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Death Beside the Seaside

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July 1910. Lady Hardcastle and her tireless sidekick Flo have finally embarked on a long-overdue seaside break. But just as they’re wavering between ice creams and donkey rides, their fellow guests start to go missing—and the duo find themselves with a hysterical hotel manager and a case to solve.The first to disappear is Dr Goddard, a scientist doing something terribly to July 1910. Lady Hardcastle and her tireless sidekick Flo have finally embarked on a long-overdue seaside break. But just as they’re wavering between ice creams and donkey rides, their fellow guests start to go missing—and the duo find themselves with a hysterical hotel manager and a case to solve.The first to disappear is Dr Goddard, a scientist doing something terribly top-secret for the government. Gone too are his strongbox and its mysterious contents. By the time Lady Hardcastle has questioned the horde of international guests, her number-one suspect has been dispatched in grisly circumstances—and then the others start vanishing too.As the case begins to look like a matter of national security, Lady Hardcastle takes advice from her brother in the secret service. But could there be an even more personal connection at play? To solve the case, Lady Hardcastle may face a shocking discovery of her own.


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July 1910. Lady Hardcastle and her tireless sidekick Flo have finally embarked on a long-overdue seaside break. But just as they’re wavering between ice creams and donkey rides, their fellow guests start to go missing—and the duo find themselves with a hysterical hotel manager and a case to solve.The first to disappear is Dr Goddard, a scientist doing something terribly to July 1910. Lady Hardcastle and her tireless sidekick Flo have finally embarked on a long-overdue seaside break. But just as they’re wavering between ice creams and donkey rides, their fellow guests start to go missing—and the duo find themselves with a hysterical hotel manager and a case to solve.The first to disappear is Dr Goddard, a scientist doing something terribly top-secret for the government. Gone too are his strongbox and its mysterious contents. By the time Lady Hardcastle has questioned the horde of international guests, her number-one suspect has been dispatched in grisly circumstances—and then the others start vanishing too.As the case begins to look like a matter of national security, Lady Hardcastle takes advice from her brother in the secret service. But could there be an even more personal connection at play? To solve the case, Lady Hardcastle may face a shocking discovery of her own.

30 review for Death Beside the Seaside

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Like all the books in this series this one was just so readable. It was funny with really entertaining dialogue, there was a good story and the author writes so well. As I started Death Beside the Seaside I felt I could relax and just enjoy myself for a few peaceful hours. Starting with the beautiful cover we can see the amazing Lady Hardcastle and Florence her "tiny servant" on holiday in Weston-Super-Mare, England. Florence would take issue with the depiction of the blue sea since she firmly be Like all the books in this series this one was just so readable. It was funny with really entertaining dialogue, there was a good story and the author writes so well. As I started Death Beside the Seaside I felt I could relax and just enjoy myself for a few peaceful hours. Starting with the beautiful cover we can see the amazing Lady Hardcastle and Florence her "tiny servant" on holiday in Weston-Super-Mare, England. Florence would take issue with the depiction of the blue sea since she firmly believed there was none. Apparently Weston has very extreme tides which means that for most of the day there is just a large expanse of mud flats. She does however manage to fulfil her wish to see Punch and Judy and to take a ride on a donkey. Trouble follows our intrepid pair wherever they go but I think this book exceeds the usual body count even for them. In between kidnappings, murders and other mayhem they enjoy cocktails and high teas and generally have a very English good time. I had a very good time too just reading about it all. I will definitely be keeping a look out for the next book. My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Natalia R

    Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid/sidekick Flo are taking a long overdue vacation at a luxurious seaside hotel in a small English village called Weston-Super-Mare. Unfortunately, their relaxing holiday turns into a nightmare when four hotel guests are murdered, two are kidnapped, and a mysterious strongbox goes missing. Something sinister is going on at the hotel and Lady Hardcastle and Flo are determined to get to the bottom of it. Death Besides the Seaside is a fantastic addition to the Lady Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid/sidekick Flo are taking a long overdue vacation at a luxurious seaside hotel in a small English village called Weston-Super-Mare. Unfortunately, their relaxing holiday turns into a nightmare when four hotel guests are murdered, two are kidnapped, and a mysterious strongbox goes missing. Something sinister is going on at the hotel and Lady Hardcastle and Flo are determined to get to the bottom of it. Death Besides the Seaside is a fantastic addition to the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries. It is a humorous, entertaining historical cozy mystery, with great characters, excellent writing, and a complex mystery. Lady Hardcastle and Flo had me laughing out loud several times throughout the book, and I look forward to solving more mysteries with them. If you're looking for a lighthearted, historical cozy, then I highly recommend this series. Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Once again author TE Kinsey has held me enthralled from beginning to end in Death Beside the Seaside; 6th in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries. Lady Emily Hardcastle and her “tiny servant” Flo embarked on a week’s holiday at a seaside hotel in a small village called Weston-Super-Mare in England. It wasn’t long before Lady Hardcastle and Flo were in the thick of things once again with missing people, murdered others and few clues. As their investigation continued, against the express wishes of Lady H Once again author TE Kinsey has held me enthralled from beginning to end in Death Beside the Seaside; 6th in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries. Lady Emily Hardcastle and her “tiny servant” Flo embarked on a week’s holiday at a seaside hotel in a small village called Weston-Super-Mare in England. It wasn’t long before Lady Hardcastle and Flo were in the thick of things once again with missing people, murdered others and few clues. As their investigation continued, against the express wishes of Lady Hardcastle’s Secret Service brother, a sudden blast from the past shocked the two sleuths who were determined to solve the case. I loved this one – though I’ve loved them all – but the humour and dry wit from both Lady Hardcastle and Flo had me laughing out loud on occasion. A fabulous read, this is historical mystery; cosy style; at its best. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    This is the sixth book in the Lady Hardcastle series featuring Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid/associate, Flo. The book is a lighthearted look at the world of spycraft and adventure with two unlikely heroines; Lady Hardcastle who is a 40 something year old aristocrat and Flo, her right hand woman, a tiny woman, raised in a circus, who is adept at all manner of martial arts. They often allude to their past daring dos, when they were both working for Her Majesty’s government as spies although n This is the sixth book in the Lady Hardcastle series featuring Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid/associate, Flo. The book is a lighthearted look at the world of spycraft and adventure with two unlikely heroines; Lady Hardcastle who is a 40 something year old aristocrat and Flo, her right hand woman, a tiny woman, raised in a circus, who is adept at all manner of martial arts. They often allude to their past daring dos, when they were both working for Her Majesty’s government as spies although now they are attempting to retire and live quiet lives in the country. The book, and series, is written with great humor, and is a tongue in cheek type of view of the world according to Lady Hardcastle and Flo. Both women are delightfully eccentric, with Lady Hardcastle being gifted at endeavors such as pioneering moving pictures and an in-depth study of botany while Flo keeps herself busy performing many of the tasks normally done by a ladies maid unless called upon to employ her more combative skills. Their relationship to each other is one of two friends who know each other so well, they can read each other’s minds. Their conversations are entertaining for both the content and the humor with which they are written. Lady Hardcastle spends most of her time pretending to be a ditzy, slightly off-balance lady who takes nothing seriously while Flo pretends to be a servant when they are in public and clearly is a friend and equal to Lady Hardcastle when they aren’t in the presence of others. In this novel, Flo, who technically works for Lady Hardcastle, has finally badgered her into a vacation to the seashore. They set off to have what they believe is to be a calm, relaxing time at the shore, going on donkey rides, watching Punch and Judy shows, eating fish and chips and in general being tourists. The trip doesn’t turn out to be anything like they expected, which leads to hilarious entertainment in the form of a new adventure for the two women. The hotel they reserve features five other guests, all from different countries, one of whom identifies himself as an employee of England doing some type of secret work. Lady Hardcastle quickly identifies the other “guests” as being foreign agents and proceeds to engage their attention and learn what exactly is taking place. Almost immediately after meeting the English scientist, he disappears, along with a strongbox he had secreted under his bed. As Lady Hardcastle engages first one then another of the guests she learns each of them believe the contents of the now missing strongbox contains information their respective governments might want. The questions are, is the scientist dead or missing? what’s in the strongbox? and where is it now? Before Lady Hardcastle and Flo can begin much of an investigation, another guest is murdered, forcing Lady Hardcastle to contact her brother who works for the government and ask for his help in dealing with the murder. Of course he helps, encourages her to not get involved, she ignores his demands, and on the book goes to the next adventure. If you like lighthearted intrigue books with agents which are just on the other side of believable, then this may be the book for you. Lady Hardcastle are delightful in their banter between each other as well as other characters in the book. The adventure itself is well plotted and fun, even though the reader is required to suspend disbelief a little in order to fully enjoy it. While it is a series, it isn’t necessary to read the books in order as each adventure is a complete story within itself. There are some recurring background characters, and the reader's enjoyment may be enhanced somewhat by reading the books in order. If you can’t find one, though, don’t let that stop you from sampling this highly entertaining series. My thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital read copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna Bendewald

