'Frances Brody has the knack of spinning a tale that has the charm of the period' Daily Mail
Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.
Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma's daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma's current gentleman friend.
Kate can't help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller's shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby's idyllic façade, it's up to Kate - ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden - to discover the truth behind Felicity's disappearance.
And they say nothing happens in August . . .
In Brody's tightly woven eighth mystery set in 1920s England (after A Death in the Dales), PI Kate Shackleton takes a holiday in the resort town of Whitby. There she visits the jeweler's shop where she once accompanied Gerald, her husband who died in WWI, to pick out a wedding ring. In a back room, she has the misfortune to find the shop's proprietor lying dead on the floor. When she reports the death to the police, a sergeant asks her if she knows anyone in Whitby. She does: her school friend Alma Turner, whom she's supposed to meet later. The sergeant asks her not to mention the jeweler's death to Alma. Could Alma somehow be involved? When Kate finally gets together with her friend, she learns that Alma's 16-year-old daughter, Felicity, has recently disappeared. Kate focuses on looking for the missing Felicity, but she also lends a hand in what develops into a murder case. Brody provides plenty of period flavor and just enough clues to point armchair sleuths to the solution.