Barbara’s rating: 4 of 4 Stars
Series: Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #2
Publication Date: 12/20/2016
Period: Edwardian – 1909 – Littleton Cotterell, Gloucestershire
Number of Pages: 270
In this delightfully delivered mystery, we find Lady Emily Hardcastle almost recovered from the bullet wound she received at the end of the first book. She’s getting up and about and is itching for something interesting to do when, lo and behold, Inspector Sunderland presents Lady Hardcastle and Florence with a murder investigation. Not only is it a murder, but they met the victim only a week before his death. Goodness, there is a lot of nefarious goings-on in rural England because they also end up investigating a theft and a fraud at the same time.
The murder victim, Spencer Caradine, is spiteful, hateful, vengeful, and just downright mean, so there is definitely no shortage of suspects. But was he really murdered? The police coroner is sure he has been poisoned, but he has no idea what the poison would be. Did a neighbor do it? Did the wife, who is in love with another man, do it? Did the other man do it? Was it his maltreated son who did it? With so many suspects and no motives, Emily and Florence have their work cut out for them.
With the murder investigation stalled, Lady Emily and Florence work on their other cases. Who could have broken into the rugby club to ONLY steal a trophy and some worthless memorabilia? Leave it to Lady Emily to figure it all out. Then, when an apparition at a séance accuses one of the attendees of murder, Florence is on the case. With a childhood spent among circus performers and showmen, Florence is uniquely qualified to ferret out the tricks used by the medium. Or, are they really tricks? Maybe this medium is truly gifted and the spirit was actually murdered by the accused.
I ‘read’ the Whispersync version of the book, and thoroughly enjoyed the narration. The narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden, did an excellent job with all of the characters, but I particularly liked her interpretation of Lady Emily and Florence.
This is a highly entertaining addition to the series and I can definitely recommend it. The characters are intelligent, likable, and very witty and you will absolutely love spending time with them.