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A Picture of Murder

A Lady Hardcastle Mystery, Book 4
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (894 ratings)
Regular price: $14.99
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Publisher's Summary

Late October 1909, and the season of ghouls and things that go bump in the night has descended on the village of Littleton Cotterell.

Lady Hardcastle and her trusted lady’s maid, Florence, find themselves hosting a colorful cast of actors whose spooky moving picture, The Witch’s Downfall, is being shown to mark Halloween. But things take a macabre turn when the first night’s screening ends with a mysterious murder, and the second night with another.... One by one the actors turn up dead in ways that eerily echo their film.

With the police left scratching their heads, Lady Hardcastle calls upon her amateur sleuthing skills to launch an investigation, with Flo’s able assistance. Surrounded by suspects both human and supernatural, Lady Hardcastle must use a little trickery of her own to unmask the murderer.

©2018 T E Kinsey (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Incredible Historical Mystery

It is fall 1909, and in <strong>A Picture of Murder</strong> by T.E. Kinsey, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady's maid/ partner in investigation, Florence Armstrong, have been having fun since their last adventure. They have spent their time practicing making moving pictures, which they call kinematographs. So when their neighbor has a fire in her kitchen, Lady Hardcastle is thrilled to get to host a quartet of "film folk" at her home since the Grange is out of commission. The team of three actors and their producer/ director is in the small town of Littleton Cotterell in Gloucestershire to show their films, in particular their crowning film, <em>The Witch's Downfall</em>. But this film has developed opposition. Aaron Orem, once a close friend and colleague of producer Nolan Cheatham and now personal enemy, has been following Nolan to let the world know his opinion that Nolan stole his idea for a script in <em>The Witch's Downfall</em>. Then there are the Hugheses, who have also been following the film folk to protest the evil of witchcraft that they think is in the film, despite never having seen it.

Then, early the morning after the showing of <em>The Witch's Downfall</em>, Flo opens the door to Sergeant Dobson, who informs her that Basil Newhouse, the male star of the film, has been found murdered in the churchyard. And his death mimics his character's death in the film. Because Inspector Suderland has multiple cases to investigate, he leaves things nominally in the charge of Sergeant Dobson, but he privately lets Lady Hardcastle know that he trusts her to oversee the investigation discreetly. But before they can solve the mystery, more deaths take place in imitation of the controversial film. Now Lady Hardcastle and Florence must really step up to solve the case before even more deaths can occur.

I have loved all the books by T.E. Kinsey, always eagerly awaiting the new release of the next book in the series, which consists of four full- length books and one novella. This latest, <strong>A Picture of Murder</strong>, did not disappoint. It did not seem to have quite as much banter and word play as the previous books, but the quality was just as enjoyable. The relationship between the two main characters gives pleasure as we have fun with the pair's clever interactions. The other characters are not as vividly clever, but I appreciated them too.

The mystery plot has a lot of creativity to it as well as giving us more fun with the characters. The murders that emulate the actions of the witch film provide plenty of room for creative details. The historical settings, such as the rarity of automobiles and the earliest days of moving pictures add strong flavor to the book as well. It started out a little slow for me, but it didn't take long for me to get absorbed by the audiobook and not want to turn it off.

One other element of <strong>A Picture of Murder</strong> that I really liked was the way that the two heroines recount their history together in how they met and got involved as spies for the British empire. In telling the story by taking turns doing so, the women create a narrative that becomes even more fun than just the plot would already have done.

Elizabeth Knoweldon performs the audio edition of this book and does a lot to make the book seem all the more delightful. She handles the word play and banter between Lady Hardcastle and Florence with deftness. Further, she uses clever accents and convincing voices for the many characters from different locations.

<strong>A Picture of Murder</strong> was an exciting and delightful book that kept me absorbed and deeply hooked on this fun story and characters. I loved it as much as the previous books, especially getting to learn the back story of Lady Hardcastle's and Florence's espionage days. I give this book five stars!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I love this whole series!

These books are just so much fun. Light & intelligent banter and fun, winding plots. I hope there are many more to come of Lady Hardcastle and her “tiny servant.”

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great addition

This is a great addition to a wonderful series. I love how Lady Hardcastle and her tiny but powerful maid talk to each other. This is a compelling mystery. Good plot. Wonderful humor. The narration is marvelous.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I absolutely adore this series.

