cover image A Death in the Dales: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

A Death in the Dales: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Frances Brody. Minotaur, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-09882-5

Set in 1926, Brody’s leisurely paced seventh Kate Shackleton mystery (after 2016’s Death of an Avid Reader) takes the private investigator and her teenage niece, Harriet, to the Yorkshire village of Langcliffe, where they stay at a cottage belonging to Dr. Lucian Simonson, who’s sweet on Kate. No less than three problems require Kate’s attention. First, Lucian’s aunt, Freda, witnessed the murder of the local alehouse keeper in 1916 and maintained until her recent death that the wrong man was executed for the crime. Kate feels compelled to investigate this old case, despite the disapproval of some townspeople. Meanwhile, Harriet befriends a girl whose brother has gone missing. Finally, the wife of Langcliffe’s biggest landowner wants help retrieving some indiscreet letters. No wonder Lucian feels Kate has no time for him. The characters are pleasant enough, but there’s not much mystery, except for an out-of-left-field ending that takes everyone by surprise. Agent: Judith Murdoch, Judith Murdoch Literary (U.K.). (Feb.)