    I loved the quaint sea-side switch up for this mystery's location. As always I was swept along with Lady Hardcastle and the ever vigorous side-kick-lady's-maid Flo as they took a trip. We didn't have to wait long and before you can say "salt water taffy" Dr. Goddard, a scientist staying at their hotel goes missing. The tone of T. E. Kinsey's stories are highly entertaining, and I've discovered that the narrator for them on Audible, Elizabeth Knowelton is simply perfection! I hope these books con I loved the quaint sea-side switch up for this mystery's location. As always I was swept along with Lady Hardcastle and the ever vigorous side-kick-lady's-maid Flo as they took a trip. We didn't have to wait long and before you can say "salt water taffy" Dr. Goddard, a scientist staying at their hotel goes missing. The tone of T. E. Kinsey's stories are highly entertaining, and I've discovered that the narrator for them on Audible, Elizabeth Knowelton is simply perfection! I hope these books continue for years to come. They're the perfect smart and fun entertainment for a long day that is anything but smart or entertaining. --Anna E. Bendewald

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I really love this cosy mystery series set in 1910 in England featuring Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid sidekick friend Flo. This one is preposterous in many ways and yet I love the historical value; it's just very far-fetched which is actually enjoyable in itself! It doesn't take itself too seriously and every time I read one I love the characters more and more. It is definitely a series favourite :) Another perfect holiday read (whatever the time of year) as we are transported to the English s I really love this cosy mystery series set in 1910 in England featuring Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid sidekick friend Flo. This one is preposterous in many ways and yet I love the historical value; it's just very far-fetched which is actually enjoyable in itself! It doesn't take itself too seriously and every time I read one I love the characters more and more. It is definitely a series favourite :) Another perfect holiday read (whatever the time of year) as we are transported to the English seaside in Weston Super Mare in 1910...love it...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)

    No review needed -- 5 stars, as usual! I will definitely be listening to this one again in the future!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    I have a grand time with this historical cozy mystery series set in rural Edwardian England with a clever and quirky Lady Hardcastle and her intrepid maid, Florence Armstrong both former spies now retired. Lots of fun wisecracks, intriguing historical details, engaging characters and settings that make the reader feel amused and engaged each time. Death Beside the Seaside is the sixth Lady Hardcastle mystery that can be read out of order since each mystery is self contained in each book, though t I have a grand time with this historical cozy mystery series set in rural Edwardian England with a clever and quirky Lady Hardcastle and her intrepid maid, Florence Armstrong both former spies now retired. Lots of fun wisecracks, intriguing historical details, engaging characters and settings that make the reader feel amused and engaged each time. Death Beside the Seaside is the sixth Lady Hardcastle mystery that can be read out of order since each mystery is self contained in each book, though there is a mild series build if that is something which might bug some readers. The latest adventure takes them from their village of Little Cotterell to the seaside where they hope to promenade along the boardwalk and pier, enjoy ice cream, the musicals at the theater, donkey rides on the beach and excursions about the local seaside town. But, not long after their arrival at the hotel recommended by a neighbor, they spot an intriguing international group of guests shortly before one goes missing as well as his mysterious locked box. Then the poor hotel manager is begging them to find out what goes on in his quiet, respectable establishment when a murder happens. These are generally light and rompish, a little over the top, and a few good twists for the mystery. Death Beside the Seaside took that to an extreme giving winks to the old-style comedic spy capers and mysteries that invite the reader or movie-watcher to laugh at the antics that go with the excitement. Lady Emily Hardcastle and Flo ignore her brother's admonishment to stay out of it and do a great job hunting down clues and villains while getting in their holiday. I had a few laughs, but not a lot of surprise over the unfolding events. I think other installments in the series have had a sharper edge to keep my focus more, but I wouldn't say I was disappointed, either. I look forward to their next caper and I would recommend these who like a historical setting with their cozy mystery. I received this book through Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Doris

    Fluffy bit of genteel spy 'literature'. I continue to find the relationship between Lady Hardcastle and her maid Florence wildly anachronistic. Which is perhaps why I tend to think of them as Lady Vastra and Jennie (of Doctor Who fame instead). But it *is* entertaining fluff, so I keep reading. (view spoiler)[ This one, set in 1910, includes some blatantly transparent spies bent on stealing an equally blatantly transparent piece of bait and killing one another in the hopes of gaining the prize. I'm Fluffy bit of genteel spy 'literature'. I continue to find the relationship between Lady Hardcastle and her maid Florence wildly anachronistic. Which is perhaps why I tend to think of them as Lady Vastra and Jennie (of Doctor Who fame instead). But it *is* entertaining fluff, so I keep reading. (view spoiler)[ This one, set in 1910, includes some blatantly transparent spies bent on stealing an equally blatantly transparent piece of bait and killing one another in the hopes of gaining the prize. I'm pleased with myself for having early on identified the culprits; I remain suspicious, though, of Hillier, the hotel manager. ) (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alice 🌙

