Wednesday 15 February 2012


Genre:  Mystery
Published:  Piatkus Books  (Oct 2010)
Pages:  424  (Paperback)
Source:  From the Author
My Rating:  9.5/10

About the Book:

A pawn-shop robbery- It's no rest for the wicked as Kate Shackleton picks up her second professional sleuthing case. But exposing the culprit of a pawn-shop robbery turns sinister when her investigation takes her to Harrogate - and murder is only one step behind ...
A fatal stabbing- A night at the theatre should have been just what the doctor ordered, until Kate stumbles across a body in the doorway. The knife sticking out of its chest definitely suggests a killer in the theatre's midst. 
A ransom demand- Kate likes nothing better than a mystery - and nothing better than solving them. So when a ransom note demands GBP1,000 for the safe return of the play's leading lady, the refined streets of Harrogate play host to Kate's skills in piecing together clues - and luring criminals out of their lairs ...

This is the 2nd book in the Kate Shackleton Mysteries set in 1920's Yorkshire....the first of which, Dying in the Wool, I reviewed here.  Kate's husband is still missing, presumed dead, in WWI.  Even though I loved the 1st book I think this one is even better!

When Kate is asked to inform the robbed pawnshops customers of their stolen pledges she travels to the lovely spa town of Harrogate where, by coincidence, she also becomes involved in a murder mystery and is asked to look for the missing daughter of a Boer War hero (who served in the war with the murder victim) and who has received a ransom demand that doesn't quite ring true.  Are they connected in any way - if so, how and why?  

As Kate tries to find the answers, we are taken from the streets of Harrogate to the battlefields of the Boer War in 1900 and the relationship between Captain Wolfendale and his batman, which I found really informative as I knew very little of that particular conflict.

There is so much going on in this book that it is never boring and speeds along at a pace that's not too slow or too fast.  There are so many suspects and so many surprises that I just did not have a clue which way the story was going to go.  What more could you want in a mystery?

Kate is a really good judge of people and her observations are usually spot on, she is independent and observant and I really warmed to her, and I loved it when a little romance came into her life!

Highly enjoyable and ideal for cosy mystery readers.

Frances Brody's website can be found here.

An interview with the author can also be found at

Special Thanks to Frances Brody for sending me this book.

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