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A Quiet Life In The Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)
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A Quiet Life In The Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  13,116 Ratings  ·  1,095 Reviews

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
...more
Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Thomas & Mercer (first published October 4th 2014)
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Popular Answered Questions
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) If there was a bathtub or geyser (shower) in it, then yes. That's what a bathroom was for, to take a bath in.

The toilet was called that, or the…more
If there was a bathtub or geyser (shower) in it, then yes. That's what a bathroom was for, to take a bath in.

The toilet was called that, or the "cloakroom", because often in large houses there was a room where people hung their coats, left their boots, etc and there would be a small room at the back of that with a toilet in it. In the 19th and early 20th century a "lavatory" was not a toilet, but a room with washstands in it, most often found at boarding schools with a paucity of plumbing. Often "lavatories" had one tap where people filled their water jugs for use at the washstand.(less)

Community Reviews

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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
...more
❀⊱Rory⊰❀
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
...more
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
...more
Ingela
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
...more
Jenny
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, historical, mystery
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
...more
Susan
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
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 ...more
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
...more
HBalikov
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sarah
Feb 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Ivonne Rovira
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Phryne Fisher
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
...more
Terry Parrish
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Diana
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
...more
Alexis
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
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
...more
Leslie
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historic, fun, mystery, ku, vocab
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
...more
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
...more
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!
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 ...more
Susan
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mary
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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.
Thomas Ray
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Carol
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Abigail Bok
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
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
...more
Lynn
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jeanette
Easy read 1908 era English countryside manor placement for a who-dun-it.

It's a feminine duo of mistress and maid but they have flip and witty language between them which doesn't sit absolutely in the period or type of relationship. IMHO, sometimes it works and at other times the dialect of "answer-back" with an edge of snark? For me that didn't jive with the rest of the times and country folks' sensibilities around them.

Its super cozy fare and at times rather charming. But also slow moving and
...more
Cathy Cole
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lorraine
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy British mysteries circa 1908 with two female protagonists.
Shelves: fiction, mystery, own, series
A thoroughly enjoyable British mystery in the year 1908 with Lady Hardcastle and her personally very close lady's maid, Flo Armstrong who have been together for 14 years. As for 'The Quiet Life in the Country' this book #1 in a new series by T. E. Kinsey, life for these two women in the country is anything but quiet! Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong have moved to a house in the West Country from a flat in London. Upon arriving in Gloucestershire and their new home, Lady Hardcastle comments,
"This is
...more
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In 1908 Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong, move to the country from London for a quieter life. On a break from settling in they go for a walk and find a man hanging from a tree. The police make a quick arrest but dissatisfied with this Lady Hardcastle decides to mount her own investigation.

A Quiet Life in the Country is an excellent read which I thoroughly enjoyed. The plot is fairly straightforward as it's a whodunnit but it's not the main thrust of the novel, more a hook to hang
...more
Deborah Crain
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a hoot!. It has been a long time since I read a historic mystery with a smile on my face. The witty repartee between Lady Hardcastle, and her trusty sidekick, Flo, takes a county house jewel heist and makes it a humorous essay on the classes and etiquette of Victorian England. These two spunky women, who have ""retired" to the county find a murder in their back yard simply irresistible. They join forces with the local DI and a colorful cast of characters to solve the crime. The paci ...more
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“It’s abductive reasoning, not deductive. Working from observation to theory is abduction, not deduction.’ ‘But” 3 likes
“Opulence without elegance seems to be her motto.” 3 likes
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