying in a way that made sense. Although I would’ve liked to get a few of the clues earlier as I thought it would be hard to figure out who the murderer as a reader. On the other hand this made the reveal very exciting and I was looking forward to hear their reasoning how they figured things out.
I had a lot of fun reading this book. Flo makes for a great main character and her banter and relationship with Lady Hardcastle is very entertaining to read about. They made for a great sleuth duo the way their both have their own strengths and areas they excel in. They complement each other well and I like how they work together and how their relationship is not the typical lady and lady’s maid one, with Flo much more seen as an equal.
I enjoy the historical setting and the way this leads to a very different mystery and investigation than the contemporary cozy mysteries I usually read. It’s fun to see how life in that time period was like and how things that are so normal now were new then like telephones and cars.
I again listened to this book and the narrator for this series is great. I like the different voices she does for the characters and how her voice fits the setting and characters well. Although some of the men voices were kinda similar.
To summarize: I had fun listening to this second book in the Lady Hardcastle series. Flo and Lady Hardcastle are such a fun sleuth duo to read about and I liked reading about them as they get involved in another murder mystery and later in even more mysteries. I struggled a bit with the murder mystery not really progressing at first and getting confused at who was was who as most of the suspects are rugby players and farmers. Once I had some more time to listen and the other mysteries got added in the mix I started to enjoy the book even more and was excited to see how it all played out. I thought the conclusion to the mysteries was well done and satisfying in a way that made sense. Everything fell on it’s place and I liked how the last chapter wrapped it all up nicely explaining how they figured things out. The narrator for this series is great and I plan to continue listening to future books.