    5/5 ⭐️ This was super good and I enjoyed it like all the others.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Death Beside The Seaside is the seventh book in the A Lady Hardcastle Mystery series. I like this series. The main characters, Lady Hardcastle and her sidekick/best friend/maid, Flo, are humorous and interesting and one of my favorite duos. They have been through many harrowing experiences together. They trust each other to have the others back when necessary. For the most part, Flo handles the narration of the story along with most of the humor, but Lady Hardcastle also gets her chance with humo Death Beside The Seaside is the seventh book in the A Lady Hardcastle Mystery series. I like this series. The main characters, Lady Hardcastle and her sidekick/best friend/maid, Flo, are humorous and interesting and one of my favorite duos. They have been through many harrowing experiences together. They trust each other to have the others back when necessary. For the most part, Flo handles the narration of the story along with most of the humor, but Lady Hardcastle also gets her chance with humor. Lady Hardcastle and Flo decide that it is time for a much-needed vacation and set off for Weston-super-Mare. Their new motor is loaded and off they go. Once they arrive at their hotel and get settled in their rooms they head downstairs for dinner. They have ordered drinks when a gentleman enters the dining room and Lady Hardcastle offers to share the table the gentleman who identifies himself as Dr. Goddard. He says he is a scientist for the government and is the area for a top-secret meeting. Lady H. and Flo soon learn that there are three other men from different countries also staying at the hotel who are also part of the secret meeting. A couple of days later Dr. Goddard and a strongbox he had in his room have gone missing. The hotel manager says he has heard of Lady H. and Flo to solve mysteries and asks them to find what has happened to Goddard. Before long the other three men are dead and the strongbox still not located. Since Goddard disappearance, Lady H has been in touch with her brother Harry who works for a secret government agency and Harry tells her to stop her sleuthing but knows she won’t. Hopefully, the killer will be found before anyone else loses their life. Well written story with interesting and believable characters that kept me guessing until the end. The author in his Authors Notes provides some interesting historical information and explains where he has changed some facts to fit his story. I will be watching for the next book in great series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book, like all in this series, is generally enjoyable and makes a good, light read. I must complain about two things. One, it suffers fro too much banter between Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong. It’s too one-note. The only time these characters show emotional depth is when they explain their unusual, class-busting relationship to another character (which also happens in every book). I urge the author to focus less on clever banter in every single exchange. Particularly in this book, when they This book, like all in this series, is generally enjoyable and makes a good, light read. I must complain about two things. One, it suffers fro too much banter between Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong. It’s too one-note. The only time these characters show emotional depth is when they explain their unusual, class-busting relationship to another character (which also happens in every book). I urge the author to focus less on clever banter in every single exchange. Particularly in this book, when they are confronting their most feared foe, which encounter ought to be more fraught, the emphasis on their cleverness rang a false note. Second, and specific to this book, the fact that Lady Hardcastle declines, even after one of the other characters _reminds_ her, to tie up the big bad, killed my suspension of disbelief, and I am a reader that generally goes where the author wants to take me. As soon as that happened, I predicted the outcome. And then she does it not once, but TWICE. Twice they lose the big bad in order to provide the American spy a chance to shoot him and exact some kind of justice for her niece. I would have bought if they’d drugged and trussed him and the delay in retrieving him was such that he got away. But this? No. They also clearly abandoned the plan of having one of them watch over him while the other transported people to safety. No explanation even when they referred back to the plan when they were at the motorcar. Anyway, I’m sure I will order the next one, but I’d live to see more care in the characters and plotting.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    For a long time, sassy maid Florence Armstrong has been trying to persuade her boss, Emily, Lady Hardcastle to visit the seaside. So the duo — both of them retired spies — decide to take a holiday in the real-life beach resort of Weston-super-Mare, not far from Bristol. (Why the British think it’s such fun to swim in chilly water and brave pretty cold winds even in summer remains a mystery to me. Give me the French Riviera any day!) Some of the coincidences are a bit much, but Lady Hardcastle an For a long time, sassy maid Florence Armstrong has been trying to persuade her boss, Emily, Lady Hardcastle to visit the seaside. So the duo — both of them retired spies — decide to take a holiday in the real-life beach resort of Weston-super-Mare, not far from Bristol. (Why the British think it’s such fun to swim in chilly water and brave pretty cold winds even in summer remains a mystery to me. Give me the French Riviera any day!) Some of the coincidences are a bit much, but Lady Hardcastle and Flo remain such a pleasure that I couldn’t put this humorous gem down. When they arrive at the luxurious Steep Holm View Hotel, they discover that nearly all of the other guests hale from foreign parts: an aunt and niece from America, a Russian count, a disagreeable Austrian, a marine engineer from Nantes in France, an Oxford-trained Japanese. A timid English scientist rounds out the guest list. What are the odds? When the scientist vanishes, and his room is ransacked, Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong swing into action. I promise you won’t regret going along. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you’re in for an additional treat: The Kindle and Audible versions are free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Another fun addition to the series 4.5*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tony Hisgett

