Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Death of an Avid Reader- Frances Brody BLOG TOUR

I've been swept along by the resurgence in 'cosy crime' and Frances Brody is an author I've been wanting to try for some time now.  Her Kate Shackleton books have already got quite a following, one which is growing with each instalment of the series.
And the beautiful covers (I mean look at this one- how beautiful can you get?) are old-school mystery with enough of a modern hint to grab the attention of readers of all ages.
I can hear what you're saying though... 'Covers are all well and good, but it's what's inside that counts...' so let's get going with the review!
The Blurb
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
Convinced an innocent man has been blamed, Kate sets out to discover the truth. Who would want Dr Potter dead? Does Lady Coulton's missing daughter hold a vital clue? As the stories start to emerge in the seemingly quiet Leeds Library, Kate is learning fast that in this case, she can't judge a book by its cover . . .

The Review
There is nothing better on a cold autumn evening than curling up with a wonderfully written mystery and getting totally transported to a different time and place.  Death of an Avid Reader whisked me away to a bygone age, one which in many ways was easier- more simplistic and straightforward.  However, for sleuth Kate Shackleton, life is anything but simple.
Lady Coulton is desperate to find her illegitimate daughter and calls upon Kate's expertise in the hope of a speedy discovery.  Yet name changes, family dramas and moving inland from the Yorkshire Coast mean Kate's job is not as easy as it may at first seem.  And before long Kate has the additional challenge of finding a murderer as well as reuniting the mother and daughter...
There was a lot to love about this book.  The writing style manages to be fluid and flowing whilst still containing oodles of description which makes it extremely engaging and fast paced.  The quick, snappy dialogue also adds to this, making it a quick, easy read.  On a personal level, I loved the scenes in Scarborough-our UK holiday destination of choice.

I also really warmed to Kate, she is a likable character and a strong woman against the 1920s backdrop.  Death of an Avid Reader is entertaining and a good old-fashioned mystery without the gore and brutality which is often a by product of crime/thriller writing. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Death of an Avid Reader from beginning to end.  It is a gentle, mildly humorous book and I am now a fully paid up member of the 'converted to Kate' crew.  I want to get hold of the rest of the books now and see what other adventures are in store!


Death of an Avid Reader is released on Thursday 2nd October and available for pre-order now from all good bookshops and online stockists.
With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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