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The Fatal Flying Affair

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August 1911. Emily Hardcastle and her inimitable lady’s maid Florence Armstrong are enjoying a fine summer until Harry, Lady H’s brother, turns up out of the blue with a mystery for them to solve. A routine parachute test at a local aeroplane factory has gone horribly wrong—with pilot Dickie Dupree plummeting to his death. Harry is certain there is more to this ‘tragic acci August 1911. Emily Hardcastle and her inimitable lady’s maid Florence Armstrong are enjoying a fine summer until Harry, Lady H’s brother, turns up out of the blue with a mystery for them to solve. A routine parachute test at a local aeroplane factory has gone horribly wrong—with pilot Dickie Dupree plummeting to his death. Harry is certain there is more to this ‘tragic accident’ than meets the eye, having discovered that someone at the airfield is leaking top secret intelligence to foreign rivals. In between strolls to the Dog & Duck and planning for the annual village show, the daring duo dust off the Crime Board and go undercover at Bristol Aviation. With international powers investing heavily in aeronautics, the stakes are high—sky high—and the suspects soon mount up. Can Lady Hardcastle find the culprit before someone else falls down dead?


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August 1911. Emily Hardcastle and her inimitable lady’s maid Florence Armstrong are enjoying a fine summer until Harry, Lady H’s brother, turns up out of the blue with a mystery for them to solve. A routine parachute test at a local aeroplane factory has gone horribly wrong—with pilot Dickie Dupree plummeting to his death. Harry is certain there is more to this ‘tragic acci August 1911. Emily Hardcastle and her inimitable lady’s maid Florence Armstrong are enjoying a fine summer until Harry, Lady H’s brother, turns up out of the blue with a mystery for them to solve. A routine parachute test at a local aeroplane factory has gone horribly wrong—with pilot Dickie Dupree plummeting to his death. Harry is certain there is more to this ‘tragic accident’ than meets the eye, having discovered that someone at the airfield is leaking top secret intelligence to foreign rivals. In between strolls to the Dog & Duck and planning for the annual village show, the daring duo dust off the Crime Board and go undercover at Bristol Aviation. With international powers investing heavily in aeronautics, the stakes are high—sky high—and the suspects soon mount up. Can Lady Hardcastle find the culprit before someone else falls down dead?

