A Medal for Murder: (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody
|A Medal for Murder: (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The second Kate Shackleton mystery lives up to the promise of the first with a pawn shop robbery and a murder before we've drawn breath - and then there's the ransom demand. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: July 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
When a pawnbroker was unceremoniously robbed of valuable items which he was holding on behalf of clients he first called the police and then Kate Shackleton when the police seemed to be getting nowhere. It wasn't just the crime which had been committed, but the pledges had sentimental value to many of Moony's clients and he was worried about how they would feel when the jewellry couldn't be returned and what the impact would be on his reputation. He wanted the pieces back - but most of all he wanted Kate Shackleton and her assistant Jim Sykes to visit the clients and discuss the situation with them. Simple? No.
One of the first visits took Kate to Harrogate, which was fortuitous as she had arranged to visit an acquaintance who was directing an amateur dramatic production at the Opera House. She was a little unsettled when she realised that there was a strange similarity between the address of one of Mr Moony's clients and the place where she was staying, but that faded into nothing as she left the Opera House after the play. The man who had been in the seat next to her was slumped in a shop doorway - with a knife in his heart. As if this wasn't enough, the grandfather of the leading lady received a ransom demand the following morning and was keen to have Kate Shackleton's expertise on his side.
The first thing which always strikes me about the Kate Shackleton mysteries is that Frances Brody has her finger on the pulse of life in the twenties. Ninety years later the safety of the young woman who was missing would be the prime consideration: in the twenties the first point to be considered was the reputation of the young woman. If at all possible it should not become public knowledge as what had happened - regardless of whether or not it was her fault - could ruin her chances of making a good marriage, which was the only future that was envisaged for young women. Kate is a widow, but her mother and aunt never tire of trying to matchmake. How else can she be happy?
The location is brilliant. I didn't know Harrogate in the twenties but I knew it well a quarter of a century later and Brody has the place and the attitudes of the residents spot on. The characters are excellent from the chalk-and-cheese mixture of Shackleton and Sykes to the self-absorption of the leading lady. There's an excellent back story set in South Africa, which could have pushed the plot over the top, but which was safe in Brody's capable hands. I really didn't know how the mystery was going to work out until the final few pages.
If this book appeals then we think that you might also enjoy Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Medal for Murder: (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Medal for Murder: (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.