Book Mini-Review: A Quiet Life in the Country by T.E. Kinsey
“Theft and murder notwithstanding, life in the country could sometimes be really rather splendid.”
I have heard great things about A Quiet Life in the Country by T E Kinsey. This is one of the books on my Fall TBR list, and I mentioned there that a lot of bookstagrammers I follow adore this series. The audiobook version is supposed to be fantastic; I don’t do well with fiction audiobooks, but I did listen to the sample, and I want the narrator to read all the things to me. A Quiet Life in the Country is the first book in the Lady Emily Hardcastle Mystery series. The year is 1908, and Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady’s maid Flo Armstrong have just relocated from London to Gloucestershire. Within their first few days in town, they stumble across one dead body. Then only a few days later, after attending an engagement party, another dead body turns up. Lady Emily and Flo then find themselves assisting the police with both murder investigations.
I’ve been looking for cozy mysteries for a few years now; I read Still Life by Louise Penny and really enjoyed it, but have not continued on in that series, though I know everyone raves about it. I plan to pick up the next book in the series, but there are so many books and so little time. I read Dorothy Sayers’ Whose Body? last year, the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, but could not get into it. I think A Quiet Life in the Country is similar in style to Whose Body?, but overall, it worked much better for me. I loved the relationship between Lady Emily and Flo; their banter and humor completely charmed me.
A Quiet Life in the Country was a charming British mystery with a delightful cast of supporting characters, especially Inspector Sunderland. At first, he seemed too serious, but quickly he embraces Lady Emily and Armstrong’s help, and a beautiful friendship blossoms among them. I hope he makes more appearances in the rest of the series. I also really enjoyed Hector and Gertie Farley-Stroud, the high family in the area. Their daughter Clarissa is engaged to Teddy Seddon, the son and heir to the Seddon family shipping business in Bristol. It is at Clarissa and Teddy’s engagement party where one of the musicians is found dead the next morning. While at first Hector and Gertie seemed kooky, I grew to appreciate them. Their backstory was intriguing because it set up a lot of Lady Emily’s backstory, which I hope we will get more information in the next books in the series.
I really enjoyed Kinsey’s A Quiet Life in the Country. It took me a couple of pages to get into the structure. It is mostly dialogue, with a handful of descriptions peppered in every so often. Once I got used to that though, I inhaled the book. If you are looking for a good book to cozy up with this fall, I cannot recommend this enough. And if you’re an audiobook fan, definitely give that a try. I give it 4 stars.
What other cozy mysteries should I try?