A Snapshot of Murder (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody
|A Snapshot of Murder (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: When you get to the tenth book in a series the book is either going to be a little tired or it will be obvious that the lead character is going from strength to strength. The Kate Shckleton series is like good wine - it's maturing well.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: October 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
Even detectives need a break and for Kate Shackleton, photography gives her the mental relaxation which she needs. When the local Photographic Society proposed an outing, Kate was keen to take the opportunity to visit Haworth and Stanbury, not least because the deeds of the Brontë Parsonage are being handed over so that it can become a museum and her parents will be there for the event. What could be better than seeing her family, witnessing a momentous event and having the opportunity to take photographs of the setting for Wuthering Heights? Nothing could go wrong. Or could it?
Well, of course it could. I'd be the last person to suggest that Kate Shackleton attracts murder, but she does seem to have the unfortunate habit of being in the wrong (or right) place at the right(or wrong) time. She and her niece Harriet are staying with five other members of the Photographic Society at Ponden Hall. The most popular member of the group - Carine - is married to the least popular - Tobias Murchison. Carine's in love with another member: she was to marry him many years before but her father prevented the marriage. Edward was her one true love. Another member is in love with Carine: Derek's just a teenager, but that doesn't make his love any less real, particularly to him. When Tobias is murdered in plain sight of everyone there is no shortage of suspects - only of people who mourn his death.
This is the tenth book in the series and it's going from strength to strength. For those of us who know the area there's all of Frances Brody's trademark research into just what it was like in the late nineteen twenties. It's not just the social mores of the time, but the locations too, all delivered with a skilled hand and informative without leaving you feeling educated. There couldn't be a better basis for a book. The regular characters are all here, although Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden don't play such a large part in this story. Every other character comes alive brilliantly - even Sergeant Dog the Bloodhound, of whom I expect great things in the future.
The plot is good too. I was certain I knew the name of the murderer although - as usual - I was wrong, despite there being plenty of clues. It was an excellent read and I finished it all too quickly. There's a bonus with the book too: I was somewhat surprised, with seventy-five or so pages still to go to find that A Snapshot of Murder was finished and we were into the acknowledgements. Then I found Kate Shackleton's First Case - was this a taster for the first book in the series? I even found my copy of Dying in the Wool so that I could check. No it wasn't that - with no fanfare I'd been given a Kate Shackleton short story and it's an absolute cracker. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of the book - and for the unexpected bonus.
A Snapshot of Murder would read perfectly well as a standalone - you get enough of the backstory so that newcomers are not lost but not so much that old hands wonder why they bought the book, but you will get so much more out of it if you've read earlier books in the series - and it's hardly an imposition. You'll find a chronological list here.
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