The Burning Issue of the Day

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 May 2019

Member Reviews

I have been following this series for quite some time now. Lady Hardcastle and Flo form a really good detective pair. Their camaraderie is well depicted in each of the stories. Women's Suffragette, arson and murder and a whole lot of driving around in the rover, the duo have an adventurous time. 

However, the charm was a tad missing. The first two books were simply perfect but I find something amiss since book 3 - I quite cannot point out. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Gunther is yet to come into picture and I am pretty sure that things are going to get murkier once he's in town.
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This is proving to be a very enjoyable series. I received this one from Netgalley but, before I read it, I finished all the earlier ones first. The relationship between eccentric widow Lady Hardcastle and her maid Miss Armstrong is a joy, and the trickle of backstory elements always leaves the reader wanting a bit more. I was pretty much hooked from book one, as Lady H and Flo find themselves a new house and set about furnishing it (including with daily help). The exchanges between them are always beautifully judged - for instance, Flo rarely refers to her employer as "my Lady" except when she disapproves of her actions, they bicker over who is to drive the new car, and so on. One has the sense of a long-established relationship based on mutual respect and affection.
With the fifth in the series, the author takes the light-hearted amateur detectives - we know by this time that their background has been much more serious, but they have retired from living on their wits in the service of HMG - and gives them something a bit more serious to get their teeth into. A death has occurred which may have been the result of suffragist sabotage, and a young suffragette is on trial for her life. Can they save her, despite the opposition of the (male) Bristol establishment? I felt that the author genuinely wanted to talk about the suffragist cause and that it wasn't simply a subject to hang a mystery on.
Kinsey introduces a new character in this book, the journalist Diana Caudle, who despite initially clashing with Lady Hardcastle, looks set to put in appearances in future episodes. I see there is another on its way - good-oh!
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Lady Hardcastle and her sidekick(servant) Flo team up to save a suffragette from a murder charge in The Burning Issue of the Day. Excellent historical mystery.
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I am a fan of cozy mysteries of all varieties. I love the quirkiness combined with intrepid amateur sleuths. I was not familiar with this author or this series, so the book came as a delightful surprise. British cozies seem to definitely have a different flavor than American ones, and frankly, I revel in the distinctions between them and enjoy both. British cozies always seem to have a dry rather than open wit and characters who are strongly individual in their quirkiness. In this book, I quite enjoyed the relationship between Lady H and her maid. I also really liked the use of a newspaper article to set the scene for the entire novel. Great way to give backstory. I liked the historical element of the story as well. I have done some research on the suffragist movement in the United States, so it added an interesting element to this story for me. I am curious now to investigate some other books in this series.
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There was intrigue in the story and a pace which kept me wanting to come back to it every night... Definitely recommend if you love Historical Fiction !
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It’s 1910 and retired former spy, Lady Hardcastle, receives a note from a member of the Women’s Suffrage movement in Bristol, England. It seems a little-known journalist, Christian Brookfield, has been found dead in a burned down building.  Lizzie Worrel, a Woman’s Suffrage supporter, is arrested under arson and murder charges.  Lady Hardcastle is famous for her sleuthing skills and is called upon to help clear Ms. Worrel’s innocent name, especially as the police have called off their investigation since they think they have caught the culprit. So Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong, set off in the Lady’s Rover 6, a unique open car that requires a great deal of energy to start and proper car wear of googles, cap and scarves to withstand the elements.  The pair are a joy to read about as their banter and witty comments are highly amusing.  They certainly consume enough tea, scones, sandwiches and cakes to fuel any activity in which they engage.  They set out “to poke the hornet’s nest with a good, stout stick and see what happens.”  The plot focuses on a certain rundown area of Bristol and an attempt to make the merchants sell so that the area can be rebuilt as a successful upscale business development.  Money must be obtained and the deceased but perceptive Brookfield had run into a scheme devised to illegally obtain funds for this scheme.  It also appears that there’s a Men’s Anti-Suffragette Movement group whose designs inadvertently wind up involving Ms. Worrel.  The Burning Issue of the Day… is a highly pleasing, clever novel sure to satisfy both mystery and historical fiction fans!
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Lady Hardcastle and her Lady's maid Florence are at it again solving anther mystery while getting involved in the Women's Sufferage movement. This fourth installment in the series is just as charming and as the previous books with a wealth of interesting characters and witty dialogue. Always look forward to these books and the latest adventures of Lady Hardcastle and Florence.
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For the fifth book in the series, Kinsey only seems to be slipping slightly. I think the amount of characters distracted from the actual plot. Instead of "revisiting old favorites" the spots when other characters from previous books were mentioned disengaged readers from the new characters. Every time, even when vital to the plot, I had to re-focus and make it a point to remember what was going on that made me feel like I was reading a Game of Thrones novel rather than a beloved mystery. 

