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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.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    2,380
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    1,769
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    825
  • 2 Stars
    188
  • 1 Stars
    93

Performance

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    390
  • 2 Stars
    86
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    39

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    204
  • 1 Stars
    94
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • BikeVON
  • Southfield, Mi, United States
  • 11-30-16

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.

81 of 85 people found this review helpful

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

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.

77 of 82 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

58 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J.L.
  • Gettysburg, PA USA
  • 02-27-17

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.

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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!

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

34 of 37 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

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.

50 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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
    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
  • Long Beach, CA United States
  • 02-16-17

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty
  • 02-23-17

Amusing

Where does A Quiet Life in the Country rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Nice easy listening

What did you like best about this story?

Characters were amusing, not exactly high brow literature but that wasn't what I was expecting.

What about Elizabeth Knowelden’s performance did you like?

Her accents were pretty good, easy to distinguish between different characters. I enjoyed her narration and would happily listen to her read more books.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?





Any additional comments?

Some of the previous reviews were unfair, if you want literature listen to something by the wonderful Jane Austen. This story doesn't pretend to be serious, it is a light hearted listen when walking the dog!

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sheryl Mason
  • 02-13-17

Enjoyable Cozy Romp

What did you like most about A Quiet Life in the Country?

Mostly I liked the way the characters interacted, especially Lady Hardcastle and Flo. The book is not up to the standard of Christie or Sayers but then it's not meant to be. It's a cozy mystery romp with humour included.

What other book might you compare A Quiet Life in the Country to, and why?

I can't think of another book I've read or listened to that compares exactly to this.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Probably the opening scene, where our intrepid heroines discover and explore their new rented home in the country.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No. There were, however, a lot of places where I laughed out loud. Some of the humour in this book is superbly done and very well written.

Any additional comments?

An adorable book, filled with mystery, humour and a leading lady who flouts the rules of convention between mistress and servant. It's set in 1908 and probably the class system was coming to an end anyway. This book just gets to it faster than it probably happened.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Charlotte Brown
  • 05-03-17

Not for me

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Cozy Mysteries are my go to but this one was not for me. I know suspension of disbelief is sometimes required in this genre, but this one was just too ridiculous and I found my mind wandering whilst listening. The eccentric Lady Hardcastle and her maid Flo move to a rural country house and irritatingly take over the case of two murders in the most tedious manner. The Inspector in charge of the murders (Inspector Sunderland - actually my favorite character) is constantly forever grateful for their help and always thanking M'lady and Flo for noticing obvious clues any plod would get straight away. A bit more backbone for this character would have been a better read. He also allows them to sit in on all the interviews with suspects when a bit more sleuthing to get clues maybe would have held my interest. There are so many excellent ones out there this one didn't make the grade for me.

16 of 16 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
  • Trudy
  • 02-06-17

Good read laugh out loud

Good read loved it enjoyable light hearted feel good story interesting characters we source more

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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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elmo66
  • 04-15-17

Marvellous

Loved every minute of this book. A good story, read well. Kept me entertained throughout. looking forward to the next book

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teddy
  • 02-16-17

Exceedingly Amusing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd absolutely reccommend this to af riend - it's a wonderfully amusing and very engaging mystery.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Quiet Life in the Country?

Teaching Mr Haddock to keep his hands to himself.

What about Elizabeth Knowelden’s performance did you like?

Each charcater is clear and distinct and she doesn't attempt any accents she can't manage.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It amused me greatly

Any additional comments?

I hope it's the start of a long series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 11-06-17

Such a good story and so much laughter!

I think the narrator does an excellent job! Also, each character is portrayed in a nice way, I love the author's humour and how he uses it throughout the story. Loved every minute of this book. Kept me entertained throughout. Looking forward to the next book in this series!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel Downton
  • 11-06-17

Fab

The characters are really well thought out. Very funny dialogue between the two main characters and the "murder bit" wasn't bad either. I've bought all the books in the series so far and they just get better. Definitely recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jaye what if
  • 03-13-17

A QUITE LIFE IN THE COUNTRY

A good stab in the dark. Easy to listen too. Excellent storyline just downloaded the 2nd audiobook in the serries.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • claire norton
  • 10-25-17

fantastic!

Really enjoyed this book. Would definitely recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good mystery

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JB Rowley
  • 07-06-17

Light Hearted Fun

I found it difficult to settle into the story initially but as the narrator was excellent I stayed with it and ended up enjoying the tale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lesley, Vic
  • 06-25-18

Absolutely Brilliant

I loved, loved, loved this story and performance. T E Kinsey is without doubt a very talented author, writing about events from a time long past with not only knowledge of the period, but with a great dollop of humour and a charming dose of affectionate interaction between the two heroines. Lady Hardcastle and Florence Armstrong are a force to be reckoned with and I will be listening to the next book in the series with all due haste.
What makes it even more astonishing is that Kinsey is a male and his two protagonists are female; he brings these two amazing women to glorious life as if he were one of the fairer sex himself.
These two characters, along with a whole menagerie of secondary players were bought to all to believable life by the brilliant narration of Elizabeth Knowelden. This is definitely one of the most entertains audiobooks I have listened to for a long time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Denys
  • 06-01-18

Delightful plot and beautifully read<br />

Old style detection story. The book was well paced and a narrator perfectly attuned to the plot.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • 05-21-18

An ok listen

Felt the plot was slow and lost interest as the storyline went on. Listened to the end but overall not riveting enough to keep my interest.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • sarah
  • 07-14-17

fantastic narrator

not a fast paced story but enjoyable to listen to and fun characterisation and good leads