30 review for The Fatal Flying Affair

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Another delightful episode in the lives of Lady Hardcastle and her 'tiny servant' Florence Armstrong. I love this series!!! In The Fatal Flying Affair the daring duo step in to assist Lady Hardcastle's brother Harry in a little bit of spying. Harry works at the Secret Service Bureau and has employed them before in sometimes quite dangerous affairs. Although they have supposedly retired from the job this one involves the very new aeroplane industry and, because they are both very eager to fly for Another delightful episode in the lives of Lady Hardcastle and her 'tiny servant' Florence Armstrong. I love this series!!! In The Fatal Flying Affair the daring duo step in to assist Lady Hardcastle's brother Harry in a little bit of spying. Harry works at the Secret Service Bureau and has employed them before in sometimes quite dangerous affairs. Although they have supposedly retired from the job this one involves the very new aeroplane industry and, because they are both very eager to fly for the first time, they jump at the possibility. Flying in those days was surely very dangerous. Engines blew up, parachutes split open, planes were landed in cow fields. I am very glad things today have improved so much. Flo shows herself, not for the first time, to be a very competent burglar and and a fearsome opponent in a fight. She also excels in any event which involves taking aim at something. Tiny she may be but she is also scary. Best of all are the comical asides, the plays on words and the questioning of things we take for granted. If an aircraft hangar is described as being the size of two soccer fields, how should we describe its height? There are many very funny suggestions but they settle on it being the height of three elephants. I really hope the author is aiming at this being a very long series! My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Once again Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ‘tiny servant’ Florence Armstrong (whom Harry calls Strongarm) are involved in skulduggery and murder. Emily’s brother Harry has them both involved in the dreadful accident which occurred when the new parachute Bristol Aviation was testing malfunctioned. It was 1911 and parachutes were in their infancy. Was information being leaked to foreign rivals? Was it sabotage that was afoot? With Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid Flo undercover at the airfield; th Once again Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ‘tiny servant’ Florence Armstrong (whom Harry calls Strongarm) are involved in skulduggery and murder. Emily’s brother Harry has them both involved in the dreadful accident which occurred when the new parachute Bristol Aviation was testing malfunctioned. It was 1911 and parachutes were in their infancy. Was information being leaked to foreign rivals? Was it sabotage that was afoot? With Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid Flo undercover at the airfield; the annual village show in full rehearsal mode and the two women taking an unexpected amount of walks around the Common, it would seem they’d be soon able to oust the criminals. But could they? What would be the outcome in this dastardly race? The Fatal Flying Affair is the 7th in the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by T.E. Kinsey and one again I was entranced. I spent a lot of my reading time laughing out loud – such a delightful series and each episode seems to get better. Flo and Emily are, on the surface, a Lady and her maid quietly living in the country. But underneath – you wouldn’t want to cross them, especially Flo. A delightfully entertaining series of which The Fatal Flying Affair was no different. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    This is the seventh in T. E. Kinsey Lady Hardcastle series and is just as engaging and delightful as the previous books in the series. It takes place in the early 1900’s and there is a flavor of the period along with delightful characters who are distinct and fully developed The two main characters, Lady Hardcastle and Flo, her cohort in the secret service who frequently passes herself off as a Lady’s maid are both seasoned employees in His Majesty’s Secret Service. They have incredible skills in This is the seventh in T. E. Kinsey Lady Hardcastle series and is just as engaging and delightful as the previous books in the series. It takes place in the early 1900’s and there is a flavor of the period along with delightful characters who are distinct and fully developed The two main characters, Lady Hardcastle and Flo, her cohort in the secret service who frequently passes herself off as a Lady’s maid are both seasoned employees in His Majesty’s Secret Service. They have incredible skills in the areas of martial arts, weapons, surveillance, breaking and entering, and various other forms of skulduggery. Throughout the novel, they put their skills to use as required. Lady Hardcastle’s brother, who is also their occasional boss in the secret service, asks them to look into a local airplane manufacturer. They are currently doing top secret work to develop a parachute that can be strapped to a pilot’s back and it has come to the secret service’s attention there is a spy at work at the plant trying to gain access to the plans. As Lady Hardcastle and Flo pursue their cover story of Lady Hardcastle’s purchase of an airplane, they pursue the spy using various techniques they’ve developed over the years. Overlaying all this activity is the humor with which the two women approach each other and life in general. It is not unexpected that any reader will have a few occasions of laugh out loud enjoyment as they read the escapades and try to figure out the identity of the spy before these two agents do. This a book, and series, not to be missed. It’s a fun read with just enough twists and turns to make it enjoyable throughout. Each book stands alone, but I would suggest you might want to read the series in order as there are some people and happenings that are referred to from previous novels. Besides, it’s a great series and, if you like character driven mysteries that are on the lighthearted side, you are bound to enjoy this one. My thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital read for review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #7 Publication Date: 12/3/20 Number of Pages: 316 OH! This was a delightful author and series to find. Coming into the series with book seven only made me want to go back and discover the delights of the first six books. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a read this much in a long time. The mystery is realistic, the writing is excellent, the prose is witty, the story is excellently paced, and the characters are all wonderful. How have I missed this series? I, who insists Series: Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #7 Publication Date: 12/3/20 Number of Pages: 316 OH! This was a delightful author and series to find. Coming into the series with book seven only made me want to go back and discover the delights of the first six books. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a read this much in a long time. The mystery is realistic, the writing is excellent, the prose is witty, the story is excellently paced, and the characters are all wonderful. How have I missed this series? I, who insists on a bit of romance in my mysteries, didn’t even miss it in this book. Go figure! Just as an FYI to the other miscreants out there who have also missed this series – this book can easily be read as a standalone. References are made to former cases and people, but not in such a way that you feel you are lacking some knowledge. For those of you who are familiar with this series, you might want to skip this paragraph because it is about my take on who Lady Emily Hardcastle and Florence Armstrong are and what they do. My take may not be totally correct because it is mostly from suppositions based on some of the things mentioned in this book. However, I’ll know all once I manage the time to go back and read the earlier stories. Lady Hardcastle has been a widow for something like thirteen years. Florence has worked for Lady Hardcastle for something like seventeen years. Officially, Florence is Emily’s lady’s maid, but that is just to explain Florence’s presence at various functions. Florence is really Emily’s friend and partner in their work for the Crown. Both ladies have spent years working for the Crown and they are exceedingly skilled at what they do – and who – in that time period – would ever suspect a Lady and her maid of being agents for the Crown? They’ve been retired for the last three years and living in Littleton Cotterell in Gloucestershire – near Bristol. Lady H and Flo have enjoyed their retirement and country living, but when Lady H’s brother Harry, who works for the Secret Service, approaches the indomitable pair about returning to active service, they quickly agree. It seems that something just isn’t right at the Bristol Aviation and Aeronautics Company. Harry’s organization has determined that someone is leaking design information to foreign agents, and a gifted young engineer was killed in a testing accident. That accident might not have been an accident. Harry needs Emily and Flo to figure out what is going on at the company, Identify the leaker, and to determine if the young engineer was murdered. With political tensions already making themselves felt in 1911, everyone is fearful of an approaching war. Even those who aren’t ‘in the know’ about what is actually happening are feeling the tensions mounting. Emily and Flo know more than most – especially with Harry filling them in – so they embark on their new investigation determined to find who is betraying England to foreign powers. I absolutely adore the banter between Harry, Emily, and Flo. They are all well-suited and can always make a very tense situation less tense with their humor and wit. I adore how absolutely talented the two ladies are – and how they thoroughly enjoy pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Those people, especially males, tend to discount two females, especially a Lady and her tiny little lady’s maid. They discount Flo and Emily at their own peril! This is a delightful read with a great mystery (or two or three or …) and such delightful characters that you will love them all. I definitely recommend the book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    The clever, indomitable Emily, Lady Hardcastle and her sassy maid Florence Armstrong thought to retire from their lives as spies; however, Lady Hardcastle’s brother has persuaded them to return to the game. It’s 1911, and the brother, Harry Featherstonehaugh, believes that airplanes are bound to be the next big thing in warfare. Further, he believes that someone is passing along secrets about a new advance called a parachute to a foreign power. So Lady Hardcastle and Florence set out to discover The clever, indomitable Emily, Lady Hardcastle and her sassy maid Florence Armstrong thought to retire from their lives as spies; however, Lady Hardcastle’s brother has persuaded them to return to the game. It’s 1911, and the brother, Harry Featherstonehaugh, believes that airplanes are bound to be the next big thing in warfare. Further, he believes that someone is passing along secrets about a new advance called a parachute to a foreign power. So Lady Hardcastle and Florence set out to discover what’s what. I won’t ruin it by revealing any more details. I can say that the seventh novel continues the fun and insight of the previous books in the series. As always, author T.E. Kinsey weaves in a history lesson so expertly that you don’t realize how much you’ve learned until you finished the book. Highly recommended. In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    The seventh book in the Lady Hardcastle Mystery, written from the perspective of her "maid" and spy friend Flo Armstrong, was delightful, especially the pair that again solve a mystery and spy story, or rather several mysteries at once, this time around aviation in the year 1911, which was rather dangerous. I liked the fun and wit that was involved in the book, also connected with the other characters, family and friends, members of the village and most of all the servants. I also liked the bante The seventh book in the Lady Hardcastle Mystery, written from the perspective of her "maid" and spy friend Flo Armstrong, was delightful, especially the pair that again solve a mystery and spy story, or rather several mysteries at once, this time around aviation in the year 1911, which was rather dangerous. I liked the fun and wit that was involved in the book, also connected with the other characters, family and friends, members of the village and most of all the servants. I also liked the banter and the playing with words. The mystery constitutes a rather small part in this description of life in a village at a rich house, but it is solved of course, though with an unexpected end. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helen Howerton

