The Burning Issue of the Day (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #5)

The Burning Issue of the Day (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #5) January A Journalist Has Been Killed In A Suspicious Blaze Everything Points To A Group Of Suffragettes, But The Apparent Culprit Insists She Is InnocentWhen Lady Hardcastle Receives A Letter From A Suffragette Requesting Her Urgent Help, The Retired Spy Turned Sleuth Knows Only She Stands Between An Accused Young Woman And The Gallows Evidence At The Scene Makes Lizzie Worrel S Innocence Difficult To Believe, And With The Police Treating It As An Open And Shut Case Of Arson, Lady Hardcastle Faces A Barrage Of Resistance As She Tries To Dig Out The TruthWith Her Trusted Maid And Confidante, The Formidable Flo, Lady Hardcastle Sets Off In Pursuit Of The Truth As Time Runs Out For The Accused Suffragette Was She Set Up And If So, Is The Real Culprit A Traitor To The Cause Or Part Of A Darker Conspiracy Listening Length Hours And Minutes Great entry to one of my favorite series Lady Hardcastle and Flo simply make the best crime solving team. In 1910, the Bristol News reports a suffragette has killed a newspaper man during an arson demonstration and is now up for murder Lady Hardcastle and her intrepid lady s maid, Florence are now on the case to prove Lizzie Worrel innocent and find the true arsonist and killer.The Burning Issue of the Day is the fifth in the Lady Hardcastle historical cozy mysteries There is a flow to the series, but the reader listener could get a book out of order as there is a fresh mystery in each installment.In this latest, the ladies leave their village for the nearby city to involve themselves in the suffragette movement, newspaper industry, and big city politics With the help of police detective, Inspector Sutherland, who has been told to let the arrest stand and not continue investigating, the help of young, energetic suffragette leader, Georgie, and the return of cynic female reporter, Diana Cordal, they face up against a powerful group of Bristol s leaders who they are investigating for the crime.The Lady Hardcastle series are a fun historical cozy mystery series about a pair of retired spies that moved to the country for a rest from their former activities, but find murder investigation an engaging alternative hobby No one suspects this pair of being than an eccentric and entertaining widow and her maid, but Lady Emily Hardcastle has a first class brain behind her playful and sometimes vague remarks and Flo, her little Welsh maid grew up agile and capable in the circus and is trained in the martial arts They are an entertaining pair of friends and amateur sleuths.I enjoy how each installment of this series focuses on a different aspect of history from that Edwardian time period Music, car racing, moving pictures, and now women s suffrage The city of Bristol is brought to life and I appreciate the historical backdrop the author takes the time to paint.The mystery in this one is slow burn as the group conducts their investigation There was a good bit going on that could be part of it or simply a distraction There were many players that had to be investigated, too So, it gets along slowly I figured out most of it ahead of time, but it s always enjoyable to see how they work it out and bring about justice.Elizabeth Knowelden is the narrator for this series and she is sensational at bringing the characters, including the men, various classes, and the historical tone to life Flo is the point of view of the story and I like how she is portrayed with the lively voices given to the others except Inspector Sunderland who tends to be the straight guy in the humor moments I love how Knowelden s narration brings that special shine to the stories.All in all, this was another easy going, delightful addition to the series Those who enjoy lighter toned historical mysteries with a great deal of humor should give this series a try.My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to the book in exchange for an honest review. The Lady Hardcastle mysteries have been an auto buy series for me since I first listened to A Quiet Life in the Country I highly recommend this series on audio though I actually own print, kindle, and audio copies of every book in the series Elizabeth Knowelden is a fabulous narrator and really brings Kinsey s characters to life I love the cheekiness of Lady H and Flo, and the mysteries themselves are always well plotted. 