Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Frances Brody

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-09885-6
Publisher: Minotaur

A private investigator finds yet another vacation ruined by murder.

Kate Shackleton can’t catch a break. The peaceful stay she’d planned in Yorkshire resulted in her solving a murder (Death of an Avid Reader, 2016, etc.). Now she hopes to spend two weeks in the seaside town of Whitby visiting school friend Alma and Alma's daughter, Felicity, who is her goddaughter. Alma’s doing a turn as a fortuneteller on one of the piers; Felicity has secret plans that will shake her mother’s world. On the way, Kate is drawn to the shop of J. Philips, High Class Jeweller, the place where she and Gerald, the husband she lost to the Great War, bought their rings. Attracted by a bracelet she thinks would suit Felicity, she enters to discover Philips murdered. Unable to find a phone, she goes to the police station and returns to the scene with Sgt. Garvin, who’s suspicious of her. Alma’s sharing an old house with Mr. Cricklethorpe, a friend of the husband she has not seen for years, who is most likely a smuggler as well as an artist. More problems arise when they learn that Felicity has gone off in a small boat that belonged to Philips with her boyfriend, Brendan, to find her father, who she’s learned is now living in Scotland. The detective sent down from London to solve the crime is Marcus Charles, whose proposal Kate had refused. Kate doesn’t want to investigate the murder, but she does want to look after the interests of Alma and Felicity, both plausible suspects because Alma thought Philips was interested in her romantically and Felicity, who still harbored hopes of her parents’ reuniting, may have not liked the idea. Kate finds herself drawn into a complex case redolent of classic interwar mysteries in which motives abound and old secrets are eventually revealed.

In addition to re-creating the feeling of the golden age, Brody this time provides a stronger mystery than usual.