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Thomas & Mercer for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review The Fatal Flying Affair. All opinions are my own. Emily, Lady Hardcastle and Flo find themselves involved in the rumbles of war, in The Fatal Flying Affair. At a somewhat secret factory a parachute test goes awry – foreign agents are possibly involved. “Deliberate damage as well as espionage” -- perhaps. All this is coming from Harry, Lady Hardcastle’s brother, who’s with the “n Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Thomas & Mercer for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review The Fatal Flying Affair. All opinions are my own. Emily, Lady Hardcastle and Flo find themselves involved in the rumbles of war, in The Fatal Flying Affair. At a somewhat secret factory a parachute test goes awry – foreign agents are possibly involved. “Deliberate damage as well as espionage” -- perhaps. All this is coming from Harry, Lady Hardcastle’s brother, who’s with the “new” Secret Service Bureau. Flo and our Lady consider themselves retired from such activities, having done quite enough of it in earlier times, thankyouverymuch. But it's Harry asking, so our intrepid duo agree to go to the factory for a look-see. And Flo wants to take flying lessons, because, why not? That’s the cover story. So, they begin to investigate, under the guise of buying an aeroplane. A side story involves the Littleton Cotterell – their village -- talent show. Flo’s place in that is practically assured; “Britain’s Got Talent” would be so proud. It would be a hoot to live somewhere like this. Well, minus the bodies, of course. “A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, but doesn’t.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I love about these books, lines like this, from the likes of T.E. Kinsey. Is there any wonder why I wait impatiently for a Lady Hardcastle and Flo book? Takes me away from today’s times, that’s for sure. The banter back and forth between these two highly individualized women, a highlight of the series, is fully in evidence in this, the seventh in the series, set in 1911. And what makes this story “go” is indeed the characters. Their friends the Farley-Strouds, the help, the staff at the Dog and Duck, the vicar and his wife, even the butcher. Every single one a gem, true to time and place. And of course, no Lady Hardcastle and Flo book is complete without mention of killer cows. Can’t do without that. Perish the thought. Back to our story. Someone, an insider, is passing along information – is it the boss, one of the engineers, the daring pilot, or maybe the beautiful secretary; ooooh, a femme fatale. Our girls figure out the parachute was deliberately rigged, so that was indeed murder – but brother Harry thinks something else is going to happen. And because this is set pre-war, we get the “what’s coming” speech. We’ve got a few years to go, though. I hope that Emily and Flo get to enjoy their idyllic village for quite a while longer. In the end, the truth is found out, both ladies get their aeroplane rides and a German spy gets caught. All in a day’s work. And Flo saves the day at the talent show. What fun this all is. What fun Mr. Kinsey brings to us, in his books. More, please. An Author’s Note explains the many references used throughout the book. And why he couldn’t use a certain word, not in 1911. Another reason why I love to read historical mysteries.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    An entertaining British romp, featuring a smashing pair of lady detectives/part-time government agents! Lady Emily & Flo are more proper & warmhearted than Phryne Fisher, with the sly wit of The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey) and the inventiveness & sangfroid of Emma Peel (Diana Rigg/The Avengers). Thanks to the author & narrator for making this such an enjoyable listen. I'm especially glad that . . . *These are free through Kindle Unlimited & Audible. *There's a whole series to enjoy now that An entertaining British romp, featuring a smashing pair of lady detectives/part-time government agents! Lady Emily & Flo are more proper & warmhearted than Phryne Fisher, with the sly wit of The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey) and the inventiveness & sangfroid of Emma Peel (Diana Rigg/The Avengers). Thanks to the author & narrator for making this such an enjoyable listen. I'm especially glad that . . . *These are free through Kindle Unlimited & Audible. *There's a whole series to enjoy now that I discovered them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luce

