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Monday, 29 August 2011
‘A Medal for Murder’ by Frances Brody
Harrogate to carry out her contractual obligation for the pawn shop owner, and taking the opportunity to see a play, Kate virtually trips over a dead body outside the theatre. Seeking another pawn shop customer Kate is approached by Captain Wolfendale who fears his granddaughter Lucy who was in the play has been kidnapped. Soon Kate is drawn into the lives of the actors.
The story is told with a series of flash backs to the turn of the century when Lucy’s grandfather was a Captain during the Boer war. The descriptions of the scenes are quite harrowing, and invoke a terrible period in British history.
In A Medal for Murder, Frances Brody had produced a fascinating tale of deception, and murder, as she skilfully negotiates the reader through a tangle of fraud and dishonesty.
The characterisation is superb. Interestingly, one of Kate’s decisions brings her into direct conflict with her trusty sidekick the ex-policeman Sykes. Whilst I could see Kate’s point, I felt that the reader knew more about the character in question than did Kate, and I wondered if Kate’s decision would come back to haunt her.
An excellent story well paced that keeps the reader turning pages. One of those unable-to-put down books. Highly recommended.
Starting her writing life in radio, she has written scripts for television and theatre.
Frances turned to crime for her fifth novel, Dying in the Wool, set on the outskirts of Bradford, Yorkshire in the 1920s.