    I really enjoyed the first third of the book, but when the investigation got into full swing I began to have a few doubts. The plot was a bit too farcical, with a mysterious strongbox, bedroom hopping and new bodies turning up every day. Then came the ending; (view spoiler)[I don't understand the author, he portrays Emily and Florence as highly competent and intelligent, then right at the end he makes them pathetically stupid and they allow the ‘bad guy’ to get away yet again. (hide spoiler)] To b I really enjoyed the first third of the book, but when the investigation got into full swing I began to have a few doubts. The plot was a bit too farcical, with a mysterious strongbox, bedroom hopping and new bodies turning up every day. Then came the ending; (view spoiler)[I don't understand the author, he portrays Emily and Florence as highly competent and intelligent, then right at the end he makes them pathetically stupid and they allow the ‘bad guy’ to get away yet again. (hide spoiler)] To be honest at this point I was ready to give just one star, but I really like Emily and Florence’s relationship and eventually there was a reasonable conclusion to the story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I expected to give this five stars - I enjoy the characters and the writing very much, and I had a great time with the disappearances, murders, and derring-do in this one - but alas. The anachronisms (seriously, that character didn't say "flaked out", did he? Lie to me if you have to, just say no) and rather an anticlimactic last couple of chapters let it fall flat. ((view spoiler)[I was all set for an exciting escapade in the next book with Lady Emily and Flo desperately trying to capture-slash I expected to give this five stars - I enjoy the characters and the writing very much, and I had a great time with the disappearances, murders, and derring-do in this one - but alas. The anachronisms (seriously, that character didn't say "flaked out", did he? Lie to me if you have to, just say no) and rather an anticlimactic last couple of chapters let it fall flat. ((view spoiler)[I was all set for an exciting escapade in the next book with Lady Emily and Flo desperately trying to capture-slash-escape from being killed by their old arch-enemy. But ... alas again. *bang* (hide spoiler)] )

  17. 4 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    Love this series Ngl this series is one of the main reasons i wanted kindle unlimted lol i really love that this series, unlike many cozy mysteries, isnt based on a stupid love interest thats annoyingly drawn out or someone whos a complete butt and uses it as a personality trait. Might even reread this series too lol