    3 Stars for the book itself and 5 Stars for Elizabeth Knowelden's excellent narration that I have come to expect. She adds much to my enjoyment of this series. I don't know if I would have gotten this far in the series without her narration. Yes! Our favorite Lady Emily Hardcastle and her Lady's maid and best friend, Florence Armstrong are back home at their country house near the small village of Littleton Cotterell. The best part of this series is the relationship between these two ladies. Thei 3 Stars for the book itself and 5 Stars for Elizabeth Knowelden's excellent narration that I have come to expect. She adds much to my enjoyment of this series. I don't know if I would have gotten this far in the series without her narration. Yes! Our favorite Lady Emily Hardcastle and her Lady's maid and best friend, Florence Armstrong are back home at their country house near the small village of Littleton Cotterell. The best part of this series is the relationship between these two ladies. Their friendship, their banter, their mutual respect, their banter, all in spite of their class difference. Did I mention their banter? A quick introduction of our two ladies – they met quite a few years ago, in China. In Book One they settle down in Littleton Cotterell and over a course of 7 books we learn that Lady Hardcastle was a spy for the British government. In each book we learn more about their adventures traveling throughout Asia, one small hint at a time. Florence grew up in the circus where she learned a number of skills such as marksmanship, and knife throwing. She is also a master of hand-to-hand combat and mending Lady Hardcastle's dresses. They are truly best friends. I didn't finish the previous book (Death by the Seaside Book #6) where they went to the seashore for a holiday. Book #6 just didn't hold my interest and I can't remember exactly why. So I was happy that I was able to enjoy this installment. August, 1908 and Lady Hardcastle's brother stops by to ask the two if they will do some reconnaissance for him. Harry works for the Secret Service Bureau and the year before convinced the pair to return to government service. This would have been the first time he has asked them to do a significant assignment. Aeroplanes were new fangled machines, being designed and tested by private companies. Harry asks them to investigate the death of a pilot who died testing a parachute and to find the person who is leaking top secret intelligence to foreign rivals. He asked them to pose as potential buyers of a private plane. Lady Hardcastle said, she won't be posing, she is interested in purchasing a plane, if they are safe. Both ladies are excited to take a ride. And of course to find the culprit amongst the many suspects. Florence does the physical investigation that involves a lot of breaking and entering. And they do this between enjoying their new garden, entertaining Harry and his family and planning the village talent show. Overall, I was entertained listening to this audiobook. I was worried when I couldn't finish the previous book. So, if he writes another Lady Hardcastle, I'll pick it up. There was a cameo of Inspector Sutherland, the detective who help them solve murders in the previous books. I hope he returns for a significant part in future books, but Harry might be replacing the Inspector. The village can't have too many more murders for Sutherland to investigate! (Although Louise Penny is on Book #17 with many or most involving 3 Pines Village) Kinsey is coming out with a new series, which I'm planning to check out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reading copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own thoughts and not connected to the giveaway. It's August of 1911 and Lady Hardcastle and Flo have officially rejoined the British intelligence service. So far summer has been uneventful but happy, with new babies to dote on and new hobbies to explore. When Lady Hardcastle's brother Harry shows up unexpectedly, life takes a more interesting turn. Nearby at the Bristol Aviation and Aeronautics Com Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reading copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own thoughts and not connected to the giveaway. It's August of 1911 and Lady Hardcastle and Flo have officially rejoined the British intelligence service. So far summer has been uneventful but happy, with new babies to dote on and new hobbies to explore. When Lady Hardcastle's brother Harry shows up unexpectedly, life takes a more interesting turn. Nearby at the Bristol Aviation and Aeronautics Company, an aeroplane factory, all is not well. A routine parachute accident has gone horribly wrong ending in tragedy when pilot Dickie Dupree was killed. Harry believes this ‘tragic accident’ to be connected to a spy at the airfield leaking top secret intelligence to foreign rivals. With the world on the brink of war, it's up to Emily and Flo to find the sneak thief and stop him (or her) from selling secrets to the enemy. Meanwhile, back in Littleton Cottrell, the village is planning their annual talent show and everyone is pressing Flo to choose an act. The idea of performing in front of everyone in the village terrifies Flo but how can she say so when she's well known for her unique skills? If she says no, she disappoints her dearest friends but if she says yes, she's likely to die of stage fright! What to do? This is another fun adventure for Emily and Flo. The mystery was pretty tight. There were three mysteries in this investigation to be solved and they're all connected. I stayed up late reading half the book and late again to finish it the next night. I never guessed the identity of the spy. Actually, that's not true, I did think about it at first but dismissed it when other stuff was going on. As with previous books, the history of aviation is seamlessly woven into the story. Thankfully Flo is uninterested in engineering and leaves Emily at the mercy of the aviation engineers off page and that keeps the story flowing smoothly. The story stalls a bit in the second half and picks up at the end of the mystery. I really liked the village talent show plot too. I love reading about English villages and their quaint traditions. Like Flo I could never get up there and perform so reading about it is fun. That subplot added more humor to the story. The tone of the story is overall light with the usual witty banter. What I don't like is now Emily and Flo are official and the world is inching ever closer to war (3 years), the story kind of loses some of its charm. Is it still a true cozy mystery if the ladies work for the government? I suppose so but I think it's not as fun as having them be two nosy, intelligent ladies solving mysteries for the local police. The characters always shine bright in this series. I adore eccentric Emily but this time she's just gone plum crazy! Emily is delightful playing an exaggerated version of herself but I think she goes too far with her ruse and gets too into it. BUY an airplane? Just for fun? Whatever for? You couldn't pay me enough money to get in one of those contraptions. Nope. Not until jets are invented! Emily is now a doting aunt to both Harry's new daughter Addie and the Farley-Strouds granddaughter. She's just young at heart enough to be a fun godmother and teach the little girls some really bad new tricks LOL! I can't unsee the image of Emily in a spangled leotard. Thank heavens for Flo's good sense! Not that there's anything wrong with a 40-something woman wearing a spangly leotard but it would be very shocking in 1911, especially for Emily, a Lady and one who would be considered getting past middle-aged. I always enjoy the banter between Emily and Flo and I think there's less of it this time. Their relationship is still special though. Sometimes they tease each other but with the introduction of Harry into the mix, the three of them go round and round teasing each other and it kind of changes the dynamic a little bit. Harry and Emily have a wonderful relationship. I adore how