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Christmas at The Grange

A Lady Hardcastle Mystery
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
Length: 2 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (876 ratings)
Regular price: $10.49
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Publisher's Summary

It's Christmas 1909, and for once Lady Hardcastle - respectable gentlewoman, amateur spy - and her lady's maid, Florence Armstrong, are setting sleuthing aside. They are invited to the festivities up at The Grange, as guests of Sir Hector and Lady Farley-Stroud.

But barely have corks been popped and parlour games played when a mysterious crime comes to light. Someone has broken in while the revellers were distracted and made off with a priceless pearl necklace. Lady Hardcastle and Flo are determined to catch the thief - but with so many Christmas guests encamped at The Grange, is it possible that the felon is hiding in plain sight?

With the clues stacking up, Lady Hardcastle bears down on her culprit. But just as the pieces come together, it begins to look as if there is something more devious afoot at The Grange...

©2017 T. E. Kinsey (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Short Tale!

Thanks to T E Kinsey for the great story while we wait for the next book. For those unaware T E Kinsey had some health issues this fall and the release of the next book in the series has been delayed. So as a gift to readers was this christmas tale. Thanks TEK !

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun mystery, but less weird play

In T.E. Kinsey's short story, "Christmas at the Grange," Lady Hardcastle gets invited to the Grange, the local estate, by Sir Hector and Lady Farley-Stroud for Christmas 1909. But then, in a spark of mischief, they invite Florence Armstrong, Lady Hardcastle's ladies' maid and best friend, who helped her lady find a stolen emerald at the Grange in the past. The pair buys several cases of champagne for those at the Grange, but Flo arranges for some to be diverted to the shop owners and servants. Their gifts to each other uniquely contain original weapons that suit each one specially. As they are enjoying their Christmas at the Grange, the sleuths get called into service upon the disappearance of a valuable pearl pendant, purportedly pilfered in the middle of the night by someone breaking into the room of the sleeping owner. Though the evidence points to someone wearing male blue worsted trousers and dress shoes and dropping cigar ash, the dogs didn't bark. Do they perhaps have an inside job?

I really enjoyed seeing the Boxing Day traditions in which the upper class residents of the Grange served the people of the village with a feast and family presents. Then Sir Hector arrived as Saint Nicholas to give toys to each of the children of the village. That evening many of the people of the village, under the direction of the vicar, put on a revue to entertain everyone.

This short story was a fun visit with Lady Hardcastle and Flo once again. I have come to love this pair while listening to the three books that feature them. I would have loved to spend even more time with them than the two hours we were allotted, but I was happy for the time I got. The characters of both women did not distinguish themselves apart as much as they did in the novels, as the pair work in tandem instead of as lady and lady's maid, positions they clearly assume in the novels. I also was disappointed not to see the level of word play that made the novels particularly memorable. However, I found the conclusion of the story to make up for all this, being wholly satisfying.

Elizabeth Knowelden continues to do a terrific job in performing the series. She really embodies Florence as Flo narrates the book. The unique word play of this series requires a special quality narrator, and Knoweldon fulfills this position ably.

I found "Christmas at the Grange" to be a delightful, pleasurable story despite my disappointments voiced earlier. Those who have not read the previous novels will not suffer much in missing out, though they will miss some periodic banter about previous exploits. However, we as readers still have much to learn about the past exploits of the pair during their service to the King, so new readers will experience merely further gaps than the rest of us. I really enjoyed this story and give it four stars.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Characters; Narrator is EXCELLENT!

I adore this narrator. I have tried reading the books, and while they are quite entertaining, Ms. Elizabeth Knowelden adds an extra level of life to each character. I love her and will look for other books narrated by her. She is my gold standard for British/Welsh accents.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great short story!

one of my favorite series. the narration is so wonderful💕 and the characters are absolutely charming!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much fun

I think I must steal this idea and use it for a mystery party. I guessed the culprit, but had the motive very wrong. The narration was sooooo perfect. Waiting on another book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pleasant Story

I was super excited to see another Lady Hardcastle tale. I was disappointed when I saw how short it was however I thought it was sweet. A nice short story for the holidays.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent addition to the Lady Hardcastle books

This was a very well done and enjoyable holiday confection of a story. I hope T E Kinsey writes more and more. Elizabeth Knowelden’s performance of the work is beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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cute and light. Was surprised.

kept a good pace. As expected a good story with the audience given clues to solve.

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  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 01-07-19

Good read and great narration..

I decided to try one of these cozy mysteries with Lady Hardcastle and I found it kind of silly but still fun BUT it shouldn’t have been written in the first person. It was a whole lot of I, I, I’s for such a short story.

It was about a missing a pearl pendant on a gold chain and it was up to Lady Hardcastle and Flo to figure out what happened to it.

This was a good story for a kid but Lady Hardcastle is definitely not for me.

As to the narration: Elizabeth Knowelden did a terrific job on all the voices.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Cute and Christmasy mystery

This is a fun little story, but you have to be in the mood for frivolity and painless nostalgia. I wasn’t able to settle in and enjoy it until I found myself crocheting a late gift on what would be Boxing Day if we packed gifts after Christmas in the States. Four stars instead of five, even so, for the increasingly bothersome grammatical lapses of Kinsey’s English upper crust. I just can’t stop being thrown out of the story by Lady Hardcastle and her peers exclaiming such phrases, “Me, too!” instead of a more credible, “As did I!” along with the expected, “Old stick!” Perhaps not an annoyance for everyone, but I do wish I knew why the author makes these modernizing, anachronistic choices.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann Marie Shepherd
  • 01-25-18

Christmas at the Grange

This book was well read well written and totally enjoyable, looking forward to reading the next. A+++

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-17-18

brilliant

What a lovely story. you've done it again Mr Kinsey. can't wait for next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • dave
  • 12-30-18

Marvellous

Absolutely excellent, a nicely paced "feel- good" book. This is my second of these Lady Hardcastle's. Can't wait until I can afford the rest

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  • Googie64
  • 06-21-18

Great Fun!

Loved it, It was great to catch up with all the familiar characters in a seasonal setting. I can't wait for the next escapade!

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  • Jane
  • 04-17-18

Great Fun...Again

Would you consider the audio edition of Christmas at The Grange to be better than the print version?

I cannot comment as I do not have a printed version.

What does Elizabeth Knowelden bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Elizabeth Knowelden is an excellent narrator for Florence Armstrong.

Any additional comments?

Love this series of books. In this short story Lady Hardcastle (sleuth and one time secret agent), and her diminutive (but deadly), ladies maid and partner in crime, Flo, are sleuthing their way through the Christmas festivities at the Grange. Great fun.

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  • mrsvee
  • 01-18-18

A ‘You dunnit Who dunnit”.

Different, well written, well read story with the fun twist at the end to please and surprise.