Despite the distractions, Flo and Lady Hardcastle were impeccable as ever and I can't wait for the next in the series!
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Thank you to Net Galley for the advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Although this was not my favorite Lady Hardcastle mystery, it was still a fun read.  Highly recommend this series!
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Ive read this entire series and i love it!! Its a cozy yet sassy murder series with characters that are actually incredibly likeable and interesting. So good i may read again!
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I’ve come to really love these books—especially the two lead characters—and look forward to the next one. This may be my favorite so far. It drags a little in the middle—the author, bless him, includes so much interesting information that sometimes it bogs down the story a bit—but still manages to be a fun, funny, fast and feisty read. 
The two main characters—especially the martial-arts, knife-wielding, door-(and head-) cracking ‘maid servant,’ Armstrong, who narrates the story, and the relationship they have (and quick-witted, smart-mouth dialogue between them) are wonderful. And the various characters they encounter—and their evolving relationships with them—equally so. The books manage to be remarkably informative without being pedantic—and the author makes it clear where he’s taken liberties. 
This installment, with its central topic of women’s right to vote, is especially timely now. (Isn’t that sad?!) I highly recommend this book to any lover of a good mystery, smart (and beautiful) women, and intelligent, clever writing.
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This was the first book of the Lady Hardcastle series I have read, so I cannot compare it to the previous 4 in my review.  It has enough hints about the main characters' past for a new reader to read as a stand alone book. It was a pleasant read, but did not keep me up at night trying to get to the end. The author aims for quaint and witty but falls short - more Enid Blyton than Agatha Christie, sadly. Flo and Emily are described like they are superheroes rather than women with special skills, but in their actions seem bumbling comics. What detective worth their salt goes around giving every Tom, Dick and Harry and blow by blow account of all their findings - in this case, straight to the bad guys' spy!
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It's always a great joy to read another Lady Hardcastle mystery, and this was a really fun one. I love these characters and spending time with them again in this adventure was like seeing old friends. Their escapades to solve this mystery are clever, witty, and compelling in a brilliantly light and enchanting way. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to anyone who loves mystery, historical fiction, and character driven series. Great fun.
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I love this series and Flo and Lady Hardcastle are two of my favorite characters. I love their sleuthing antics and they always get their
Suspect. I look forward to many more installments 
Many thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The fifth Lady Hardcastle mystery from TE Kinsey. When the eccentric Lady Hardcastle receives a call for help from a suffragette, the sometime amateur sleuth is spurred into action. A delightful mystery told with flair and plenty of gentle humour. A worthy addition to the series.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this book. I am so glad I kept this book to read whilst on holiday as I devoured it in one day. This is the usual outrageous romp involving the usual suspects but this time is set around the suffragettes period and the general election at the time. There is also a bit of a good robbery going on and as usual only Lady Hardcastle and Flo can save the day. Even though you know it will all end ok these books are compulsive reading. Highly recommended
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Another delightful entry in the Lady Hardcastle series - this time we find Flo and Emily knee deep in arson, murder, large scale thievery, and the women's suffrage movement.  The period-ness of the series is definitely coming into focus as we move forward and I hope the author has intentions of integrating more historical keystones into the mysteries.  As readers have come to expect, the dialogue is snappy, the characterization sharp, and the pacing is fantastic - there's maybe a scene or two that could be pared down, but that's a small quibble in an otherwise very satisfying novel.  A strong, strong recommend.
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The Burning Issue Of The Day is the fifth book in the A Lady Hardcastle Mystery series.

