"Kate Shackleton joins Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs… They make excellent heroines." --Literary Review
Frances Brody's "refreshingly complex heroine" (Kirkus Reviews), picks up a case that takes her to the refined streets of 1920s Harrogate in A Medal for Murder
A pawn-shop robbery
It's no rest for the wicked as Kate Shackleton picks up her second professional sleuthing case. But exposing the culprit of a pawn-shop robbery turns sinister when her investigation takes her to Harrogate - and murder is only one step behind ...
A fatal stabbing
A night at the theatre should have been just what the doctor ordered, until Kate stumbles across a body in the doorway. The knife sticking out of its chest definitely suggests a killer in the theatre's midst.
A ransom demand
Kate likes nothing better than a mystery - and nothing better than solving them. So when a ransom note demands £1,000 for the safe return of the play's leading lady, the refined streets of Harrogate play host to Kate's skills in piecing together clues - and luring criminals out of their lairs…
Set in 1922 Yorkshire, Brody's second Kate Shackleton mystery (after 2012's Dying in the Wool) falls short of the standard set by such authors as Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd in creating early 20th-century female sleuths whom Harriet Vane could have regarded as peers. Near the start, Kate catches a glimpse of herself in a mirror, and describes what "the stylish lady detective is wearing this season under her motoring coat," revealing her to be appearance-conscious in a way that Maisie Dobbs and Bess Crawford are not and perhaps less serious when it comes to catching criminals and seeking the truth. That's not borne out by the plot, in which Kate tries to solve a robbery of a Leeds jewelry store before shifting gears to a homicide inquiry after stumbling across a corpse on her way home from the theater. Unfortunately, the storyline isn't compelling enough to compensate for the less than engaging lead.