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T.E. Kinsey Books In Order

Publication Order of Lady Hardcastle Mystery Books

A Quiet Life In The Country (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Market for Murder (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death around the Bend (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

T.E Kinsey is a British author from London best known for writing historical detective mystery series of novels set in the beginning of the twentieth century. Kinsey spent his childhood in London before proceeding to Bristol University, where he read history. After completing his University Education, he worked as a journalist writing features for several London-based magazines before moving to the Internet. He was the content editor for one of the most prominent entertainment websites for several years, before he quit for personal reasons. In the meantime, he got married and had three children. He was also doing some scuba diving and played the mandolin and drums, which he asserts that he was never very good at. Over time he got tired of such pursuits, and decided to go back to his passion – writing. Deciding that he was done with the corporate world, he took the plunge into a professional writing career, intending to make his name as a published author. His first foray into writing saw him suffer rejection after rejection, but his determination to make something of his writing would not allow him to quit. With no publisher willing to give him a try he went ahead to self-publish his works that soon became wildly successful. He self-published the first two novels of his Lady Hardcastle Mystery Series in Kindle on Amazon, before Thomas & Mercer offered to publish the third which was already in Kindle under Amazon Digital Services.

T.E. Kinsey’s career has a strong connection to his childhood memories that were heavily influenced by the choice of profession of his grandmother. Just like his lead character in his novels, his grandmother was originally from the Aberdares in Wales and worked domestic services as a cook during the 20s and 30s. She would later move to London where she met and married Kinsey’s grandfather. Even though she died when T.E.s mother was aged two, his mother was so interested in shows such as The Duchess of Duke Street and Upstairs Downstairs that aired in the 70s, that she watched them everyday. Even as he never understood why his mother was so interested in shows about domestic service in the 1920s until much later, the exposure to those programs influenced his later fiction. Most of his inspiration for his series of novels is drawn from series such as Downtown Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. The shows gave him an understanding of twentieth century domestic service that most people do not have. Throughout his childhood, he watched shows that depicted large families living in households with servants that operated on an “Us and them” paradigm. His novels tell the stories that pervade each group and their interactions with each other. In a recent interview the author has asserted that while the stories are not typical of the English society he writes about, some type of these households were common.

The Lady Hardcastle Mystery series by T.E. Kinsey are delightful books set in early twentieth century British countryside. They are cozy mysteries whose lead characters are aristocrat Lady Emily Hardcastle and her sidekick and companion, Florence her servant. In the typical cozy mystery fashion, the novels do not take themselves too seriously with the tropes addressed with a nudge and a wink. Nonetheless, even as the mysteries happen in an expected fashion with the kindly and eccentric Lady Hardcastle inevitably finding herself front and center in murder mysteries, the author introduces much welcome humor through her resourceful and witty maid. Red herrings and suspicious characters abound throughout the novels, which gives quite the thrill to the chase. The real charm of the novels is in the relationship, the give and take between the lead characters Lady Hardcastle and Flo. At a time when English society had strict societal norms of relationships between the classes, Flo and Hardcastle do not adhere to such rules as much as other people in their circles do. Even as Flo used to be a circus performer before going into domestic service while Lady Hardcaste is a graduate from Cambridge, Kinsey finds pleasure in upending the employer-servant relationship. Although Florence is an employee, her treatment by her aristocratic boss makes it more like a family relationship.

A Quiet Life in the Country is the first novel in the Lady Hardcastle Mystery series by T.E. Kinsey. Lady Emily Hardcastle is a widow with an unconventional and mysterious past. Emigrating from London to Gloucestershire in 1908, she believes that she can now live out the rest of her days in the tranquil countryside. But she soon finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery after stumbling on a dead body while walking the woods with her maid Florence Armstrong. They now find themselves amateur sleuths seeking to unravel four mysteries. The Body in the Woods which turns out not to be a suicide as first thought, sets them on the amateur sleuth path. In The Case of the Missing Case the heroines team up with the Bristol police to try to resolve the mysterious murder of a musician at a country house party before the killer disappears into thin air. In When the Circus Comes to Town, the heroines stumble on an old friend who drags them into an investigation into a vicious killer that has made the lives of the traveling entertainers hell. Emily finally discovers who was responsible for her husband’s murder and in doing so puts her life in danger ,as the assassin tracks her down with the intent to kill her too.

The Spirit Is Willing set in 1909 sees Florence Armstrong and her boss Lady Hardcastle come back to solve another barrage of mysteries. Even as it refers to the first novel in the series, it is not necessarily a sequel and can be read on its own. The heroines are the very same strong willed ladies that have a no nonsense and no give up attitude to everything thrown their way. With Flo and Hardcastle famous for solving crimes before, the local police turn to the two to assist in unraveling a murder mystery. The main mystery is that of an eccentric farmer hated by most of his neighbors who is found dead – presumably murdered. Other mysteries that may be related to the murder include the robbery at the local rugby club, which lost its trophies, and a strange spiritual medium that the sleuths believe may be a charlatan. It has some very interesting twists and turns and some hilarious banter between Lady Hardcastle and Florence her maid.

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