From the writing to the narration, everything about these stories is marvelous. Clever, witty, sometimes downright laugh-out-loud funny. The narrator does a great job of distinguishing voices without going into caricature.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining

I only dabble in mystery but these are really enjoyable. I hardly ever figure out who the bad guy is, maybe because I am too busy listening. Elizabeth does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life. The whole family could listen to these, no bad words or anything .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Frightfully Fun!

Lady Hardcastle never lets me down. This well-timed Halloween mystery is spooky but still brings a tongue-in-cheek levity I’ve come to enjoy with the Lady Hardcastle series. I love the banter between Flo and Emily, as well as the lovable side characters (Daisy is my favorite). Elizabeth Knowelden does a great job narrating and never feels dull or stifled. She brings the characters to life in such a genuine way, I feel as each one is an actual person sharing their experiences. The vibrant characters and exciting stories T.E. Kinsey creates have become some of my favorites, and I’m already looking forward to the next adventure!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Backstory finally!

YEY! Finally we learn how Flo and Emily came together (no spoilers in this review) but it was nice to get the backstory. A typical cozy with the trademarked british snark is my cup of tea. We got to hear from the ladies that work in Lady Hardcastle's house and really get a sense of who they are.

Elizabeth Knowelden is, by far, one of the best narrators I've come across. This is a perfect marriage of story and narrator and I can't imagine anyone else speaking for these characters. (Sort of how I feel for Sister and Mouse in the Southern Sisters mysteries.)

If you like the series, this is a great addition. Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AR
  • 01-23-19

Best Series of them All

I have read these books more than once and listen to them over and over. Can't wait for book 5!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another delightful story

I particularly love the dialogue between Armstrong and Lady Hardcadtle. this story filled in more of their backstory, I was sorry when it ended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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love this series

The story was pleasent. I actually had some of the mystery solved but not quite.
And again I love these characters. After a hard day at work listening to these books put a smile in my heart.
I hope there will be more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • HH Galaxy
  • 03-13-19

Enchanting as always

Hearing from the 2 ladies again and entering into their world has been a wonderful antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Brilliant!

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  • Miren E. V.
  • 03-10-19

My favourite sluths, lovely witti and fun as alway

I love the intelligent Mrs Hardcastle and her very clever Handmaid, I enjoy their funny adventures and sarcastic funny comments.
The reader Elizabeth Knoden is amazing, The work of making different voices is perfect, the books wouldn't be the same should the reader have been someone else. Great Job!!

Refreshing lecture, happy and fun I recommend these books to anyone that wants to have a good relaxing and happy time.

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  • Jane
  • 02-28-19

Excellent!

‘A Picture of Murder’. Book four in the series. Emily Hardcastle and her maid/companion, the redoubtable, Florence Armstrong, allegedly live in quiet retirement, in the Gloucestershire village of Littleton Cotterell. However, the duo, who had a previous existence working for the British Secret Service, often find themselves sleuthing. Halloween, and a travelling cinematograph show arrives, complete with a quartet of actors, to show a film called, “The Witches Downfall”. A series of murders occur, mimicking the deaths in the terrifying script. Adeptly written characters, great dialogue, that often had me laughing out loud, the plot’s twists and turns, reminiscent of Lady Hardcastle’s driving, all make this a hugely enjoyable read. It was also a nice touch to have longer snippets of Lady Hardcastle and Flo’s history together. Looking forward to the next book.

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  • spider
  • 02-09-19

fantastic

Superb story, loved listening. beautifully performed. please write more Lady Hardcastle books asap! I can't wait!

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  • FJ
  • 01-08-19

They just keep getting better

I have enjoyed all the series and they just keep getting better with each book. Of course the narrator is as brilliant as in all the other stories and really brings Lady Hardcastle, Flo and the whole of Littleton Cottrell to life. Can't wait for the next instalment.

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  • m
  • 12-28-18

Picture of murder

A fun comfortable story of adventure in the past. It is set in a fictional country side setting using characters from previous books

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  • A.E.R.
  • 12-05-18

wonderful

Really enjoyed this book , love the story and how it's performed, well done both.

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  • Elaine
  • 11-25-18

Enjoyable!!

I loved every minute of this book. I hope the Next one will be please soon?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-18-18

Another triumph

I love the atmosphere created in these books and the narration is excellent. A combination of murder/mystery, humour and history. Please keep them coming.

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  • Amy
  • 12-05-18

My least favourite Lady H book

I've enjoyed the previous books but the plot for this one really just didn't work. The ending really was very anticlimactic