3 STARS for the 5th book in this series As in the previous books, 5 STARS for the narration by Elizabeth Knowelden She adds so much to the books Unfortunately, I didn t enjoy this book as much as the four previous.This story takes place in 1910, and Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady s maid tiny servant and friend, Florence are called to Bristol, to clear the name of a suffragette Lizzie Worrel, a member of the Women s Social and Political Union WSPU has been arrested for murder A shop owned by a known anti suffragist was deliberately set afire but unfortunately a tenant who lived above the shop, journalist Christian Brookfield died in the fire Evidence at the scene of the crime included suffragette leaflets and a signed note by Worrel claiming responsibility As usual the highlight of all of Lady Hardcastle and Flo s books are their unique partnership and friendship Their banter is always amusing and unheard of between a lady and her maid I was glad to see Inspector Sutherland again In the last few books he had a smaller part We finally meet Mrs Sutherland It was promised in one of the early books that the ladies should meet However, on the page it was very brief I hope she shows up again for a longer visit Its too bad that I didn t find the mystery portion of the book compelling enough to hold my interest But I did learn about the British suffragette movement All I knew about it, I learned from Mary Poppins Kinsey also added at the end of the book a bit of WSPU history in Britain and other research notes Oh, well I m looking forward to another installment of Lady Hardcastle and Flo s adventures I hope its not a long wait. 3.5 starsI received a free digital edition from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review Lady Hardcastle and her maid friend Florence Armstrong are looking forward to a quiet winter at home They re hoping Lady H s friend Fishy will make them a new motorcar so they can gad about in the winter without freezing Then Lady Hardcastle reads about a journalist was killed in a fire started by an arsonist and the suffragette bagged for the crime Through a mutual friend, Lady Hardcastle is requested by Lady Bickle, a member of the Women s Social and Political Union, to investigate the crime and free her fellow suffragette Lizzie Worrel from gaol Lady Hardcastle and Flo head off to Bristol and discover the crime goes much deeper than women s suffrage They must join forces with Lady Bickle and an old nemesis, journalist Dinah Caudle, to figure out the truth and free Lizzie Worrel I have been eagerly anticipating this story since December Women s suffrage is a favorite topic of mine and one I have studied extensively I had a feeling my old friends Emily and Flo would want the right to vote However, because the investigation takes them out of the neighborhood and into the city of Bristol, I feel the story loses some of the charm present in previous books There are only two short scenes involving the Farley Strouds and two short scenes with Daisy at the pub I miss the local color and especially the Farley Strouds I did appreciate learning what happened to Clarissa after the events of the first book I had been wondering about that, but for once the Farley Strouds are not at the center of events in this book The plot structure is traditional and departs from the usual three in one structure There are a couple of smaller mysteries that lead into the overall large mystery The mystery was OK but not what I expected I was not really surprised by the revelations except for one at the very end I was able to put the book down and sleep without wanting to pick it up again right away After about the 2 3 mark was where it really got interesting and I wanted to finish it but was able to sleep without finishing The denouement needed some action I kept thinking Lady Hardcastle was missing something There was something else later in the novel I thought she should have looked into but didn t I feel bad for thinking it but it could have answered some questions that arise at the very end of the novel I really like the coded journal and had fun trying to figure it out I am not as clever as Lady Hardcastle, alas, and couldn t crack the cipher.Emily and Flo are, as always, delightful They share less of their usual banter in this story but are still very close Flo rolls her eyes whenever Emily forgets a name and Emily teases Flo about her lack of height They really do act like sisters or even an old married couple Emily acts like a scatterbrained old lady but she s much sharp and aware than she lets on Inspector Sunderland knows this and trusts her judgement I appreciate that the detective is not an arrogant fool Inspector Sunderland s hands are tied as the police believe this is a closed case He s also on the trail of something else, unofficially Since he is not able to investigate, this makes Lady Hardcastle s involvement plausible and necessary The only other series regulars to appear are Daisy at the Dog and Duck, who has a subplot of her own and Dr Simeon Gosling Dr Gosling is as jovial as ever and this time we get to see him interact with a male colleague and friend He s a very jolly sort of man with a sense of humor I like him because he appreciates his friend Emily s intelligence and accepts Flo as part of the package deal Journalist Dinah Caudle may become a series regular as well She got off on the wrong foot with Lady Hardcastle but now they are united in a common cause and must call a truce Dinah can be tough because she s a woman in a man s world She s trying to succeed in life outside of the expectations her family has for her and I admire her for that She s straightforward than Lady Hardcastle but she knows how to get answers in her own way She also has finesse when interrogating her suspects I suspect she will become a friend