cover image Murder on a Summer’s Day: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Murder on a Summer’s Day: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Frances Brody. Minotaur, $25.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-06740-1

Likable, well-drawn characters lift Brody’s agreeable if at times slow-moving fifth Kate Shackleton mystery (after 2015’s A Woman Unknown). James, a cousin of Kate’s employed at the India Office, rings her early one morning to ask her help in finding Maharajah Narayan Halkwaer of Gattiawan, who has gone missing from Bolton Abbey, the Duke of Devonshire’s vast Yorkshire estate, where the duke will be hosting a large grouse-shooting party in a few days. Among the guests are the maharaja’s English fiancée, set to become his second wife, as well as the maharaja’s first wife and son, not to mention a member of the royal family. Descriptions of the lavish life enjoyed by the Indian elite give a tantalizing glimpse into a foreign world, but even with the discovery of a body, the plot never generates much tension. Still, fans of Maisie Dobbs and Daisy Dalrymple will enjoy the authentic period detail. [em]Agent: Judith Murdoch, Judith Murdoch Literary Agency (U.K.). (Feb.) [/em]