much he loves her and accepts her for who she is. He makes good use of her brain and I think she's smarter than he is and he knows it. Harry is content with his desk job and leaving the field work to Emily and Flo. He's kind to Flo, treating her as another sister, knowing how devoted she is to Emily. Their banter has the added bonus of reminding the reader how the ridiculous surname of Fetherstonehaugh is pronounced. The Farley-Strounds have a minor role in this story. I miss them being a large part of the plot. Lord Farley-Stroud is always a hoot. We finally find out what happened to Clarissa and surprise! she's not as vapid as everyone believed. She's matured a lot and has a meaningful life with a husband, a child and a job! Who knew? She's also older than she seemed at first. As silly as Clarissa seemed, she comes across as more intelligent than her husband Adam. He's nice but simple. He's gullible and naïve yet they trust him to work for an aviation company in France and look in on the Bristol Aviation and Aeronautics Company. He's at least smart enough to know how to fly but I kept worrying he was going to blow Emily and Flo's cover with some innocent remark. He's charming but clueless. The servants are delightful too. Miss Jones sure can cook. Edna doesn't always know what to make of Emily and Flo but she's loyal. Jed, the new gardener, is delightful. He's a recluse who doesn't really like being around people but he's passionate about gardening and landscape design. Apparently patios and patio furniture weren't common in England in 1911 for weather related reasons. We have them everywhere here in New England and our weather is nearly as dreadful. Jenkins, the Farley-Stroud's butler is amusing. Daisy, Flo's best friend in the village, is bold and a bit cheeky. She has a unique sense of humor I don't quite relate to but she is a good friend pushing Flo when Flo needs a little push but being understanding when Flo reveals the truth at last. Inspector Sunderland is on hand again to help. He's out of his jurisdiction so he just comes to make an arrest. I like how he respects Emily and Flo and doesn't fight with them about investigating. Even his wife seems to like them and not feel jealous. It's refreshing not to have police-sleuth drama in a cozy mystery. Mr. Walter "Walt" Sandling, the managing director of Bristol Aeronautics. seems like a nice fellow but he could be playing dumb. Is he really unaware someone is stealing information or is he the one doing the stealing and playing dumb on purpose? (view spoiler)[By the end I quite felt sorry for him! He has a lot to deal with. (hide spoiler)] Miss Matthews, the receptionist, has a thankless job. She greets visitors, answers phones, files, grabs lunch/coffee/tea and sometimes doesn't get lunch and hints at sexual harassment. That has to be rough. She was engaged to the pilot who died. Could she be angry enough at the company for everything they make her do to sell secrets? She's a member of the WSPU and feels a kinship with Lady Emily. I don't want her to be a spy. As angry and frustrated as the suffragettes were, they did love their country and wouldn't sell secrets to the enemy. What if Dickie was the one selling secrets and Miss Matthews was an innocent dupe, doing his bidding stealing files because she loved him? Love complicates the mystery too much. Godfrey "Goff" Parfitt, senior engineer, is affable and talkative. Maybe a little too talkative. I don't see him as a spy though. He's so passionate about aviation and he has a good job. There's not much motive there. However, he does like to gamble so perhaps he's selling secrets because he needs money? Rupert Herbert, chief test pilot is a little slimy. Our ladies think he's oily, slick, lecherous and a jingoist. Yuck. Can he be the villain? Gosh I hope so! They need him in Bristol though because he's a brave and daring test pilot. Paul Curtis, junior engineer, is the quiet one. Isn't it always the quiet ones who cause trouble? Again I hope not, being a GOOD quiet person. He's unobtrusive and no one knows much about him. Maybe he's introverted and a private person? Myrtle Matthews doesn't like Mr. Milhouse, the accountant but he's reasonable and fine with Emily and Flo. Flo is a bit disappointed he didn't try to hit on her so she could show off her special skills. She suspects him of wrongdoing but can't prove it officially. Who is lying? Miss Matthews or Mr. Milhouse? Or neither and he did hit on her but knows how to behave around wealthy eccentric widows and their maids? Historical notes: Great British Bake Off fans will smile at the discussion of how Battenberg cake is made. It's been made several times on the British and American versions of the show. One minor quibble: I believe the use of the word flashlight is incorrect for Britain in 1911. Wouldn't torch be more accurate? I still love this series, It is perfect for a bit of light escapism.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    When a pilot plunges to his death from testing a suddenly faulty parachute, Emily and Flo get their orders to investigate the Bristol Aeroplane plant for espionage and a murderer. I love these Edwardian Era cozy Historical Mysteries that combine fun and gig with sleuthing. The Fatal Flying Affair is the seventh of the Lady Hardcastle mysteries that can be taken standalone or, at their best, in order. Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ladies’ maid, Florence have enjoyed a fine summer in their country v When a pilot plunges to his death from testing a suddenly faulty parachute, Emily and Flo get their orders to investigate the Bristol Aeroplane plant for espionage and a murderer. I love these Edwardian Era cozy Historical Mysteries that combine fun and gig with sleuthing. The Fatal Flying Affair is the seventh of the Lady Hardcastle mysteries that can be taken standalone or, at their best, in order. Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ladies’ maid, Florence have enjoyed a fine summer in their country village cottage, plotting garden plans with their irascible gardener and looking forward to a village talent festival that Flo is rather reluctant to participate in. Then, Lady Cardcastle’s brother in the secret service drops in with a need for their detecting talents so off they go into the world of aviation and pre-WWI espionage. I’ve always enjoyed the jovial, badinaging pair of Emily and Flo who are definitely over the top and eccentric. Emily comes across as quirky, even ditzy, but she is really a keen observer and the brains of the detecting duo. While Florence, who is the narrator of the books, is the even-keeled one with the martial arts and weapons knowledge. They blur the lines in mistress-servant because the pair have been together a long time and through a colorful career in far off places as British spies. Their cottage and the village was to be their peaceful retirement, but they can’t help poking into local mysteries and murders. So with their skill set, they come across as a dotty lady and her maid servant and perfect investigators. As to the mystery, it is set in the fascinating pioneer period of aviation and I enjoy getting a good dose of what it was like in the early years without slogging into the engineering behind it all. The suffragettes from an earlier mystery are back as are several of the usual characters, but the mystery is in a Bristol factory and is being touted as an accident so Inspector Sunderland, the Farley-Strouds and others are not as prevalent. The mystery is, in fact, three mysteries that seem unrelated until they are. There were plenty of suspects and motives. It got exciting and I did get to enjoy seeing the intrepid Flo in action and Lady Hardcastle do her voila. It got slow for a bit just before the reveals and finale, but it was still a fun detecting adventure. All in all, I had a good time as I usually do with these light, amusing historical murder mysteries that I can recommend to those who like historical cozies. I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Winter

