Barbara’s rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Series: Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #8
Publication Date: 6/7/22
Period: 1911 – Littleton Cotterell, UK
Number of Pages: 333
This delightfully entertaining, witty, and well-written series just keeps getting better and better! This latest installment brings us a mysterious ‘secret’ society that does good works (or do they?); victims who are likable, but certainly have secrets; past murders to solve; and some pretty nasty villains, Our usual cast of funny and entertaining characters are out in full force as is our intrepid former spies turned investigators – Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Flo. If you are looking for a refreshingly entertaining read, this is the one for you!
With the unseasonably hot weather bringing on an early apple harvest, the villagers are tickled to have an early cider festival. Everyone is busily planning events and all of them are centered around apples and cider – from food on the square to the secretive rituals of the Weryers. Those Weryers are an ancient group with darker roots than the current participants utilize. They do good works, support charities, and generally help the areas. But, maybe those dark roots haven’t completely disappeared – because one of them is found murdered in his apple orchard. Then in a matter of days, two more Weryers are also found murdered.
Who in the world could have it in for the Weryers who do nothing except help residents of the area? Could it be another Weryer who wants to move up within the organization? Could it be the stranger who is visiting the village? Does it have anything at all to do with a murder that happened twenty years ago?
As always, the constabulary turns to Lady Hardcastle and Flo to help solve the case. Will they solve the case or become victims themselves? This villain doesn’t care how many bodies there are as long as he doesn’t get caught, so a couple of amateur sleuths wouldn’t bother him in the least.
I can highly recommend this book and this series. I love the lively banter between Lady Hardcastle and Flo as well as all of the antics they get up to. When you add the locals into the mix, you have a wonderfully entertaining read. I’m already counting the days until the next release!