Death of an Avid Reader
Author: Frances Brody
**I was provided a copy of this book by St. Martins Press via NetGalley in exchange for a fair, honest review**
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!
With that out of my system....I can now write a calm, coherent review. :)
Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I was 9 years old. I love the early 1900s setting of most of her whodunits and enjoy her characters. This book reminded me so much of Christie's writing. I devoured it in an afternoon....complete bliss!!
But it did make me wonder how I managed to miss this series.....Death of an Avid Reader is book #6 in the Kate Shackleton series. I have already added the rest of the series to my wishlist!
The basics: Kate Shackleton is an oddity in her time -- an independent, strong willed woman who works as a private detective, along with her friend Sykes, who is a former policeman. Her reputation as a detective is known, and she finds herself in a secretive meeting with the venerable Lady Coulton. Apparently, Lady Coulton had a daughter out of wedlock years before. Nobody knows about the child. The baby was given to the relative of a servant so that there would be no scandal, and so Lady Coulton's husband wouldn't divorce her. Just as Kate gets to work on the case, a dead body is discovered in the Leeds Library basement. Dr. Horatio Potter is dead under a fallen bookcase. Suspicions, accusations and rumors abound as Kate and Sykes work to discover clues about the illegitimate daughter and the dead doctor. The plot took off immediately in several directions keeping me totally engrossed in the mystery and the characters! A trained monkey, a counting horse, cheeky parrot, missing books and an accused organ grinder. Never a dull moment! Plenty of twists and turns....lots of suspicious suspects.....and a great visit to the autumn of 1925!
The mystery plot is engaging. There are a couple side plots and details that enhanced the feel of the book. It didn't distract my attention from the mystery, just fleshed out the characters better. The characterizations were well-done, not empty stereotypes. The feel of the book was pure 1920s. I got the same happy satisfaction that I get re-reading a Christie novel. :) Any fan of golden age mysteries will love this series!!
Death of an Avid Reader will be released in the US by St Martins Press on September 13th. In the UK, the 8th Kate Shackleton mystery, Death at the Seaside, will be published on October 6th. Learn more about the author and the series on her website www.frances-brody.com