    I hope that this isn't the last book!! I hope that this isn't the last book!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    What another fun outing with Emily and Flo. I'm sorry to reach the end of the current series. Please write another one soon Mr. Kinsey! As usual, I REALLY enjoyed the audiobook version of this book. The narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden did another bang-up job. She catches the nuances and humor between Lady Hardcastle and her maid/companion Florence Armstrong perfectly. I smiled and guffawed my way through this book. These are best read in order. What another fun outing with Emily and Flo. I'm sorry to reach the end of the current series. Please write another one soon Mr. Kinsey! As usual, I REALLY enjoyed the audiobook version of this book. The narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden did another bang-up job. She catches the nuances and humor between Lady Hardcastle and her maid/companion Florence Armstrong perfectly. I smiled and guffawed my way through this book. These are best read in order.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is my favourite cosy mystery series! I love Lady Hardcastle and Flo...their friendship is precious. It's not just about the mystery (which is good) but village life and friendships. Very funny and heartwarming - more please! This is my favourite cosy mystery series! I love Lady Hardcastle and Flo...their friendship is precious. It's not just about the mystery (which is good) but village life and friendships. Very funny and heartwarming - more please!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Goblin Reaper

    Lady Emily Hardcastle and her small servant Florence Armstrong (nicknamed "Strongarm" by Harry) is once again embroiled in skulduggery and murder. Emily's brother Harry claims that they were both involved in the tragic crash that happened when the new parachute that Bristol Aviation was developing failed. In 1911, parachutes were only in their infancy. Was intelligence leaked to international competitors? Is there sabotage going on? With Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid Flo working undercover Lady Emily Hardcastle and her small servant Florence Armstrong (nicknamed "Strongarm" by Harry) is once again embroiled in skulduggery and murder. Emily's brother Harry claims that they were both involved in the tragic crash that happened when the new parachute that Bristol Aviation was developing failed. In 1911, parachutes were only in their infancy. Was intelligence leaked to international competitors? Is there sabotage going on? With Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid Flo working undercover at the airfield, the annual village show in full swing, and the two ladies enjoying an unusual number of walks across the Common, it seems they'll be able to apprehend the offenders fast. Can they, though, do it? What will the result of this heinous race be? I adore Harry, Emily, and Flo's back-and-forth. They're all well-suited, and with their wit and humor, they will still lighten up a stressful situation. I admire how brilliant the two ladies are, and how much they love deceiving others. Those individuals, especially males, are prone to dismissing two females, particularly a Lady and her diminutive lady's maid. At their peril, they dismiss Flo and Emily! The Fatal Flying Affair is the seventh in T.E. Kinsey's Lady Hardcastle Mysteries, and it enthralled me. I spent a lot of my reading time laughing out loud – it's such a fun series, and each episode only gets better and better. On the surface, Flo and Emily seem to be a Lady and her maid happily live in the countryside. But underneath, particularly Flo, you wouldn't want to cross them. The Fatal Flying Affair was another installment of a delightfully enjoyable collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    The seventh book in the Lady Hardcastle Mystery, written from the perspective of her "maid" and spy friend Flo Armstrong, was delightful, especially the pair that again solve a mystery and spy story, or rather several mysteries at once, this time around aviation in the year 1911, which was rather dangerous. I liked the fun and wit that was involved in the book, also connected with the other characters, family and friends, members of the village and most of all the servants. I also liked the bante The seventh book in the Lady Hardcastle Mystery, written from the perspective of her "maid" and spy friend Flo Armstrong, was delightful, especially the pair that again solve a mystery and spy story, or rather several mysteries at once, this time around aviation in the year 1911, which was rather dangerous. I liked the fun and wit that was involved in the book, also connected with the other characters, family and friends, members of the village and most of all the servants. I also liked the banter and the playing with words. The mystery constitutes a rather small part in this description of life in a village at a rich house, but it is solved of course, though with an unexpected end. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debra Belmudes

    A fast, fun read and another wonderful entry in the Lady Hardcastle cozy mysteries. After taking a chance on the first book in the series -- A Quiet Life in the Country -- I've become a BIG fan of T E Kinsey's books about Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ladies' maid, Flo(rence) Armstrong, as they retire to the English countryside in the early 1900s. Emily, now a widow, and Flo are much more than employer and employee. Emily's former work as a clandestine government operative and Flo's background in A fast, fun read and another wonderful entry in the Lady Hardcastle cozy mysteries. After taking a chance on the first book in the series -- A Quiet Life in the Country -- I've become a BIG fan of T E Kinsey's books about Lady Emily Hardcastle and her ladies' maid, Flo(rence) Armstrong, as they retire to the English countryside in the early 1900s. Emily, now a widow, and Flo are much more than employer and employee. Emily's former work as a clandestine government operative and Flo's background in the circus and later as a domestic servant bring together an interesting set of skills used to solve the occasional village mystery.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Niki (nikilovestoread)

    "A conversation with you is just a box of parts we have to assemble for ourselves, isn't it?" The Fatal Flying Affair is another great addition to the Lady Hardcastle series. One of my favorite things about this series is the humor and banter back and forth between the characters. Lady Hardcastle's brother, Harry Featherstonehaugh, plays more prominently in this one. I always love seeing their sibling relationship, how they give each other a hard time, but care for each other so much. As always, "A conversation with you is just a box of parts we have to assemble for ourselves, isn't it?" The Fatal Flying Affair is another great addition to the Lady Hardcastle series. One of my favorite things about this series is the humor and banter back and forth between the characters. Lady Hardcastle's brother, Harry Featherstonehaugh, plays more prominently in this one. I always love seeing their sibling relationship, how they give each other a hard time, but care for each other so much. As always, great characters, fun storyline, and an all around good time for the reader. I love this series and hope more will be coming!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pat Chrivia

    Love this series. Can’t wait for the next adventure

  20. 5 out of 5

    M.

