Even at the beginning of the 20th century, a lady could solve murder mysteries.

Who Lady Hardcastle is?

Written by murder mystery writer Tim Kinsey, the Lady Hardcastle Mysteries series take us back at the start of the 20th century for some sleuthing.

Born Emily Charlotte Ariadne Featherstonhaugh, Lady Emily Hardcastle is now an eccentric widow but mostly a retired spy turned amateur sleuth. With the help of Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante who is also an expert in martial arts, she always found a crime to investigate.


Lady Hardcastle Mysteries Books in Order:


  1. A Quiet Life In The Country – The year is 1908 and Lady Emily Hardcastle and Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, have just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…
  2. In the Market for Murder – Spring, 1909, and Lady Hardcastle is enjoying a well-deserved rest. But a week after a trip to the cattle market, Spencer Caradine, a local farmer, turns up dead in the pub, face-down in his beef and mushroom pie. Once again, it is up to Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, to solve the case. Armed with wit and whimsy, not to mention Florence’s mean right hook, the pair set out to discover what really happened and why. Was it poison or just ill luck?
  3. Death Around the Bend – September 1909, and Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, have been invited to Lord Riddlethorpe’s country estate for a week of motor racing and parties. They both agree that it sounds like a perfectly charming holiday. But when one of the drivers dies in a crash during the very first race, they discover that what seemed like an uncharacteristic error in judgement may have a more sinister explanation…
  4. Christmas at The Grange (short story) – It’s Christmas 1909, and for once Lady Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong, are setting sleuthing aside. They are invited to the festivities up at The Grange, as guests of Sir Hector and Lady Farley-Stroud. But barely have corks been popped and parlour games played when a mysterious crime comes to light.


  1. A Picture of Murder – Late October 1909, and the season of ghouls and things that go bump in the night has descended on the village of Littleton Cotterell. Lady Hardcastle and her trusted lady’s maid, Florence, find themselves hosting a colourful cast of actors whose spooky moving picture, The Witch’s Downfall, is being shown to mark Halloween. But things take a macabre turn when the first night’s screening ends with a mysterious murder, and the second night with another…One by one the actors turn up dead in ways that eerily echo their film.
  2. The Burning Issue of the Day – January 1910. A journalist has been killed in a suspicious blaze. Everything points to a group of suffragettes, but the apparent culprit insists she is innocent. When Lady Hardcastle receives a letter from a suffragette requesting her urgent help, she 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 truth.
  3. Death Beside the Seaside – July 1910. Lady Hardcastle and her tireless sidekick Flo have finally embarked on a long-overdue seaside break. But just as they’re wavering between ice creams and donkey rides, their fellow guests start to go missing—and the duo find themselves with a hysterical hotel manager and a case to solve.