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A Quiet Life in the Country

A Lady Hardcastle Mystery, Book 1
Written by: T E Kinsey
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Revised edition: This edition of A Quiet Life In The Country includes editorial revisions.

©2016 T E Kinsey. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Charming murder mystery

I wanted to listen to a simple murder mystery in a picturesque setting and I got it in this story. Life gets hectic and sometimes you just want to listen to a good story but still have a plot that keeps you guessing. The characters were charming and the mystery was great!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A lovely listen.

The narrator was amazing! This is a cosy mystery made more wonderful by the performance.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very Enjoyable

Delightful. Loved the story and characters.
Well written and looking forward to the rest of the series, just to see what these two get up to.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun Little Mystery, Complete with Accents!

A fantastic little cozy mystery which takes place in the English countryside. Well rounded characters, fantastic storyline and on point accents make this a wonderful little fluff ride through mystery-town.
I look forward to reading more of these, sort of a Miss Marple mystery.. or think Angela Landsbury.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing and wonderful murder mystery

This book is just like being put in jolly old England in an idyllic countryside. I love Midsomer Murders and this feels just like it.
voice acting is amazing!! perfectly portrays the various voices of the village.
Definitely listening to the sequels and hope for many more!!!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • BikeVON
  • 2016-11-30

A nice cozy read!

A wonderful cozy mystery. It has the feel of the TV British show Midsummer Murders. An idyllic town in 1900s where everyone knows each other and their business. I find that many of the small-town stories are as much about the daily life with the gossip, relationships, and annual celebrations as with the mystery.

Two progressive single women, have moved into the small town. One a widow, who received her status from her marriage and her champion of 14 years. A mist hiring staff and becoming familiar with the town the ladies stumble upon a dead man and become involved with a murder.

This is not a fast pace cozy story. I had to sit with a cup of tea and relax with my knitting to really get into the story. I will get the next book, just because, it was really nice to get cozy with a nice period mystery.

88 of 92 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eddie Lynn
  • 2016-11-20

A fun cozy mystery!

In my recent cozy mystery marathon, I came upon this Lady Hardcastle jewel. Written with a great sense of humor, the main characters, Emily and Flo, break all the rules of propriety to settle in to their "Quiet Life in the Country". Since it is a mystery, a murder ensues, leading the ladies to "assist" the local constabulary. Written with funny dialog, it is read impeccably.
I'm ready for Book 2.

68 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J.L.
  • 2017-02-27

excellent!

There is no sex or swearing in this book. How refreshing! I enjoyed listening right from the beginning to the end. The main characters are delightful.

58 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-10-14

Never Wanted It to End!

I found myself laughing out loud during parts of this book even as I tried to guess who the murderer was. The writing is so active, I was brought into the story and hated when my commute was over. It's not often that you find this perfect blend of good writing and narration. The author does explain the character's relationship built over previous books in the series, but you needn't have read them to enjoy this one.

The narration brought to life the characters dress, their movements, their faces, their lives. Without going too much into the plot, our heroines go through the countryside solving not one, but two murders! Definitely worth the credit and will look for more from these two.

81 of 87 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Christina
  • 2017-01-25

A great first book!

The narration in this book is simply perfect, and I really believe that is what makes this series come To life. The friendship/relationship between Flo & Lady Hardcastle make them such a perfect detective duo. It's not your typical boss/employee situation & I found myself laughing a lot.
There are a lot of characters which made it a little difficult at times to keep up, but the ending wrapped everything up nicely. I look forward to the next book!

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A READER
  • 2016-10-29

The way things ought to have been.....

Suspend your historical knowledge and have a lovely romp with Flo and Emily! A very nice CID man who joyfully works with these amateur sleuths adds more fun to the mix. Very well written and I am slathering for more, dear ones. Bless you and remember you are star dust.

36 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy N
  • 2017-02-16

Great Fun

Shades of Campion and Lugg, Miss Marple, and Amanda Peabody are all present in the pair of Lady Emily Hardcastle and her faithful lady's maid cum bodyguard, Flo Armstrong. The class-breachimg verbal exchanges between the two are delightfully humorous, and it's nice to have a police detective who doesn't fit the usual cozy mystery cliche of bumbling incompetence.

This is lightly written but fun, and I look forward to reading more in the series.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • AnnaMae Tollefson
  • 2017-04-05

What I'd call a cozy mystery

After binge listening to Agatha Christie mysteries, this felt like a light hearted romp through the countryside. I'll definitely be buying the next book in the series despite my comments below.

The story was... a little difficult to follow, seeming to turn at right angles right when you expected the next revelation. I'll definitely be listening again to see if I can pick out the clues better. Needless to say, I didn't guess whodunnit. It also feels as if you've been dropped in someone's life at random and no one takes the time to tell you where you are. There are hints of a very vibrant life in the character's past spread throughout the book, and I thought I might have grabbed the second, or eighteenth, book in the series instead of the first. I was also surprised to find the author was a man. He wrote the main two women characters well, if a little unbelievable at times.

I always enjoy a story that, like this one, doesn't lean heavily on swearing in the dialog or obscene scenes. And, lastly, the reader was very pleasant to listen to, giving each character their own voice convincingly.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Wild Horses Flying
  • 2017-04-06

A Quiet Life in the Country

Any additional comments?

The narrator and the author's dialogue rendered that nice, perky, bon-vivant English accent and voice well. Trouble is -- there were no more layers to the characters or the dialogue -- just feisty bon-vivant over and over. And there wasn't much in the way of plot. There were some good plot ideas that made me think, "This is going to be fun," but they went flat. To me, Kinsey puts words together very well and needs to work on plot. I know we're not looking for Dostoevsky or Thomas Mann here but more character depth would be good too.

52 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gina
  • 2016-11-05

A lovely cozy mystery

Wonderful characters and a great performance await when you begin this story. Set in the English countryside before the Great War, this story and its characters, who are somewhat irreverent of social distinctions and have very interesting backstories, will make you smile and eagerly anticipate more Lady Hardcastle (and Flo) stories.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful