Title: Death at the Seaside
Author: Frances Brody
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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…
Death at the Seaside is a fun, witty novel that ticks the mystery / crime box without being too shocking or gruesome – and which makes quite a change from some of the novels in this genre I’ve read recently! I haven’t read any of the novels in this series (Kate Shackleton) so I didn’t really know exactly what to expect, but love these kind of mystery stories that are set in a bygone era – and the 1920’s is a great choice so I was really excited to start reading!
The characters in Death at the Seaside are all really well crafted; I particularly liked Kate who was such a strong and interesting character. She took all the mayhem in her stride – no fainting at a dead body here! I found the fact it was set in the 20’s really interesting partly to see how Kate would react and be treated by others, due to the restrictions on her, and the expectations of others.
The story is fun and enjoyable to read. As I mentioned before, it’s quite different to many of the Detective/ crime novels around today in its approach to the crime (obvious lack of DNA testing and other investigative methods at that time!), and although I do love those other kind of novels, I also hugely enjoyed this one! It kind of feels like a warm blanket – comforting and easy to read, with likeable characters and an interesting plot – give it a go! I’d definitely read others in the series too!
Many thanks to Little, Brown Book Group for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review and for including me on the blog tour!
About Frances Brody:
Frances Brody is the author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries, as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.