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A Quiet Life in the Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)
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Group reads > June 2018 - A Quiet Life in the Country - SPOILER Thread

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Susan | 10519 comments Mod
This is the general discussion thread for our discussion of A Quiet Life in the Country by T.E. Kinsey, published in 2014.

Please feel free to post spoilers here.

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 897 comments I got confused about which month this was assigned to, so I read it in May. I enjoyed the interaction of the two principals quite a bit, though sometimes it felt just too anachronistic (in the sense of too modern). It was fun getting carried along by the banter, but I tend to prefer mysteries that take murder seriously.

Goodreads lately has been making it hard for me to pull up my own reviews, but it’s more or less here:

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2179 comments For me this was a book of four overly-long cozy stories. The two main characters were entertaining at first but that was wearing a bit thin as the stories went on. The first story was quite well done, even if it contained a lot of guesswork. The fact the police took so kindly to these two ladies was rather unbelievable, but I suppose that is how cozy stories work. The second story was truly well over the top, the third not quite so fantastic, and the fourth did at least explain how these characters got to where they were, even if highly unbelievable at the end.
I would read another of this author's books if I just wanted some light , easy reading to fill a gap.

Susan | 10519 comments Mod
What did everyone think of the relationship between the two women? Did you find it realistic?

Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
This was a re-read for me. This time it really seemed more like a spoof.

I felt the relationship between the lead characters is one of the strengths as they are truly friends, perhaps brought together by past adventures. It would be odd to not eat together after sharing life threatening situations (whatever they might have been!). Their banter began to wear thin however.

p.s. I'm welcoming myself back after two weeks of limited internet access. Felt like exile but I did read more.

message 6: by Roman Clodia (last edited Jun 04, 2018 06:48AM) (new)

Roman Clodia | 903 comments I haven't finished this yet: it's crime at its frothiest for me. I agree that the banter doesn't always come off as funny as perhaps it thinks it is.

It seems to me that the author is embarrassed at the class-bound strictures of authentic GA novels and so self-consciously tries to write it out - which does make the relationship between the women hard to believe in. The whole thing feels almost deliberately anachronistic.

I also kept having jarring moments of modernity in language: phrases like 'right you are', 'well done, you', 'any juicy gossip?', 'everyone who's anyone will be there,' all felt far too modern (and a bit clichéd?)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 897 comments “Well done, you” was the one that really bugged me, too! I agree that the author tried to have his cake and eat it too by making the two ladies so very eccentric that they could engage in a lot of behaviors and attitudes never imagined in the era. I enjoyed it more at the beginning than at the end.

Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 847 comments One plus feature is that unlike so many false Golden Age mysteries, the use of titles seems to be correct - Lady Hardcastle is not regularly called Lady Emily (except in the Amazon precis).

Susan | 10519 comments Mod
This never felt as though it was written in the period, to me. I enjoyed it, for what it is, but I did not think the relationship realistic.

Lorraine Petkus | 43 comments I guess as a cozy the relationship between them was OK but I don't believe it was realistic. I'm a senior so I'm getting a lot pickier in what I read and this book and author are not for me especially after just finishing The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

message 11: by Susan (last edited Jun 04, 2018 10:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan | 10519 comments Mod
Well, The Word is Murder is like comparing Camembert to cheese strings.... That said, I did enjoy this - but I listened to it on audio, mostly in the car, where I didn't have to concentrate too hard. So, as a fun, easy listen, it was fine.

Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Well, The Word is Murder is like comparing Camembert to cheese strings.... That said, I did enjoy this - but I listened to it on audio, mostly in the car, where I didn't have to concentrate too har..."

I like that comparison ... The Word is Murder has just come out in the US and I'm on the waiting list.

Susan | 10519 comments Mod
Horowitz is a great author, as well as a popular one. Not many authors manage to combine the two :)

Lorraine Petkus | 43 comments Susan and Sandy, I agree with you both. I also listened to it and found the ins and outs in the library humorous. I think I expected to much. It did have 2 murders and a jewel thief.

message 15: by Judy (last edited Jun 09, 2018 12:18AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I will admit I thought this was pretty dreadful overall, and was torn between giving 1 and 2 stars! I didn't like the writing style at all, especially the dialogue, which just didn't sound convincing to me for any era. There is also such a lot of inane chit-chat, which really holds up the story.

I liked the idea of a lady and a ladies' maid working together and wondered if it could be like female counterparts to Wimsey and Bunter, but I quickly got bored of these characters and found them far too smug and pleased with themselves. I suppose part of the problem was that my sense of humour must be different from theirs, as I just didn't find any of their jokes funny!

I also thought the short stories had not been woven together very well into a novel. I probably wouldn't have finished this if it hadn't been a group read, and I will avoid anything else by this author.

Susan | 10519 comments Mod
Sometimes books just don't work for you, Judy. It happens. I quite liked it :)

message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I thought the cover was really attractive - must remember to follow that old saying about not judging a book by its cover, lol.

Pamela (bibliohound) | 395 comments I didn't enjoy this either Judy, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not really keen on modern GA recreations and will stick to genuine GA in future.

I couldn't decide whether this was a parody or a real attempt at a different kind of GA novel. The references to their adventures in India, and the use of 'The Green Eye of the Yellow Idol' as part of the story had me wondering. It was certainly very tongue-in-cheek, and it felt a bit false to me.

message 19: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I wasn’t sure about the parody aspect either, Pamela - all the silly jokes about drinking went down like a lead balloon with me!

I do like some modern GA recreations, such as Clara Benson, just not this writer.

message 20: by Trisha (last edited Jun 09, 2018 11:19PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Trisha | 79 comments I thought this was fun, though I agree with those who said it felt rather false. Perhaps I liked it more as my previous read had been long & boring, so this was some light relief. I enjoyed it because it was unusual, though by the end the novelty was wearing off & I’m not sure if I would read another in the series.

message 21: by Doris (last edited Jun 10, 2018 07:05AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Doris (webgeekstress) | 43 comments Maybe it's just me, but are there any other Whovians here who find Lady Hardcastle and Florence to be very reminiscent of Madame Vastra and Jenny? (But who would Strax be then, I wonder?)
Madame Vastra and Jenny

Carolien (carolien_s) | 552 comments I enjoyed it as a light read, but the dialogue was a bit forced.

message 23: by Sue (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sue (mrskipling) | 251 comments Doris wrote: "Maybe it's just me, but are there any other Whovians here who find Lady Hardcastle and Florence to be very reminiscent of Madame Vastra and Jenny? (But who would Strax be then, I wonder?)

That made me smile Doris!

I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator did the best with what she had. It's not great quality writing but it passed a few hours in a gently entertaining fashion. I wouldn't go out of my way to read any more by this author though.

Tara  | 831 comments I enjoyed the banter, but I agree its not particularly believable. She's a lady, but she throws all of the conventions of being a lady out the window. I thought of Flo more like a companion than a maid, but even then it was a bit of stretch. Still a fun, breezy read, if not particularly noteworthy.

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