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of Death beside the Seaside, the sixth novel to feature Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong. It’s July 1910 and Lady Hardcastle decides it’s time for a summer holiday so she and Flo depart for the Steep Holm View Hotel in Weston-super-Mare, a nice, genteel hostelry or it was until a guest disappears and another one is murdered. I thoroughly enjoyed Death beside the Seaside which is a highly amusing ro I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of Death beside the Seaside, the sixth novel to feature Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong. It’s July 1910 and Lady Hardcastle decides it’s time for a summer holiday so she and Flo depart for the Steep Holm View Hotel in Weston-super-Mare, a nice, genteel hostelry or it was until a guest disappears and another one is murdered. I thoroughly enjoyed Death beside the Seaside which is a highly amusing romp through pre-war England. The plot is absurd with murders, spies and double crosses but it’s a lot of fun and highly entertaining. It held my attention throughout and I finished it in one sitting, unable to put it down. The absurdity is very well done and obviously a lot of thought has gone into it with all its twists and chaotic solutions, meaning there is never a dull moment and the reader can’t help but get caught up in the sheer fun and exuberance of it all. Much of the fun revolves around the characters of Flo, the narrator and her boss/friend/accomplice Lady Hardcastle. If they’re not spinning tall tales of their previous escapades they’re getting stuck in to their investigation or outwitting the bad guys. Their adventures are spiced up by amusing dialogue between them. Death beside the Sea is a fun read which I have no hesitation in recommending.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    2019 bk 350. The newest book - this one I could see as a movie, one with a serious theme, but filled with lots of slapstick comedy. I'd love to see the younger Alfred Hitchcock work on this as a film. The book - was fun. Lady Hardcastle and Flo go for a week's vacation on the shore - but get involved in the disappearance of a scientist, then the death of .... Let's just say that there are many foreign elements staying at their hotel. Flo does get to ride her donkey, but the timing is never quite 2019 bk 350. The newest book - this one I could see as a movie, one with a serious theme, but filled with lots of slapstick comedy. I'd love to see the younger Alfred Hitchcock work on this as a film. The book - was fun. Lady Hardcastle and Flo go for a week's vacation on the shore - but get involved in the disappearance of a scientist, then the death of .... Let's just say that there are many foreign elements staying at their hotel. Flo does get to ride her donkey, but the timing is never quite right to catch the Punch and Judy show. This is a keeper and one for reading again.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    I have not read any of the previous books in this series, but this one stands well enough on its own. I enjoyed this book a lot. Despite being a murder mystery, it is light hearted and silly. The joking between Lady Hardcastle and Florence is what makes the book. The cast of other characters are all well written. The whole book is amusing and the perfect kind of silly. I will definitely be reading the previous books in this series. I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest revi I have not read any of the previous books in this series, but this one stands well enough on its own. I enjoyed this book a lot. Despite being a murder mystery, it is light hearted and silly. The joking between Lady Hardcastle and Florence is what makes the book. The cast of other characters are all well written. The whole book is amusing and the perfect kind of silly. I will definitely be reading the previous books in this series. I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    Another lovely addiction to this series. It's a fun read, engrossing and entertaining. I loved the humor, the character development and the style of writing. The mystery is solid and kept me guessing. I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Lady Hardcastle is a wealthy widow with a fascinating past. Her best friend is Florence Armstrong. Flo also happens to be her lady’s maid, her companion in danger, as well as a successful assassin. They two ladies are taking a holiday at the seaside. They will stay at a small hotel which came highly recommended by a friend. When they arrive, they find the service is outstanding, the accommodations are lovely and all the guests but one are from other countries. This makes the two women curious. So, Lady Hardcastle is a wealthy widow with a fascinating past. Her best friend is Florence Armstrong. Flo also happens to be her lady’s maid, her companion in danger, as well as a successful assassin. They two ladies are taking a holiday at the seaside. They will stay at a small hotel which came highly recommended by a friend. When they arrive, they find the service is outstanding, the accommodations are lovely and all the guests but one are from other countries. This makes the two women curious. So, they practice their best investigation techniques to find out about the other guests. They simply cannot help themselves. The only Englishman is a mild and timid scientist. He enjoys talking about his secret studies and when he goes missing, the ladies are asked to see if they could figure out what happened. Their stay at the hotel will be free, if they can do their investigation without involving police and with no publicity whatsoever. There is an agreement but Lady Hardcastle must speak to her brother. He works for the Foreign Office and she feels that he should be aware of what has happened. He advises her to stay out of everything. This is part of a most wonderful series. But, it works just fine as a standalone read, Mr Kinsey has created characters and situations which are entertaining and interesting. Lady Hardcastle and Flo are wonderful women. Their past adventures illustrate that there is very little they cannot face and overcome. The dangers in their past would make an average person quake, but these two simply do what must be done and go forward. Their relationship is based on love, respect, a shared history and a great deal of humor. Shortly after the initial disappearance of the Englishman, in another room there is a dead body. Soon there are several dead bodies. Curiouser and curiouser. One of the problems with dead bodies is how to dispose of them. The teams who arrive to take care of that add a great deal to the story. In fact, the hotel staff and all the secondary characters provide a depth and texture to the story. This book is a wonderful chapter in the series. I would suggest that if you have not already read the entire series, doing so will be a delightful experience. I do not want to imagine not being able to spend some time with two of the most interesting women I have never met.

