Sunday, 24 January 2016


(The sixth book in the Kate Shackleton series)

Published:  Oct 2014

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 blames, 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 in this case, she can't judge a book by its cover ......

The year is now 1925 and amateur detective Kate is once more tasked with a tricky case to solve.  

Narrated by Kate, she is summoned to London from her home in Yorkshire to meet Lady Coulton, who wants her to find the daughter she had to give up over twenty years ago.  Not an easy case but, with the help of former policeman, Mr Sykes, she is determined the find her daughter and bring some peace to Lady Coulton.

But, as they start digging for clues, Kate's local library has a murder mystery that she becomes involved in as well.  So now she's looking for the truth about a murder, a missing daughter, a library book thief, and a wronged young woman ....... there is so much going on that the story never gets boring, it's fully of quirky, interesting characters, elusive ghosts in the basement, the organ grinder's monkey, all in all this is an entertaining read with period detail on every page.

People trust Kate, they talk to her and she never misses a chance to question anyone even when buying a paper from the newspaper seller on the street corner or purchasing hot chestnuts from the chestnut seller on cold, foggy Yorkshire evenings.  

I love these quirky mysteries - this is the fourth book in the series I've read and I've thoroughly enjoyed them all -  this is probably my favourite story.  The plot kept me guessing, I didn't have a clue who the murderer was, I kept changing my mind throughout as Frances Brody kept up the twists and turns.

If you haven't discovered this series yet, this can be read as a standalone, but I'd recommend you read them all, as they do follow on in years.  Whichever one you read first I'm sure you'll love it if you love cozy mysteries.

Here's what I thought of the other books in the series:

Dying in the Wool
A Medal for Murder
Murder on a Summer's Day

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