    Charm and wit are the perfect words to describe this book. Not to mention the clever prerequisite mystery holding one’s attention.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Les Wilson

    Love these books. 4*+

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong, have been together for 17 years. They are not exactly who they appear. Both of these women work for the British government. In fact, they have done so in quite a few different situations and different countries. Although this is the seventh book in the series, it can work as a stand alone read. But, if you want to have a more enjoyable reading experience, I would suggest you start at the beginning. Lady Emily’s brother, Harry, has asked tha Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong, have been together for 17 years. They are not exactly who they appear. Both of these women work for the British government. In fact, they have done so in quite a few different situations and different countries. Although this is the seventh book in the series, it can work as a stand alone read. But, if you want to have a more enjoyable reading experience, I would suggest you start at the beginning. Lady Emily’s brother, Harry, has asked that the two women investigate an airplane manufacturing company. Because Lady Emily is an adventurous soul, she plans to investigate while checking out the idea of purchasing an airplane. She and Florence have driven an experimental auto which blew up while they were driving. They have done many unusual things while investigating for the government. But, they also simply like adventure. Exploding cars are simply a part of their lives. This time, as they are shown around the airplane manufacturing site, they meet the movers and shakers of the company. They are looking for someone who has been selling information to a foreign power and the same person may also be a murderer. As always, Mr Kinsey provides the reader with wonderful humor, adventure and mystery. There are characters from the local village as well as the people being investigated. Each of them seem to be a wee bit off kilter. Everyone has a story, and each of those stories add wonderful atmosphere to the book. In the background, as the mystery is being investigated, the village is planning a talent show. Everyone participates and there is a contest for the most entertaining act. In short, this is a village which is typical of the early 20th century. It is very rural, it is in the process of moving forward along with new technology and no one is beyond making a fool of themselves for their friends and neighbors. I love this series. Lady Hardcastle and Florence are two of the best examples of strong and accomplished women you will find in fiction. Although they may face danger, they are doing what they know is needed to be done for their country. And they can make a reader laugh while they are facing danger. Much of the background and the reason for their investigation has to do with the European situation before World War I. The British government and much of the population are aware that situations can lead to a war. This story is a reminder that the people who were to be affected by a war, are human beings with lives to live. I have enjoyed this book and if you are seeking a fun British mystery, this is the book for you. I received the book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I am voluntarily writing this review and all opinions are completely my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tony Hisgett