  23. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    July 1910: Lady Emily Hardcastle and her faithful maid/companion/friend Flo are finally headed to the seaside for a much delayed holiday. They decide to stay at a "bijou" hotel their friend Lady Farley-Stroud recommended. Upon arriving in Weston-Super-Mare, Flo is disappointed the tide is out and she can't see the sea. Lady Emily is determined to make the most of her vacation despite the gray weather. The pair are surprised to find themselves outnumbered as the guests, excepting one Dr. Goddard, July 1910: Lady Emily Hardcastle and her faithful maid/companion/friend Flo are finally headed to the seaside for a much delayed holiday. They decide to stay at a "bijou" hotel their friend Lady Farley-Stroud recommended. Upon arriving in Weston-Super-Mare, Flo is disappointed the tide is out and she can't see the sea. Lady Emily is determined to make the most of her vacation despite the gray weather. The pair are surprised to find themselves outnumbered as the guests, excepting one Dr. Goddard, are all foreign. It doesn't take a super spy to tally up the nationalities present and wonder at those absent. When Dr. Goddard goes missing and his special strongbox is nowhere to be found, the hotel manager is beside himself trying to keep the press from finding out. He asks Emily and Flo to investigate. When Dr. Goddard doesn't return and the strongbox shows up in the room of another guest with the guest lying dead in bed, the matter seems to have moved beyond the local police and the Foreign Office must be called. Emily's brother Harry tells her not to get involved and everything will be taken care of. Having no faith in her brother or his special government branch, Emily gets to work trying to solve the mystery. This book is long and grim. What I don't like about the Edwardian era is the lead-up to WWI. Like Emily, I figured out quickly who the guests were and what must be going on. However, the reality is complicated. If you're not into the politics of pre-WWI Europe, there's plenty of light and witty banter between Lady Emily and Flo. There was almost too much for me. It was mostly in the beginning of the novel and not as balanced out with the rest of the mystery. There is a good amount of poking fun of two characters who pop up to do a job and Flo continually mispronouncing Henry's name on purpose (It's a thing between them) to keep things light. For me, the body count was too high and the intrigue too dark to really make the book as enjoyable as the earlier ones. Even so, I couldn't put the book down and skimmed some of the details just to find out the outcome of the action. The action adventure is jam packed in the last few chapters and just when you think it's over, it's not. Some of the clues are super obvious. I suppose it's realistic to think Emily and Flo wouldn't know they were looking at clues because it's their story but I kept thinking "that must be a clue!" but I never connected the dots to figure out how those things were clues and so the reveal came as a surprise. I love Emily. She's a dark horse. Even I was fooled while she prattled away telling the truth about her life. I kept wondering what she was doing but I need not have worried. Emily plays the dizzy socialite but it's just an act. She's as sharp as a needle and always knows what's going on. I love her relationship with Flo. After all they've been through, they're like a married couple, always teasing and bickering. Flo is a great character. She's eccentric enough to live with Lady Emily comfortably but sensible enough to counterbalance Emily's flights of fancy. I also like her relationship with Harry and it shows how much he loves his sister that he values Flo so much. (Also because something happened in a previous book). These two characters keep me reading. Harry is very much like his sister. He acts stupid and silly but I think he's smarter than he lets on. He had better be or I would have little faith in the government if I were living in Edwardian England. He's a decent guy who loves his sister and his wife. Jake is a fun character and I was sad not to see more of her and surprised by her news. All the other characters are brand new, except for one nemesis from the past. The two silent waiters who seemingly appear out of nowhere are disconcerting for they manage to astound Lady Emily and Flo. Their names are punny. Dr. Goddard is an absentminded professor type. He's a scientist by trade or so he claims. What is he really doing in Weston? He seems very nice, the nicest of all the guests, in his own vague way. The other characters are kind of stereotypes. You have Sergei Kusnetov, a temperamental Russian who doesn't bother to talk to Lady Emily, Ernest Schneider of Vienna, a foppish Austrian and Jean Martin, an arrogant Frenchman who won't socialize with the other guests. The two American ladies, Miss Adelia Wilson and her niece, Eleanora, are traveling on Eleanora's Grand Tour. Adelia is brash, old-fashioned and not super friendly. I grew to like her after I got used to her brusque ways. Her niece, Eleanora, is a typical teenage girl dreaming of adventures. She's a sweet girl but I began to suspect she may not be all she seems. Kaito Takahashi is a reserved Japanese businessman. He was educated at Oxford and can be polite to English ladies when he wants but seems to keep himself to himself. The manager of the hotel, Valentine Hillier, is a nervous chap. He faints at the sight of blood and is fearful of the hotel's reputation and what the owners may say. He can't make a move without the owners approval. Myra, May and June are the chambermaids. Myra is a bit silly and young but May and June know how to behave. Mr. Nightengale, the hotel clerk, is something of a gossip and helps move the story along by providing Lady Emily and Flo with the information they need about the other guests. The two men who come to clean the hotel rooms are a riot with their awful code names. They allow themselves to be picked on by Emily and Flo and are no match for the ladies. They provide a lot of comic relief. This series is so much fun! I hope to read more about Emily and Flo in the future.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Randi

