Today I am a part of Frances Brody’s Blog Tour for her new novel, already 6th in the series about Kate Shackleton, „Death of an Avid Reader”. I have enjoyed the read from start to finish and would like to thank the lovely Clara for letting me be a part of this fantastic Tour!
Death of an Avid Reader by Frances Brody
Publishing Date: 2nd October 2014
Series: Kate Shackleton #6
Source: Received for review.
A lady with a secret.
Kate Shackleton’s sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton. Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family. Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case.
A mysterious killing in the library’s basement.
But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton’s past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home. When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations and – much to Kate’s surprise – the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!
The most puzzling case in Kate’s sleuthing history yet.
It’s incredible. „Death of an avid Reader” is the sixth book in the Kate Shackleton series, and excuse me, but where were I that I have missed all the previous five? I am desperate to read the whole series, even when you say it is not my usual read. Maybe not, but from time to time I really like a very good mystery. But no worries to those who, the same as me, only discovered Frances Brody and Kate. The book, although there are some mentions of the previous situations, can absolutely be read as a stand – alone novel.
Excuse please my pinky, girly approach, but doesn’t the beautiful, pastel cover draw your attention immediately? In my eyes, it’s gorgeous and it fits the story between the covers wonderfully! It’s so „those times” and reminds me so much of the black & white or sepia photos took in 1920′s.
Kate Shackleton is a private detective who knows no limits and is known for her perfect and discreet work. She’s just got a new case of a very delicate matter: to find a daughter of Lady Coulton, daughter born out of wedlock and given for adoption. Because of life circumstances, Lady Coulton wants to find Sophia and employs Kate to do this. Kate begins with her search but soon is involved in many other matters: with ghosts in the Leeds Library, finding a little monkey in her car, murder, blackmail and many other things. Is Kate going to solve all the mysteries? Is she going to find Sophia? Or perhaps she herself is in danger now?
There was a great bunch of characters in the story and to be honest at the beginning I was often confused who is who, and as we are introduced to some new characters through almost the whole book, it took me always some time to get used to this person and to fit her/him properly in the novel. Nevertheless, it didn’t spoil the reading and as soon as I knew who is who, it was very smooth, fluid read.
Kate was a wonderful character and although I don’t know much about 1920′s, she in my opinion reflects the typical woman of those times: clever and witty, very well behaved but already with a greatly developed feeling of independence. She has put her heart and soul into her investigations and never gave up.
All other women in the book were actually like Kate. Intelligent, with strong will, stubborn and proud representatives of their times. I have considered those time more with women staying at home and not with such independent, earning their own money girls but those in the book didn’t let anything to get in their way. They drove cars, went on train to London and showed the men where their place is.
There are also some male characters in the book as well, and each of them is a sharp, independent character, living his own life in the book, brilliantly and very likeable written.
This book was adorable. It was written in absolutely 1920′s way, the descriptions, the vocabulary, the clothes, telephones and pistols were so from this period of time!
This what was supposed to be only a very innocent search of a person changed into a story full of mysteries, unexpected situations, twists and turns, puzzles. What I thought at the beginning to be a small snowball, started to roll and roll and caused the whole avalanche of events. The story is flawless, it makes sense and it’s polished to perfection. I loved the description of Leeds and its foggy weather, I could actually feel in my back that something is going to happen, such vivid were the descriptions. Author’s love to the Leeds Library just shines through the pages, and she brings every detail and every book she writes about to life.
I haven’t even tried to start guessing what happened in fact, who’s the real victim and who’s the murderer. I let Ms Brody to take me on a great journey and let her to surprise me, and believe me, the whole plot was full of surprises. I have totally enjoyed that the story is set in the 20′s of the previous century, it made the reading so fresh, interesting and different to almost all that I read these days. The way Kate was doing her investigations with only little help of telephone, police and a big help of her own brain, was brilliant to follow and so refreshing. I am guessing why it’s called „Cosy crime”. While there is murder, a brain on the floor, and blood, it’s written not in a nasty, ugly way, only with a lot of subtlety and tact.
Altogether, it’s elegant, clever, witty book. The characters have brilliantly expressed the spirit of the age but were also, in some way, very modern. The plot was great and developed in a right pace, with many subplots but everything was clear and the writing style was flowing, thus making the reading a real pleasure. It was wonderfully pieced together, every thread was explained and the author left us with no questions opened. I have immensely enjoyed the book and will be for sure, as soon as possible, checking the previous novels in the series!