|Check out the other stops in the tour!|
September 2015, Piatkus, Paperback, Review copy
Content: murder, lots of mystery and spooky parts, teen and adult antics, humour,
A murder most foul
When the landlord of a Yorkshire tavern is killed in plain sight, Freda Simonson, the only witness to the crime, becomes plagued with guilt, believing the wrong man has been convicted. Following her death, it seems that the truth will never be uncovered in the peaceful village of Langcliffe . . .
A village of secrets
But it just so happens that Freda's nephew is courting the renowned amateur sleuth Kate Shackleton, who decides to holiday in Langcliffe with her indomitable teenage niece, Harriet. When Harriet strikes up a friendship with a local girl whose young brother is missing, the search leads Kate to uncover another suspicious death, not to mention an illicit affair.
The case of a lifetime
As the present mysteries merge with the past's mistakes, Kate is thrust into the secrets that Freda left behind and realises that this courageous woman has entrusted her with solving a murder from beyond the grave. It soon becomes clear to her that nothing in Langcliffe is quite as it appears, and with a murderer on the loose and an ever-growing roster of suspects, this isn't the holiday Kate was expecting.
I only had to see the title and author for this ace read to know I wanted to review it. I've only read 1 of Frances' books before, (see suggested read) and this one was just as good. I liked that I knew a few of the charaters, and the new ones soon felt like old friends. I'm ever so fond of stories where the main character has to take care of a minor. Kate's niece has an investigative mind which she definitely gets from her aunt, who unfortunately yet understandably tries to keep her niece out of the investigation. Happily I can report that isn't successful, and Harriet ends up providing key insight into the death.
The truth about the missing brother was as riveting as the rest of the book. There are a few red herrings on this and other mysteries, and the truth seems far stranger (and dangerous) than fiction. I was hesitant to keep reading this after dark, when I do freak out more if I'm startled while reading a crime novel, but I simply had to find out what happened next.
Kate gets to show her motherly side, although at one point her housekeeper turns up, which is good as Kate isn't exactly on top of planning meals in advance, which made me laugh. She goes through a lot with regards to romance, and her decisions were in some respects a surprise because the situation seemed to be matter of fact but there were small hints which direction Kate would take. Sorry if I'm a bit vague, I'm trying not to use spoilers!
Knowing all the plot points I'm looking forward to rereading this adventure with Kate, filled with some expected stereotypes, and others just being plain mean and nasty. I'm looking forward to Kate's next mission!
Find out more on Frances' website.
Available for pre-order from most bookstores including NRC affiliate Foyles.
Do check out earlier books in the series including Blog Tour: Death of An Avid Reader by Frances Brody (Cozy Mystery, Fiction, 10E/10E)
Biography of Frances Brody
Frances Brody is the author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries, as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.