In Death around the Bend by TE Kinsey, set in 1909, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ladies’ maid, Miss Florence Armstrong, indulge their love of the automobile by going to a week long party of car racing at Lord Riddlethorpe’s estate. There are to be two races, one for men and one for women. But in the first race, the men’s, as the cars go around the bend, the third car loses control and crashes, killing the driver. The police rule this a terrible accident, but the mechanic finds one of the brake cables cut. Someone has committed murder. So Lady Hardcastle and Flo get to work solving another murder.
This book features intrigue both above and below stairs, with Flo able to move between both places. The upper class people accept Flo in their midst, which would have been entirely unrealistic 100 years ago, but Kinsey does a good job of setting up the scene so that we accept this. The book also features a lot of fun verbal play between Lady Hardcastle and Flo. That is actually the one downside to listening to the book, as its rapid pace makes it easy to miss some of the puns and silly similes. Lady Hardcastle likes to start similes that she gets stuck in being able to finish. The book is also full of humor, making me laugh throughout.
Elizabeth Knowelden does a great job of narrating the audiobook and bringing this book to life. Sometimes I wished she would slow down a little bit so I could follow all the word play, but the pace is indicated by the text of the book. Knowelden’s performance helps to transport us back to Edwardian England and is well suited to the book.
Death around the Bend is a delightful addition to TE Kinsey’s series, which is always a whole lot of fun. Besides loving the characters, I appreciated the creative plot twists and the conclusion to the book. I highly recommend this for any and all. I give it five stars!
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