aka Frances McNeil
Frances Brody has written three novels set in 1920s Yorkshire,featuring Kate Shackleton, First World War widow turned sleuth. (‘An excellent heroine’, Ann Granger.) The third book will be published in September 2011 (hardback) and March 2012 (paperback).
Before turning to crime, Frances wrote for radio, television and theatre, and was nominated for a Time Out Award. She published four sagas, winning the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award in 2006.
A lady with a secret
Kate Shackleton’s sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton. Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family. Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case.
A mysterious killing in the library’s basement
But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton’s past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home. When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations and – much to Kate’s surprise – the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!
The most puzzling case in Kate’s sleuthing history yet
Convinced an innocent man has been blamed, Kate sets out to discover the truth. Who would want Dr Potter dead? Does Lady Coulton’s missing daughter hold a vital clue? As the stories start to emerge in the seemingly quiet Leeds library, Kate is learning fast that this time, she can’t judge a book by its cover . . .
2014 is the year I promised I would step out of my comfort zone, to read other genres and stretch my breadth of reading material. Death of an Avid reader is just such a departure, while it retains it toe in history being set in the 1920’s , this is yesterday in comparison to the ancient historical fiction i normally read. This book is predominately a “Cosy mystery” apparently a new sub genre of the crime market…who knew..i sure didn’t. If im 100% honest it took me a little to settle with, because my man brain was looking for the swords, the battle the buzz of death and mayhem (im a simple chap with simple needs). But soon the very skilful writing of the author subdued me, and it was exactly what the sub genre states, a nice well written cosy story, something IMHO perfect for a wet raining sunday under the blanket with the fire on. Lovely characters, excellently portrayed and described settings, with that legitimate 20’s feel to the whole story, the author feels like she lived in the period when she wrote it (at least mentally…unless she has a tardis she has not mentioned?)
If you have not read any of the other books in the Kate Shackleton series, fear not, this was my first and it didn’t seem to make any difference, there were no trips of memory or references back to previous books. Would i read another?… TBH.. probably not, i made the journey, i enjoyed the stay, but im bound for new places and new reads. I do recommend this for the coming cold days, i think many will enjoy the gentle mystery and trip back to the majestic 20’s.
1. Dying in the Wool (2009)
2. A Medal For Murder (2010)
3. Murder in the Afternoon (2011)
4. A Woman Unknown (2012)
5. Murder on a Summer’s Day (2013)
6. Death of an Avid Reader (2014)
Frances McNeil Novels
Somewhere Behind the Morning (2005)
Sixpence In Her Shoe (2006)
Sisters of Fortune (2007)