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Friday, February 02, 2018

Colorful Debut an Intriguing Start to Traditional Historical Mystery Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

By helping families discover the fates of soldiers lost during World War I, 31-year-old Kate Shackleton has become known as a skilled people finder.  The only soldier she can't locate is her own husband, who is missing, presumed dead.  If she can't find closure for herself, at least Kate can use her detecting skills to help others.

Naturally, Kate is eager to help an old colleague who comes to her for aid.  Tabitha Braithwaite, who will soon be getting married, desperately wants her father to walk her down the aisle.  The only problem is he's been missing since 1916, almost a decade.  A wealthy mill owner, Joshua Braithwaite was devastated and suicidal after the loss of his soldier son.  Did his reduced mental state cause him to wander off to his death?  Did the ladies man simply run off with a lover?  Or did something more sinister happen?  It's up to Kate to find out what secrets lie beneath the prosaic veneer of Braithwaite's quiet Yorkshire village.  

I'm always up for a well-written traditional mystery.  Dying in the Wool, the first installment in Frances Brody's Kate Shackleton series, fits the bill quite nicely.  Kate is an admirable hero—she's smart, independent, and brave.  The mystery she's attempting to solve is intriguing, with enough twists to keep the reader guessing.  With an emphasis on the tiny village of Bridgestead, the novel brims with local color and personality, which adds a fun element to the story.  While the book gets slow in places, all in all I enjoyed it and will definitely continue on with the series.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, the Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd, and mysteries by Agatha Christie)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find 


  1. I think this book might a bit to dry for me??? I get that feeling anyway.

  2. Kate sounds like a great character. I wonder if she'll ever find her husband.


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