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 Piatkus, 25 October 2018. ISBN: 978-0-349-41432-4 (HB)
It is 1928 and Kate Shackleton’s
business as a private investigator is going smoothly, which means that she has
more time to spend on her hobby of photography and she has joined a local
Photographic Society. Most of the members of the society are enthusiastic
amateurs, but Kate’s friend Carine Murchison is a professional photographer who
works in the studio founded by her late grandmother. Everybody likes and
admires Carine, who is a lovely, radiant young woman, but many of her friends
have reservations about her husband, Tobias, who appears genial when first
encountered but is a heavy drinker and bully who takes all the money that
Carine earns to spend on drink. Derek Blondell, a young man who works in the
local newspaper library, is infatuated with Carine. Derek tells Kate’s niece,
Harriet, that Tobias is physically violent to Carine, and Kate herself has
noticed that he is very domineering. To make Carine’s life even harder, her
elderly, bedridden and demanding father lives with them. Carine’s life has been
scarred by two unbearable losses. Her mother disappeared when Carine was five
and her father claimed that she had run away with her lover. In a more recent
tragedy, Carine’s fiancé, Philip Chester had been reported dead in the Great
War. Carine’s father had prevented her marriage to Philip before he went off to
war and had encouraged her marriage to Tobias after he had come to tell Carine
of Philip’s death.
a meeting of the Photographic Society, Derek proposes a weekend away for the
members to pursue their hobby. His proposal is seconded by a man with a badly
scarred face, whom Carine recognises as Philip. Amid this atmosphere of
tension, the weekend trip is arranged. The group of photographers decide to
visit Haworth, in order to combine their photographic trip with the ceremony to
celebrate the Bronte’s parsonage becoming a national museum. One of the group,
Rita, tells Kate that she had a dream that seven of them would set out but only
six return. This dream becomes reality and it is up to Kate to help discover
whether the murderer is one of her photographer friends.
A Snapshot of
is the tenth book in the series featuring Kate Shackleton and it is a series
that grows in depth and warmth all the time. Kate is an appealing central
protagonist, kind and generous but also strong and sensible, and her family and
friends are equally likeable. I particularly liked Kate’s new acquisition, a
delightful ‘failed’ police bloodhound called Sergeant Dog. The plot of A Snapshot of Murder is well-paced, interesting
and the background detail is, as always, impeccably researched and beautifully
woven into the narrative, giving a clear and detailed picture of Yorkshire ten
years after the end of the Great War. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book and a
real page turner.
an extra there is also a short story that describes how Kate Shackleton first
became an investigator who specialised in locating men missing after the War.
In it, Kate is still unable to accept that her husband is really dead and has
gained considerable skills in finding the truth about other missing people. The
bulk of the story describes how Kate comes to the aid of a friend who is being
stalked by a vicious ex-boyfriend. It is through this experience that Kate
discovers the direction she wishes her life to take. This is an engrossing
story with some delightful glimpses of Kate’s relationship with her twin brothers.
It is a very pleasant addition to an excellent book.
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 Kate Shackleton.
Carol 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. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To
read the interview click on the link below.