cover image Death of an Avid Reader: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Death of an Avid Reader: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Frances Brody. Minotaur, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-06739-5

In Brody’s charming sixth mystery set in 1920s England (after Murder on a Summer’s Day), private detective Kate Shackleton agrees to help Lady Coulton locate the daughter she gave up soon after birth while her husband—who’s not the child’s father—was serving in South Africa during the Boer War. Lord Coulton, who’s on his deathbed, would have divorced her at the time had he known of her indiscretion. Kate’s search for the now-grown daughter takes her to Yorkshire, where she ends up participating in a ceremony to expel alleged ghosts from an old library in Leeds. In the library’s dark cellar she happens on the strangled body of a well-known mathematician, as well as an organ grinder who’s barely alive. Former policeman Jim Sykes ably assists Kate in the ensuing investigation. Kate and Jim are sharply rendered, quirky and intelligent with complementary skills. Readers will enjoy watching them at work. Agent: Judith Murdoch, Judith Murdoch Literary (U.K.). (Sept.)