A Quiet Life in the Country by TE Kinsey
Welcome to Littleton Cotterell,a small village in Glouchestershire. The year is 1908, and Lady Emily Hardcastle and her intrepid maid, Florence Armstrong, are looking to settle in to the nice, quiet, retired life after several years spent adventuring around the world.
Naturally, such plans are always disrupted. In this case, the two women discover a dead body hanging from a tree while out on a morning walk. The death is meant to appear as a suicide, but certain inconsistencies seen to point more towards murder. With the local constabulary over their heads, Lady Hardcastle and Flo must draw on their previous experiences to solve the murder before anyone else gets hurt.
The mystery goes off in fairly expected fashion, with the eccentric and kindly Lady Hardcastle relying on her witty and resourceful maid. There are suspicious characters and red herrings aplenty. And, naturally, the initial mystery gets wrapped up in several others in the course of the book.
I will say this for A Quiet Life in the Country: it does not take itself too seriously. The usual tropes of the cozy mystery are addressed with a wink and a nudge (such as one character explaining to Lady Hardcastle that the tiny, 30 person village she just moved to is actually the murder capital of the country). I appreciate the effort made to acknowledge all the commonly used bits that go into a cozy murder mystery, and it certainly helped to dispel a feeling of deja vu.
In all, if you’re looking for a nice, quick mystery with not one but two strong female leads, you could do far worse than to join Flo and Lady Hardcastle on their adventures.
A free copy of this book was provided via Goodreads Givaways in exchange for an honest review. A Quiet Life in the Country is currently available for purchase (and, at the time of this writing, free via Kindle Unlimited).