    I love these books. Lady Hardcastle and Flo Armstrong are a great duo. These are not difficult books or deep, but they are entertaining and distracting. I am grateful for TE Kinsey's approach to women, feminism, and breaking the mold a bit for these characters based in the 1910s. I am also very pleased with how the characters have evolved over the series and look forward to reading more adventures of Lady Hardcastle and Flo. I've been talking with my niece about who should play these characters w I love these books. Lady Hardcastle and Flo Armstrong are a great duo. These are not difficult books or deep, but they are entertaining and distracting. I am grateful for TE Kinsey's approach to women, feminism, and breaking the mold a bit for these characters based in the 1910s. I am also very pleased with how the characters have evolved over the series and look forward to reading more adventures of Lady Hardcastle and Flo. I've been talking with my niece about who should play these characters when (if) these books are picked up for a TV show and our vote is on Emily Blunt for Lady H and Emilia Clark for Flo. What do you think? Should we start a petition?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    As always, Lady Hardcastle and her "tiny servant" Florence Armstrong (tiny in stature but mighty in talents) are involved in another mystery, this time while trying to take a vacation by the sea. People disappear, dead bodies appear and their hotel manager is begging them to help. There's the usual assortment of suspicious characters and of course, the usual funny and clever dialogue between these two ladies. And of course, plenty of twists and turns to sort out. I love this series because it's As always, Lady Hardcastle and her "tiny servant" Florence Armstrong (tiny in stature but mighty in talents) are involved in another mystery, this time while trying to take a vacation by the sea. People disappear, dead bodies appear and their hotel manager is begging them to help. There's the usual assortment of suspicious characters and of course, the usual funny and clever dialogue between these two ladies. And of course, plenty of twists and turns to sort out. I love this series because it's light and fun but with well developed plots and characters who are so very English.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Avid Reader While I love Lady Hardcastle and Flo, this seemed to be over the top in plot. Wouldn't a hotel by the sea of near the sea have more than seven guests? By the time all the spies had doesn't fled, only Lady Hardcastle and Flo were left. Don't let the strongbox fool you!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marit

    Another thoroughly satisfying Lady Hardcastle adventure! I'm a huge fan of this series!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heatherinblack

    nicely done! a bit convoluted. harry’s story of setting it all in place was a bit more than i could take. but lady h and strongarm are as adorable as ever. i will definitely keep reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather Neill

    I started reading these because they are on kindle unlimited, and I was in the mood for cozy mysteries. Bonus: Kick ass Victorian ladies who solve crime Sherlock Holmes style. What's not to love?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    4 stars Lady Emily Hardcastle and her trusty sidekick Flo are on the trail of some disappearances in this the latest entry into the cozy amatuer detective stories. When they go on a long awaited vacation to the seaside, they stay in a charming little hotel. Over dinner the first night, they meet a charming, if rather bumbling, scientist named Dr. Goddard. He is attending a conference, but can't give them the details of this top secret meeting. The next day, he goes missing from his room. A strong 4 stars Lady Emily Hardcastle and her trusty sidekick Flo are on the trail of some disappearances in this the latest entry into the cozy amatuer detective stories. When they go on a long awaited vacation to the seaside, they stay in a charming little hotel. Over dinner the first night, they meet a charming, if rather bumbling, scientist named Dr. Goddard. He is attending a conference, but can't give them the details of this top secret meeting. The next day, he goes missing from his room. A strongbox that was under his bed is also missing. The manager of the hotel is anxious to avoid the police and the press and asks Lady Hardcastle and Flo to investigate. They begin their search by interviewing the staff and other guests at the hotel. The Lady and Flo come up with a potential suspect and they look good for the crime. But lo and behold, to their dismay, the person is killed! More guests disappear. What is going on? Is it connected to this “secret” conference that Dr. Goddard was supposed to have attended? The Lady appeals to her brother Harry to assist. He works for one of those shadowy intelligence agencies. Flo narrates these stories in a factual and humorous way. I especially like the way that Lady Emily and Flo tease each other. Their lighthearted ramblings brighten my day. The story is written in Mr. Kinsey's usual style, that it to say well and linear. The gentle manner in which the story is told is easy to follow and relaxing to read. I strongly recommend the Lady Hardcastle and Flo series to anyone who likes cozy mysteries, historical cozies or just fun reading. I want to thank NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for forwarding to me a copy of this nice little book for me to read, enjoy and review.

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