Wednesday, December 01, 2021

The Fatal Flying Affair by T.E. Kinsey

First Line: Lady Hardcastle was in the garden offering the new gardener a scone.
It's August 1911, and Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid Florence Armstrong are enjoying the beautiful summer weather by getting their garden into shape and walking to the Dog & Duck, hoping that the pub soon puts tables and chairs outside. Everything changes when Lady Hardcastle's brother, Harry Featherstonehaugh, arrives to enlist their aid. 
Bristol Aviation had a routine test of a parachute that went horribly wrong, killing the pilot Dickie Dupree. Harry is positive there's more to the "accident" than meets the eye since he's learned that someone at the airfield is leaking top-secret intelligence to foreign rivals. 
With international powers investing heavily in the field of aviation, Lady Hardcastle and Florence are more than willing to go undercover at Bristol Aviation. There's a spy and a killer to catch!
To steal a bit from American advertising, no one can read just one Lady Hardcastle mystery; they're just too much fun. This series is the perfect, light-hearted, witty look at turn-of-the-century England when all was still right with the world... or at least it felt that way. I've been laughing my way through this series, and although I had already downloaded this book to my Kindle, I couldn't resist giving the audiobook version a try. I'm pleased to say that it was a complete success. Not only was the story what I've come to expect from T.E. Kinsey, but the narration by Elizabeth Knowleden was splendid.
With Lady Hardcastle's brother making a personal appeal for help, the two women turn their backs on what promised to be a sedate yet lovely summer and turn to a "summer of flying lessons and snooping." Each book in this series has touched upon some new innovation at the turn of the twentieth century, and this time it's aviation. With the clock ticking down to the cataclysm known now known as World War I, readers also get a bit of industrial espionage thrown in for good measure. And while readers are learning, they're having a jolly good time.
One of the absolute best parts of this book and the entire series is the repartee between Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong. Both are multi-talented, and we're not talking about petit point and painting pretty little flowers on china plates. Lady H and Flo love each other dearly and depend on each other completely, and they certainly do enjoy poking a little fun at each other from time to time. It's what dear friends do. Add to this wonderful concoction Lady H's brother, who fits right in. He calls Florence "Strongarm" instead of Armstrong, and Flo calls him "Featherstonehuff." Now this is a play on names that Americans might not grasp. You see, on that side of the pond, the name Featherstonehaugh is pronounced "Fanshaw." Don't ask me why, I just know that there is a boatload of similar names the British butcher with impunity. (I think they do it just to confuse the rest of us.)

Along with flying in canvas and balsa wood planes and creeping around airplane hangars at night, Lady Hardcastle and Florence get to deal with the annual village show, which adds more mayhem and hilarity to the proceedings.

If you like some light-hearted fun along with your knowledge gathering and mystery deduction, please give this series a try. I love these books to bits! 

The Fatal Flying Affair by T.E. Kinsey
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Brilliance Audio © 2020
Audiobook. 8 hours.
Historical Mystery, #7 Lady Hardcastle mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


  1. Love this series. Grabbed them all for 99p each a few months back. Very chuffed.

    1. Over here, they reduce the price on the previous book when the new one is released. That's usually when I snap mine up.

  2. I really must check this series out, Cathy. I like historical mysteries when they're done well, and this sounds like a fun series, but not one that's too 'frothy.' I'm glad you've reminded me of it.

    1. And I'll keep reminding you until you pick one up and read it. ;-)

  3. I just saw that there are quite a few books in the series. I like the style of writing so will look it up. Thank you for the review.

  4. That cover alone makes me want to read this one. :)


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