cover image Murder in the Afternoon: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Murder in the Afternoon: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Frances Brody. Minotaur, $25.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-03702-2

In the prologue of Brody’s engaging third Kate Shackleton mystery set in post-WWI England (after 2013’s A Medal for Murder), Harriet Armstrong and her younger brother, Austin, find the body of their stone mason father, Ethan, lying in a hut by the quarry where he works. Harriet goes to a nearby farm for help, but the body is gone by the time she returns. Ethan’s wife, Mary Jane, later asks Kate, who is a private detective, to investigate; she also gives Kate news of her family that changes her life. Was Ethan really dead, or did he merely disappear? Kate and her assistant, Jim Sykes, uncover one puzzle after another in their search for the stone mason, who made enemies as a labor agitator, drawing the unwelcome attention of national authorities. The bucolic setting of the village of Great Applewick and the period atmosphere add authentic touches to this finely drawn traditional mystery with multiple storylines. Agent: Judith Murdoch, Judith Murdoch Literary Agency (U.K.). (Feb.)