As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Little Brown, 5 October 2017. ISBN: 978-0-349-41431-7 (PBO)
1927 is the year of a total eclipse
of the sun, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and anticipation is running at
fever pitch. Kate Shackleton is surprised when Selina Fellini, a popular
singing star, approaches her with a request that Kate should hire an aeroplane
and pilots to transport Selina to watch the eclipse at Giggleswick school, an
elite boys’ school, and she wishes Kate to accompany her. Giggleswick has been
designated one of the prime spots to view the eclipse and has been chosen by
the Astronomer Royal as the place where he will set up his viewing station to
record the event.
has had many strange requests for her assistance since she started work as a
private investigator but this one makes her feel especially uneasy. Why should
Selina go to such expense to commission Kate to hire a plane and why does she
want Kate to go with her? Kate’s instinct tells her that Selina has an ulterior
motive for wanting her company, and some hints that Selina drops confirms this.
hires the plane and accompanies Selina and her friend, comedian Billy Moffatt,
to Giggleswick. All goes well during the eclipse, including the clouds parting
at just the right time, to the disgust of Billy, who bases his act on jokes
about failure and disappointment. After the eclipse, Billy wanders off and
cannot be found when it is time for the plane to leave. Eventually he is
discovered, in a coma and dying, next to the school chapel.
is still dazed by the experience of the eclipse, lack of sleep and her vigil at
Billy’s bedside until he died, but she is determined to discover what happened
to him and why Selina had required her company on the trip. With the help of her
two trusted assistants, Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, Kate realises that two other
performers at the theatre had died in the past year. Both deaths were ruled as
accidental by the Coroner, but Kate is determined to reinvestigate. She feels
that it is too great a coincidence that all three dead men were part of the
theatre company and all close friends of Selina.
and her associates find several possible suspects, all of whom are friends of
Selina, many of whom have been close to her since her childhood. Foremost
amongst them is Selina’s husband, Jarrod, who returned from the war disfigured
and traumatised and suffers from extreme and violent mood swings.
Kate investigates, she encounters her sometimes foe and occasional ally,
Detective Inspector Wallis, but in the end, it is not the police who solve the
crimes but Kate with the aid of her most unusual witness ever, a
Death in the Stars is the ninth in
the series featuring Kate Shackleton. It maintains the excellent standard of all
the Kate Shackleton novels, with a clever plot, delightful characters and
evocative descriptions of England in the 1920s. A thoroughly enjoyable read and
Frances Brody is a pseudonym of
Frances McNeil who lives in Leeds where she was born and grew up. She worked in
the USA as a secretary in Washington DC and New York. Frances studied at Ruskin
College, Oxford and read English Literature and History at York University. Starting
her writing life in radio, she has written scripts for television and theatre.
Frances turned to crime for her first novel, Dying in the Wool, set on
the outskirts of Bradford, Yorkshire in the 1920s.Eight further books have followed featuring
Westronis a successful short
story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly
Dames.Her crime novels are set both in
contemporary and Victorian times.The
Terminal Velocity of Cats, the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was
published July 2013. Her latest book Strangers
published 28 November 2017 is set in Victorian England.Also published in 2017 is her fourth novel in her scene of
Crimes series Karma and the Singing Frogs.