Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £23.09

Buy Now for £23.09

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Summer 1911. A scorching heatwave engulfs the quiet town of Littleton Cotterell and brings about an unusually early harvest. The villagers are thrilled, but events quickly turn sour when one of them turns up dead in an apple orchard, stabbed through the heart.

Amateur sleuth Lady Hardcastle and her trusty lady’s maid, Flo, suddenly have a juicy case on their hands. Might the mysterious stranger they recently met in the village be to blame?

When a second cider-related murder takes place, it quickly becomes clear that there’s more to these mysterious deaths than meets the eye. The daring duo uncover whispers of an ancient order and moonlit rituals. And evidence points to a macabre secret in the village stretching back years. A secret someone will do anything—anything at all—to keep hidden.

Something is rotten, that’s for sure. With the local constabulary baffled, Lady Hardcastle and Flo must use all their powers of wit and whimsy to get to the bottom of the dastardly deed. But can they catch the killer before any more people drop dead?

©2022 T E Kinsey (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

“Elizabeth Knowelden's versatile British accents enhance this charming cozy set in the sultry summer of 1911 in the quaint English town of Littleton Cotterell.”AudioFile Magazine

What listeners say about Rotten to the Core

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    128
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

As always didn't have a clue about guilty party. Wonderfully narrated as always

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another cracker from Mr Kinsey!

Absolutely love this series of books, had me hooked from book 1. The relationship between Lafy H & Flo is just lovely & believable. The stories grip you & have twists to keep you hooked. The narration by Elizabeth is just perfect. Have a go, you won't be disappointed

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intelligent, funny & feisty. love Love LOVE! 😊

The female equivalent of Holmes & Watson but with more humour, fisticuffs & all whilst wearing corsets.

Another great episode in this brilliant series. Outstanding narration from Elizabeth Knowelden. Can't wait for the next adventure of these superb, tongue in cheek characters.

For lovers of MRC Kasasian, Agatha Raisin, Robin Stevens & Richard Osman.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent episode

I’ve loved all the Lady Hardcastle audiobooks, and this one is no exception. Another excellent story, brought into entertaining life by a brilliant narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great addition to the series

I love Elizabeth Knowldons reading of these stories. This is another great mystery story in the Lady Hardcastle series

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved every minute!

Another wonderfully written and beautifully narrated Lady Hardcastle mystery. I've been totally hooked on this series since book 1, and each book has never failed to be delightful. Listening to these books and becoming immersed in the story is the most perfect nostalgic escapism. The principal characters are so likeable, I can't wait for the next book. I sincerely hope there will be more coming!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great series!

I am hooked on this series and was so pleased when a new one came out. I love to find out more about Lady H and Florence Armstrong. This story is not my favourite; I didn’t find it as engaging as the others but still extremely enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another brilliant adventure

I have been waiting eagerly for this book and was not disappointed. Love Flo and Lady Hardcastle and their banter. Praying their is a book 9.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun filled mystery!

A fun filled mystery - particularly like the narrator who has a lovely voice and good command of voices for all the different characters

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love these books!

I honestly enjoy these so much, I was really excited for this new one!
Elizabeth Knoweldon is my favourite Narrator, I never get tired of her, she definitely brings the story to life.
Please never stop releasing these, the stories make long journeys much less boring!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Susan
  • Susan
  • 17-06-22

Not my favorite installment of the series

I still found the book diverting. However, there was very little substance. A lot of dialogue, a lot of running around, but a thin plot and not much witty banter. There was just something missing. Most of the character development has stagnated. In fact, Sunderland and the other characters seem almost superfluous. There's none of the spirit that they displayed in earlier stories. This series is well written and outstandingly narrated, so I'll probably stick with it if there's another book after this. But I won't be disappointed if this is the last in the series. I think it has run its course.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Linda
  • Linda
  • 15-06-22

Another very enjoyable book in the series.

This was a fun return to the Lady Hardcastle universe. I’m glad the author came back to writing about them. TE Kinsey’s writing and Elizabeth Knoweldon’s narration are an outstanding combination.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K
  • K
  • 14-06-22

Fantastic

Another great Lady Hardcastle mystery! Enjoyable to the core

The narration is outstanding. The characters really shine through

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-08-22

They did it again!

Lady Hardcastle and the tiny servant Flo are at it again. Their quips and sluething are sharp as ever. Absolutly delightful. I have listened to all of these books and I still wanting more.
T. E. Kinsey and Elizabeth Knowelden are a team that can't be beat.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alexandra Reid
  • Alexandra Reid
  • 27-07-22

Keeps you guessing

Lady H and Flo keep you on your toes. Like many of their surrounding admirers, I strive to be more like the ladies, particularly Lady H's enviable ability to stay calm and nonplussed by the rude and sometimes condescending behavior of others.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alexis
  • Alexis
  • 29-06-22

Good, but not the author's best work.

I love the characters and the narration is always enjoyable, but i was expecting a more detailed and innovative story. The reasoning was boring, not going to give it away, but I felt it was a flimsy, overdone excuse that seemed half baked. The banter between characters was enjoyable as always, it just felt as if the author HAD to come with another book and so used the oldest motive in the world to explain the murders.
Mrs H and Flo deserve better.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PW
  • PW
  • 29-06-22

The best one yet!

And that’s saying a lot. This series has truly “ grown “ on me and become one of my favorite cozies.
In this time of serious and scary real life, to laugh out loud at language and goings -on that I register as totally tongue in cheek entertainment is a luxury. The narration is superb and absolutely part of why Lady Hardcastle mysteries are special treats.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for whyNOTme
  • whyNOTme
  • 29-06-22

First disappointment.

2 quick things in my first, less than glowing, review of a Lady H book.

1). The audio is inexplicably bad in some places, an issue that hasn’t popped up to this extent in the previous eight books. At times the fabulous Ms. Knoweldon sounds as if she’s speaking with her bottom lip hanging down after an overdose of novocain. There’s a disturbing echo that is quite unpleasant to the human ear. Not the performers fault I’m sure, more of an engineering miscue I should think.

2). The story itself is generally quite good with more than one snorting laugh drawn from this old scalawag. But there’s an indescribable, ohhh perhaps flatness is the word but not quite. I enjoyed it no doubt but there was some zing and even zest missing in parts. I do hope Mr. Kinsey isn’t tiring of the characters. That would be a terrible loss to his millions of fans who’ve come to think of the many recurring characters as dear friends and charming acquaintances.

In the end an enjoyable addition to the series that fans and newbies alike can enjoy. Definitely credit worthy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-06-22

Delightful

I thought this story was delightful. I loved the involvement of Lady Hardcastle & her maid Flo in the investigation of the murders . They have such a good friendship with each other and it helps them work on these cases. The narrator Elizabeth Knowelden was very good at making everything so real. Great mystery and a lot of humor too.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ivy Johnson
  • Ivy Johnson
  • 26-06-22

delightful!

A highly entertaining, well written and read mystery. No terrifying horror or blood and gore. Flo and Lady Armstrong are a wonderful pair of friends who enjoy a good time. Can't wait for #9.

1 person found this helpful