I’m so excited to be taking part in the blog tour for the newest Kate Shackleton Mystery novel ‘Death In The Stars‘ which comes out tomorrow!!
You may remember I reviewed the last book ‘Death At The Seaside‘ and I couldn’t wait to get lost in Frances Brody’s latest mystery story.
Death In The Stars by Frances Brody
Illustrated by: N/A
Series: The Kate Shackleton Mysteries (Book #9)
Published: October 5th 2017, Piatkus
Length: 385 pages
Narrated By: N/A
Genre: Mystery, Murder Mystery, Historical Fiction, Crime
Where Did I Get It? I was kindly sent a copy in return for taking part in the Blog Tour.
Yorkshire, 1927. Eclipse fever grips the nation, and when beloved theatre star Selina Fellini approaches trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton to accompany her to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel, Kate suspects an ulterior motive.
During the eclipse, Selina’s friend and co-star Billy Moffatt disappears and is later found dead in the chapel grounds. Kate can’t help but dig deeper and soon learns that two other members of the theatre troupe died in similarly mysterious circumstances in the past year. With the help of Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, Kate sets about investigating the deaths – and whether there is a murderer in the company.
When Selina’s elusive husband Jarrod, injured in the war and subject to violent mood swings, comes back on the scene, Kate begins to imagine something far deadlier at play, and wonders just who will be next to pay the ultimate price for fame . . .
Take A Sneak Peek at Chapter One:
Dear Mrs Shackleton,
Please forgive this hasty and confidential courtesy note. We met in Wakefield while you were undertaking certain investigations of a delicate nature. I was performing there at the Theatre Royal during a nationwide Gilbert and Sullivan tour. Our company is about to set sail for America where we have many engagements. We hope to impress the Midwest and find a welcome there.
To the point – I hope you will not mind that I recommend you to a friend and gave her your card. My friend is in the same business as I, though her star gleams far more brightly. Songbirds shush at the sound of her silver-sweet voice.
I told the lady that you are discreet and if ever she needs discretion and investigation, she could do worse than turn to you.
Expect her dulcet call.
With kindest regards,
My Review: I think my favourite thing about these books is how cozy they make me feel. Set in and around Leeds in 1927, the setting is quintessentially British and the story is full of charm from start to finish.
I loved the solar eclipse setting at the start of the book – it brought back memories of witnessing the 1999 one myself (sat in a field with hundreds of other people on a county-wide Guide Camp) – and the atmosphere created was just perfect. Such an unnerving event was the perfect setting for a mysterious death – the unnatural moments of darkness creating both cover and superstitious distractions to hide behind. Was it murder, or was the solar phenomenon simply too much for someone of delicate disposition to take?
All of the characters were brilliantly formed – I loved the cast of variety performers and the theatrical setting was a lot of fun. Dancing ponies, acrobats, comedians, singers and everything in between. So many possibilities for motive – jealousy, envy, fear, money – all hidden beneath cheerful comraderie and over-dramatic reactions. How to tell who is acting and who is telling the truth is a challenge for both Kate and the reader.
Death In The Stars kept me guessing throughout but it wasn’t frustratingly difficult to puzzle out – I enjoyed the red herrings and twists and turns and my ‘Oh, of COURSE!’ moment when I finally figured it out.
A fun and easy read, I enjoyed Death in The Stars and being back in the company of Kate Shackleton and her friends. I so often forget how much fun murder mysteries can be and Frances Brody has it down to an art, her writing is charming, compulsive, and funny throughout.
My Rating: 4/5*