It’s Friday morning and Lady Hardcastle and her ladies maid, Florence Hamilton, are reading the Bristol News while partaking of their breakfast they start to discuss an article about arson on Thomas St where a tenant dies and the arrest of a woman, charging her with murder.  Later that morning as Lady Hardcastle and Flo are about to head out for lunch at the Dog and Duck the post arrives and Lady H finds a letter written on fine stationery and takes time to read it.  The letter is from a Lady Bickle who says she got Lady H’s name from her friend, Dr. Simeon Gosling.  She states in her letter that she has learned from Gosling Lady H’s investigative skills and would like to meet with Lady H to see if Lady would look into the arson.  Lady Bickle is a leader of a local suffragette group, who are part of the WSPU, and they adhere to a non-violence way of getting women’s rights.  The young lady arrested for the arson, Lizzie Worell, is a member of Lady Bickle’s group.  Lady Bickle feels certain that Worell is innocent.

Lady H decides to take on the investigation and with the victim of fire, a Christian Brookfield, being a reporter with the Bristol News, reluctantly decides to call a truce with reporter Dinah Caudle, who they had a run-in with in the previous book.  Soon, Caudle brings a notebook of Brookfield’s to Lady H and Flo that are notes on stories that he had been working on.  The notes are written in code and some are easy to decipher and it appears that he was working on the corruption of some high placed businessmen.  Some are more difficult to break and these will be the ones to get the investigation to head in the right direction.

I love this series.  The stories are all well told and well plotted the characters are well developed very enjoyable.  I particularly enjoy Lady Hardcastle and Flo.  Even though they Lady and Lady’s Maid they are more than less on an even footing.  The dialogue between them is often humorous.

I’m looking forward to reading many more books in this very enjoyable series.
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Another exciting escapade for the ex-spy, Lady Hardcastle and her maid. This time they are caught up in plot to discredit the suffragettes in Bristol and when one of their number is arrested for the murder of a reporter, she has to help. I particularly enjoyed this title because of its descriptions of the City of Bristol, mainly because I worked in the City for 20 years and I could mentally visualize so many of the scenes. This series is a particularly well written and researched one and I don't get those little niggles about accuracy that I find with some other authors.
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Solid new entry in this series.  I adore Flo + Lady Hardcastle.  The author's writing is always entertaining - fun and lighthearted mysteries, witty banter, enjoyable characters.  It was interesting learning about the suffragette movement from that time period, and I enjoyed the historical note at the end.  (Side note - is it just me, or does every mystery from this time period written in the last few years include a Vigenere code?? so trendy)

Two minor nits:  1)  Given that the inspector kept semi-inviting the women over to meet his wife for so long without ever extending an actual invitation (enough so that they comment on it in the last book), I thought there might be a bit of a story there re: his wife.  Instead, they meet her at a dinner party the end of this book with zero fanfare and nothing to comment on.  Very minor nit and only cared about by readers who have followed the whole series.  :)  2)  Out of nowhere, the author dropped in a tiny tidbit about the German Lady Hardcastle killed or thought she killed years ago.  He surfaced in the last book - surprise, he's maybe alive?? - then was mentioned for a hot second in this book and promptly dropped again.  The ladies promise to be extra careful given the news and nothing happens.  Maybe the author was just laying more groundwork for the future, but it felt more like a dropped thread to me.  These nits did not detract from my enjoyment of the story though.  I thoroughly enjoy these stories and always look forward to reading the next one!  

My thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC via netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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