    The interaction between Florence and Emily and just the whole feel of the books are what keep me avidly waiting for the next one in the series. It isn't just the witty banter between the two of them, but it's the way the reader feels part of their group. The weakest part of this book is the mystery and investigation, there seemed to be a lot of aimless visiting with no idea of what they were doing and at times it was so pointless I had to just skip through some sections. The interaction between Florence and Emily and just the whole feel of the books are what keep me avidly waiting for the next one in the series. It isn't just the witty banter between the two of them, but it's the way the reader feels part of their group. The weakest part of this book is the mystery and investigation, there seemed to be a lot of aimless visiting with no idea of what they were doing and at times it was so pointless I had to just skip through some sections.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of The Fatal Flying Affair, the seventh novel to feature Lady Hardcastle and her maid cum assistant Florence Armstrong, set in 1911 Gloucestershire. Due to rising tensions in Europe the government, in the form of Lady Hardcastle’s brother Harry, has recruited her and Flo to the newly created Secret Service and now they have a job. Dickie Dupree died while testing a new top secret parachute at Bristol Aviation and Harry s I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of The Fatal Flying Affair, the seventh novel to feature Lady Hardcastle and her maid cum assistant Florence Armstrong, set in 1911 Gloucestershire. Due to rising tensions in Europe the government, in the form of Lady Hardcastle’s brother Harry, has recruited her and Flo to the newly created Secret Service and now they have a job. Dickie Dupree died while testing a new top secret parachute at Bristol Aviation and Harry suspects murder because someone is leaking new technology secrets to foreign governments. I thoroughly enjoyed The Fatal Flying Affair which is a light, frothy read with a good plot and plenty of humour. It is told entirely in the first person from Florence Armstrong’s point of view and as she has a slightly cynical take on life, which masks a certain idealism, it makes for a fun read. It seems effortless from the light pastiche of the fiction of the times to the witty dialogue but I would imagine that a lot of hard work goes into this appearance so my thanks to the author for his efforts to amuse me. The plot, on a realism scale, is fairly silly with all sorts of shenanigans like coded messages and burglaries but it’s designed to be entertaining is very well executed. I laughed a lot and got carried away by the exuberance and exhilaration of the read. The ladies are crafting a new life as spies but this is not their first rodeo as they have a long career in international spying and escaping tight situations. This past is not explored in this novel as it has been in previous instalments. A new reader to the series may wonder but their backstory is not essential to this novel. The Fatal Flying Affair is a fun read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    4 1/2 stars. Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid, Florence Armstrong, are a delightful pair! They are so much fun, so is their small village of Littleton Cottrell. Their gentle teasing of each other upsets the normal social hierarchy but it works for them and provides a great deal of fun never mind is priceless when they engage in sleuthing a murder case as amateurs or acting as agents for His Majesty's government. These two are not your typical women settling in for a quiet, retiring life in th 4 1/2 stars. Lady Hardcastle and her lady's maid, Florence Armstrong, are a delightful pair! They are so much fun, so is their small village of Littleton Cottrell. Their gentle teasing of each other upsets the normal social hierarchy but it works for them and provides a great deal of fun never mind is priceless when they engage in sleuthing a murder case as amateurs or acting as agents for His Majesty's government. These two are not your typical women settling in for a quiet, retiring life in the country. All the new inventions of the turn of the century, the 20th century that is, interest them: moving pictures, fast cars, and now, airplanes. Lady Hardcastle's brother asks the pair to discover who is passing top secret military secrets to a foreign power from a nearby airplane design company. Of course, a mysterious death at the company, rises Ladycastle and Flo's suspicions that something else is afoot that treason. Meanwhile, Flo is desperately trying to escape performing in the Village Show. Sit down and enjoy a charming story full of fun, enjoyable characters and a good mystery to boot. I was provided with a copy of the ARC by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Lady Hardcastle series by T. E. Kinsey over the last few years, and the seventh installment, “The Fatal Flying Affair,” is another jewel in the crown. Tensions are mounting in Europe in the years preceding WWI. Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid-cum-burglar-cum-markswoman Flo Armstrong are sent to investigate the death of a pilot at an aviation facility. A damaged parachute, exploding plane engines, and missing money are all in a day’s (well, week’s) work for our det I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Lady Hardcastle series by T. E. Kinsey over the last few years, and the seventh installment, “The Fatal Flying Affair,” is another jewel in the crown. Tensions are mounting in Europe in the years preceding WWI. Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid-cum-burglar-cum-markswoman Flo Armstrong are sent to investigate the death of a pilot at an aviation facility. A damaged parachute, exploding plane engines, and missing money are all in a day’s (well, week’s) work for our detectives. Not only do they have to sift through clues to find possible spies and lies, but the annual village show is in peril. Can Hardcastle and Armstrong save the day and foil the plot? Kinsey’s style is a nice blend of madcap and sensibility. Lady Hardcastle and Flo have a strong relationship that has lasted through perils and peacetime, and their very different personalities make them a strong detective team. There are some laugh-out-loud lines, and it’s always nice to see Flo put her circus skills to work. This feel-good Edwardian cozy series is highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a reading copy in return for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Another very good read from the Lady Hardcastle & Florence series in which the pending storm of WWI looms over our heroines and the core of the mystery - an aeroplane-related incident which may have a whiff of foreign interference and sabotage about it. Especially enjoyable are the relationships between Emily, Florence and the various village residents and the sibling slap fights between Emily and her brother, Harry (who also acts as their government /spymaster-ish contact with the higher-ups in Another very good read from the Lady Hardcastle & Florence series in which the pending storm of WWI looms over our heroines and the core of the mystery - an aeroplane-related incident which may have a whiff of foreign interference and sabotage about it. Especially enjoyable are the relationships between Emily, Florence and the various village residents and the sibling slap fights between Emily and her brother, Harry (who also acts as their government /spymaster-ish contact with the higher-ups in Whitehall). The series looks to be veering more into international intrigue, as opposed to just straight-up murders on the village green, and I'm all for it! A very strong recommend for series fans and newcomers alike. I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This is such a fun series. Set in the early part of the 20th century, before the War, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady's maid cum bodyguard are happily preparing for the Village talent show. Then Emily's brother Harry asks for their help in some information gathering about a nearby aeroplane company where a young man was recently killed. He's with the "Foreign Office" and suspects possible sabotage and/or espionage. They are happy to oblige -- posing as potential buyers of one of the machines. This is such a fun series. Set in the early part of the 20th century, before the War, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady's maid cum bodyguard are happily preparing for the Village talent show. Then Emily's brother Harry asks for their help in some information gathering about a nearby aeroplane company where a young man was recently killed. He's with the "Foreign Office" and suspects possible sabotage and/or espionage. They are happy to oblige -- posing as potential buyers of one of the machines. As always, there's witty repartee and a large dose of humor along the way. They absolutely don't take themselves too seriously, while certainly taking their duties seriously. Besides ferreting out a possible spy, they are aware they might also be looking for a run-of-the-mill murderer and soon begin to suspect financial shenanigans as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    JJ

    When you read this series you are not just getting a mystery but you are invited into the home and daily life of Lady Hardcastle and her maid (for ‘maid’ read ‘best pal’) Daisy Armstrong. So we get teas on the lawn with neighbours, suppers with friends in the local pub and the staging of the village show. In between Lady Hardcastle’s brother, who had recruited them into the Secret Service, asks them to do some undercover work at an aerodrome where there has been a death and important files seem When you read this series you are not just getting a mystery but you are invited into the home and daily life of Lady Hardcastle and her maid (for ‘maid’ read ‘best pal’) Daisy Armstrong. So we get teas on the lawn with neighbours, suppers with friends in the local pub and the staging of the village show. In between Lady Hardcastle’s brother, who had recruited them into the Secret Service, asks them to do some undercover work at an aerodrome where there has been a death and important files seem to go missing. Posing as a prospective buyer of a small plane they get to know the owners, designers and pilots. It’s also a bonus as both her ladyship and Daisy are keen to try out flying. The witty repartee and caustic remarks between the characters make for light amusing reading. Daisy gets to show off her deadly moves and Lady Hardcastle shows she is a keen observer of situations with a sharp mind. There is a leisurely pace to the story but all characters and places are well drawn.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    2020, bk 403: T. E. Kinsey has done it again - a mystery as full of information as well as adventure. Lady Hardcastle's brother again recruits our heroines to check out a nearby Aviation firm and see if they can feel out the cause of a test pilot's death and the leakage of information being sold to the Germans. Both Emily and Florence take to the air with glee - well it would have been glee in Florence's case, but the engine failed, on the ground. Between chasing down a spy, visits from the brot 2020, bk 403: T. E. Kinsey has done it again - a mystery as full of information as well as adventure. Lady Hardcastle's brother again recruits our heroines to check out a nearby Aviation firm and see if they can feel out the cause of a test pilot's death and the leakage of information being sold to the Germans. Both Emily and Florence take to the air with glee - well it would have been glee in Florence's case, but the engine failed, on the ground. Between chasing down a spy, visits from the brother, and the village's annual amateur night things are kept busy, and yet the two are able to solve the mystery and tie up all loose ends! A fun read on a chilly day.

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