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Exit Stage Left (Kempston Hardwick Mysteries Book 1) by [Croft, Adam]
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Exit Stage Left (Kempston Hardwick Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Adam Croft is the three-times best-selling author of the Knight & Culverhouse crime thrillers and the Kempston Hardwick mysteries.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1483 KB
  • Print Length: 133 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Circlehouse; 1 edition (12 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006LN8FYS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,536 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If that sounds big-headed, I apologise (yep, I am British).
What I mean is that Mr Croft captures the essence of British village life so accurately I was sniffing the barmaid's apron within the first page or so (with my kindle on large print!). I swear I used to work with Hardwick at some point during my 23years @ Marconi - and there were always at leas a couple of Ellis Flints in every department. In essence, these characters (and their relentless pedantry and use of ten big words where 5 small ones would suffice) is so ingrained in British culture (along with Benny Hill, Diana Dors et al) that every word resonated (at a high frequency, with a rather large amplitude). Wow, three sets of brackets (that braces for all our US readers) in one sentence. Pretty spectacular stuff.

So yeah, if you want a "light read" and aren't prepared to put a bit of effort into pond translations, this probably isn't the right book for you.
If you want to recapture the sights, smells and sounds of that happy time you spent in Blighty, slip into a patched cardi, light up your pipe and enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the first Adam Croft book I had read but it will not be the last,I tend to read UK based books I seem to be able to relate to them better than American based books. I like mystery books that are not entirley dominated by the police and the main man, Hardwick is like an up to date male Miss Marple and very methodical. A nice read I just could not put down I am now reading The second book in the series The Westerlea House Mystery.
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This 133 page short mystery story I found difficult to adjust to the writing style to begin with but once I realised it seemed to be tongue-in-cheek, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Miss Marple type of story it made a bit more sense.

I was confused about when it was supposed to be set though, it’s not Victorian or 1920/1930 all the way through or even more modern, more a mish-mash of all aspects of those eras.

I was also a bit muddled as how the two men got together and then stay together as they don't seem to like each other very much considering it was a rather chance meeting at the sight of the death of Charlie Sparks during his routine.

I downloaded this book from a Facebook free offer for which I thank the author.
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Had a read of few reviews thought I'd give it a try. After the first couple pages went back to the reviews and lookers further. Can understand the ⭐️ & ⭐️⭐️ ratings.
Poor storyline. Soo unrealistic. Description of various buildings & items was laughable, storyline was mish mash. Poor poor. Give it a miss
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I have read and enjoyed Adam Croft's Knight & Culverhouse books - Too Close For Comfort (Knight & Culverhouse) and Guilty as Sin so was intrigued when I noticed Exit Stage Left with a different protagonist in the form of Kempston Hardwick.

We are initially introduced to Kempston in a pub, the Freemason's Arms, where he strikes up a conversation with Ellis Flint. Charlie Sparks, a has been celebrity who at the height of his fame performed at Royal Variety performances, is scheduled to do a live show at the pub that evening.

Kempston is an amateur detective and an alliance is quickly formed with Flint as a sidekick as they become involved in investigating the sudden death of Sparks at the start of his performance.

This novella can comfortably be read in a couple of hours and I read it in an afternoon.

Adam Croft has an excellent writing style, which is becoming more and more refined with each publication - not that it was deficient, it's more his skills are being enhanced with every story!

It is certainly an easy read and it wasn't until I'd almost reached the end - 93 per cent through the story to be exact! - that I had a light bulb moment and worked out exactly how the murder had been committed.

A very clever piece of writing!
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Very different from the usual murder mysteries I read, and reminded me of the style of Holmes and Watson. The writing is somewhat 'old fashioned' which kind of puts you into another era; but I found it rather entertaining. A good read; I like this author.
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It was a relief to find that other reviewers shared my opinion that this book was a very poor parody of the Holmes & Watson style detective stories because seeing all the 4 and 5 star comments made me think I'd missed something. I now know I hadn't and as others have already picked up on the worst examples of the poor grammar, bad analogies and weird vocabulary, there's little more for me to add on that score. In fact, alongside all of that, the main problem I had with this book was that I struggled to understand the period in which it was supposed to be set. Having stated that it was written in 2011, some of the references just didn't make sense. For example, early on in the story, the characters use both the Internet and a mobile phone whilst at the same time, we have two references to Bakelite phones. The murder victim is a washed up comedian who, we are led to believe, was a huge TV star in his day. Bearing in mind the superstar status of today's stand-up comedians, our victim is much more likely to have been on TV in the 1970/80s at the latest and as one of the "Bakelite" phones is in a public call box taking 20 pence coins, the timeframe seems to be set in this period. The "celebrity" references reinforce this with mention of the Benny Hill Show on TV and the late Diana Dors as a pin up. As both of these stars died in the 1980s and the Internet did not come into public use until the 1990s, it's no wonder I began to get confused. Nor could I see someone born in the 1980s having a "pin-up" photo of Diana Dors on his desk. Marilyn Munro with all those iconic images currently in style, yes, Diana Dors, no! Just as puzzling for me was the reference to Hansel & Gretel houses in order to portray the English village setting.Read more ›
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