Superb indie writers abound. Many readers complain about the indie revolution and all the crappy books out there. Granted, there are a lot of crappy books being published. But they aren’t all indie. A very sizable portion of them come from the corporate giants on their never-ending quest for the next blockbuster.
Some of the best books I’ve read this year and last year were written by indie authors. And some of the worst books I’ve read last year and this year were published by the big corporations. In this day and age, who publishes a book is no guarantee of the book’s quality.
Last week, I reviewed indie author Agatha Frost, who writes contemporary cozy mysteries. This week, I want to take a look at cozy author T. E. Kinsey, who started out going indie and then accepted a publishing deal from Thomas & Mercer, an Amazon imprint.
When I picked up a copy of A Quiet Life in the Country it was #1 on Amazon’s list of Bestselling Cozy Mysteries. That was on 2 July 17. As of yesterday (7 August), the book was #15. A long ride being in the top 20.
So what makes Kinsey’s 1908 aristocratic sleuth, Lady Hardcastle, so popular? To me the answer is simple: appealing characters, humor, and good storytelling.
The same combo that works for Agatha Frost, works for Mr Kinsey. In fact, it’s the same combo that pretty much works for every author or book I like.
The only downside to A Quiet Life In The Country is that the pacing tips towards the glacial. What saved the book for me was the humor. The jokes and puns and banter made the slow spots bearable.
The storyline is the same as in all mysteries. Lady Hardcastle and her servant, who is also her friend, have moved to the country after a life of adventure. And then they stumble across the body and then another.
Through a ruse they are allowed to work with the police detective. Eventually Lady Hardcastle and the detective solve the murders.
All pretty standard. Which is why character and humor are so important, as well as good storytelling — which turns the already familiar plot into something interesting.
Highly recommended! Get yourself a copy of A Quiet Life In The Country. You won’t be sorry.
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