and assist with future investigations The newcomers are connected with either the Women s Social and Political Union WSPU or the anti women s suffrage league While I do not approve of some of the tactics employed by the WSPU, their cause has my full sympathy I know quite a lot about them so I skimmed some of the history presented in the story Georgina, Lady Bickle, seems to be the head of the local Bristol branch of the WSPU She s a champion of women s suffrage but not at the expense of human life and she knows Lizzie Worrel did not kill Christian Brookfield Georgie is a younger version of Lady Hardcastle but I do not care for her as much Georgie is a wealthy dilettante Is she merely a bored housewife looking for something to do that s slightly mischievous or does she firmly believe in the cause Her flippant manner rubs me the wrong way Lady Hardcastle may be eccentric but she s better educated than Georgie and is intelligent and serious than she looks Perhaps Georgie will seem less silly when she s older It is very nice to see her so devoted to her husband, though and not be a part of the usual society marriage Poor Lizzie Worrel is stuck in jail for a crime she claims she didn t commit She is not doing well I feel so awful for her She doesn t have a prayer of a chance of getting out of jail alive Lady Hardcastle, a stranger, is her only hope It s no wonder Lizzie is despondent The other two suffragettes who work in the office with Lizzie and Georgie are Marisol Rojas and Beattie Challenger Marisol, a Chilean woman, is passionate and dedicated to the cause of freedom I really like her Beattie is a stereotypical spinster She s quiet, nondescript and dedicated to the Empire I object to the spinster stereotype I don t like Beattie because of her jingoistic and snide comments to Marisol Ladies, you re on the same side working for a common cause, don t be catty towards each other The suspects are Mr Oswald Crane, a coffee importer who speaks out against women s suffrage and marital infidelity, blaming the woman Unfortunately for him, his wife is conducting an affair and everyone knows it He s a blustery, rude sort of man who thinks he s a big shot and can intimidate people but is really a buffoon and not taken seriously Nathaniel Morefield, Mrs Crane s lover, is actually a big shot He s on the city council and naturally the ladies suspect him of corruption but how deep and what exactly is he involved in Jimmy Stanbridge is a younger son of nobility and has a bad drinking and gambling problem He comes across as quite foolish Redvers Hinckley is a property developer and I think that speaks for itself Which one is a killer They each have motivation to protect their own interests from the nosy journalist who was about to expose corruption in the city of Bristol Are you surprised these types are on the suspect list I am not If they were American it would be the same thing with ties to Tammany Hall Obviously these good old boys are opposed to women s suffrage for the most ridiculous reasons Their rationale for opposing women s suffrage makes me so angry I could never be as polite as Lady Hardcastle I would have given them a blistering lecture and flounced off The book works as a standalone but contains some small spoilers like hints for previous books in the series Lady Hardcastle reveals of her real backstory and she is becoming well known because of her past exploits There is one brief mention of an old enemy and I really wonder what the story is there I am dying to read books about Lady Hardcastle and find out what s going on with this enemy she thought was dead.The author includes a historical note on the WSPU and other notes on the history of the places mentioned in the story Content includes a visit to a certain type of house frequented by men and a chat with a woman dressed unusually She informs Lady Hardcastle and Flo that the man they are asking about had to leave on foot You can connect the dots yourself with the information presented I d rather not and it just wasn t necessary Content also includes minor gun violence and arson. This is the 5th entry in this series It is a wonderful series and this book is as entertaining as I expected I believe that this book can work well as a stand alone read The mystery and investigation and solution are all separate from past stories There are references to past characters and events, yet everything is fully explained I strongly suggest that you read the earlier books in the series, because it will add to the enjoyment And you would not want to miss a single laugh.Lady Hardcastle and her ladies maid Florence Armstrong have been spies for the crown, escaped from danger in several foreign countries and now are retired to the country The goal is a quiet and peaceful life It will never happen.When Lady Hardcastle gets a letter requesting her help, she feels honor bound to look into the matter.A suffragette, Lizzie, has been arrested for murder and faces the gallows But, other members of her group believe that she is innocent They need the skills that Lady Hardcastle and Flo can bring, in order to find the true killer and free Lizzie.When the investigation begins, a