In the Market for Murder
Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence Armstrong, return with their intelligent, witty and lively investigating skills in this second English mystery series novel taking place in 1909. Lady Hardcastle is recovering from two serious wounds suffered during their last two mystery investigations. There are actually four stories within this one novel. In the first story, Florence realizes the Lady has recovered earlier than expected, and they set off to enjoy the local farmer’s market. After the market, they decide to have lunch at a local pub, where one of their other neighbors suddenly spasms and falls into his beef and mushroom pie, dead as a doornail. The local Inspector, within 24 hours, seeks the help of our two heroines to find who poisoned the victim, a man totally disliked by family and acquaintances. Midway through that account, another story called “The Ghost of the Dog and Duck” takes place, in which a ghost appears during a séance and declares one of the participants to be a murderer. The third mystery details rugby trophies that are stolen from the Littleton Cotterell Rugby Club, and finally, a fourth story and another murder occurs; this one slightly resembles a former mystery solved by Lady Hardcastle.
These four separate but united stories keep this novel lively. They also show the mutual mistrust of rural farmers, which is driven by motives of love, different careers, or just plain, unadulterated ambition. The heroines keep the plot and pace clipping along at a humorous, mysterious pace, providing a satisfying solution. An old-fashioned mystery that is highly entertaining reading!