“A Death in the Dales” is the first book by Frances Brody that I have read. I wasn’t sure that I would like a British mystery, especially because the colloquial speech of Britain is so different. Phrases and words were foreign to me and forced me to search for the meaning of the words, foods, and other jargon that was new to me. I loved it! Because this book is set in one of my favorite time periods and is full of murder and mystery, I am determined to read more books by Frances Brody. I found that the story line was not as important to me as what I learned about British life in the 1020’s. I read because I love to read, I am twice blessed when I read a book and learn so many new things.
The character of Kate Shackleton, private investigator, is a strong woman, but still feminine. Her insights in dealing with suspicious characters are very revealing of her intellect. I especially enjoyed the minor characters in this novel. They were quite charming in their own way. I thought that the way they were presented gave me more suspects for the misdeeds and made the book much more interesting.
A murder most foul
When the landlord of a Yorkshire tavern is killed in plain sight, Freda Simonson, the only witness to the crime, becomes plagued with guilt, believing the wrong man has been convicted. Following her death, it seems that the truth will never be uncovered in the peaceful village of Langcliffe...
A village of secrets
But it just so happens that Freda’s nephew is courting the renowned amateur sleuth Kate Shackleton, who decides to holiday in Langcliffe with her indomitable teenage niece, Harriet. When Harriet strikes up a friendship with a local girl whose young brother is missing, the search leads Kate to uncover another suspicious death, not to mention an illicit affair.
The case of a lifetime
As the present mysteries merge with the past’s mistakes, Kate is thrust into the secrets that Freda left behind and realizes that this courageous woman has entrusted her with solving a murder from beyond the grave. It soon becomes clear to her that nothing in Langcliffe is quite as it appears, and with a murderer on the loose and an ever-growing roster of suspects, this isn’t the holiday Kate was expecting...
Frances Brody's Kate Shackleton returns in A Death in the Dales with another mystery that's sure to "hold the reader attention and make them continue reading into the small hours of the night" (York Press, UK).