coded diary helps them follow possible suspects It will be decoded by a former adversary, a young woman who is a reporter for the local newspaper.Diana was a friend of the reporter who died and she is also a strong believer in the rights of women She is happy to become an important part of this investigation.The suspects are important and powerful men They are above suspicion As things unfold, it becomes evident they are not at all who they appear It seems what is below the surface is corrupt Lady Hardcastle and Flo are wonderful characters Their conversations are filled with humor and wit Each of them are intelligent women who are capable of solving problems Because of that, they are supporters of the vote for women This book also points out that if women did get the vote, only the right women would be able to vote And there were many men in England who were unable to vote because of their status.As clues are presented, the reader is carried along with the investigation It is evident who the criminals are, but providing enough proof to get Lizzie out of jail will take a great deal of effort.T E Kinsey is a wonderful author He continues to produce quality stories about a time and place when life was not as simple as we would like to imagine His characters are well developed and complete Even secondary characters are provided with enough back story that the reader understands who they are and their motivation Lady Hardcastle and Flo work with the police and exchange information on a regular basis This is not a story where a heroine goes into danger without letting anyone know where they are It would be wonderful to imagine that Lady Hardcastle and Flo existed and had exciting adventures one after the other Each book provides another reason to admire them, enjoy them and laugh along with them.I have enjoyed this series, and Mr Kinsey s talent.I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley I am voluntarily writing this review and all opinions are completely my own. I am really enjoying this series it s very tongue in cheek with some interesting historical elements and a corking mystery I have fallen in love with these characters so the series is just getting better and better for me Armstrong is simply awesomeand very funny I LOVE IT.It s a cosy that doesn t take itself seriously at all Pure fun with nods to serious social issues of the time 1910 England.Highly highly recommended start at the beginning if you can but not essential especially on audio. The fire which started just before midnight and burned the shop to the ground was blamed on the suffragettes the young lady who was immediately arrested and thrown in jail proclaimed her innocence But the police declared it an open and shut case It was when a man s body that of a prominent journalist was found in the wreckage that it was declared murder.When Lady Hardcastle received a letter from a friend in Bristol requesting her urgent help, she and her maid and fellow sleuth, Florence Armstrong, immediately set off in their motor to meet with the suffragettes and see what could be done But the evidence seemed to fit the crime this one would be a challenge to Flo and Lady Hardcastle As they began their investigations, there were dark and sinister secrets linked to the fire Would the two determined sleuths find the answers before it was too late The Burning Issue of the Day is the 5th in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by TE Kinsey and another excellent addition to the series I love the laugh out loud wit and humour that always peppers these stories light, entertaining and loads of fun Lady Hardcastle and Flo are two really brilliant characters and I m already looking forward to 6 Highly recommended.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. In 1910, in England, as in the United States, the eponymous burning issue is votes for women Former spy Emily, Lady Hardcastle, and her sassy, diminutive sidekick Florence Armstrong are drawn into a case in which a suffragette is accused of arson and inadvertent murder As always, the mystery was well crafted, and the novel was a quick, funny five star read That said, author T.E Kinsey also taught me a great deal about suffrage organizations in England and the lengths that opponents took to deny women the vote Kinsey includes actual quotes from male chauvinists of the day who felt that women were too emotional and stupid for politics An amusing and eye opening book Who could ask for I can t wait for the sixth entry in this fabulous series.If you have Kindle Unlimited, you re in for an additional treat The Kindle and Audible versions are free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers As always, narrator Elizabeth Knowelden makes this book

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[Reading] ➻ The Burning Issue of the Day (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #5)  Author T E Kinsey –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 315 pages
  • The Burning Issue of the Day (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #5)
  • T E Kinsey
  • English
  • 13 May 2019

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