Friday, 3 October 2014

** Rinny Reviews ** Death of an Avid Reader by Frances Brody

Disclaimer : I was Provided a free copy of this book from the lovely Clara at Little Brown Book Group in return for an honest review.

Title: Death of an Avid Reader
Author: Frances Brody
                                                 Series: Kate Shackleton #6                                                     
                    Publish Date: October 2nd 2014
            Published by: Piatkus 
Genre: Cozy Crime Mystery


A lady with a secret 
Kate Shackleton's sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton. Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family. Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case.

A mysterious killing in the library's basement
But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton's past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home. When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations and – much to Kate's surprise – the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!

The most puzzling case in Kate's sleuthing history yet
Convinced an innocent man has been blamed, Kate sets out to discover the truth. Who would want Dr Potter dead? Does Lady Coulton's missing daughter hold a vital clue? As the stories start to emerge in the seemingly quiet Leeds Library, Kate is learning fast that in this case, she can't judge a book by its cover . . .


Every now and again I like to switch things up and try something new. For years I used to enjoy all sorts of crime, mystery and thriller books. Slowly over the years that gave way to YA and paranormal/supernatural. When the lovely Clara asked if I would like the chance to review a cozy crime. I thought why not.  I have never read anything by Frances Brody before and after reading the synopsis I was intrigued to read a mystery set in the 1920s as I usually avoid books set in the past. I was worried as it is part of a series (#6) it would not work as a standalone, but it does.

I will admit at first I did find it hard, through no fault of the writer. I just could not get myself hooked and found myself having to push myself to read on. Once I got to just over half way that changed a little and I wanted to see the story unfold to its conclusion enjoying all the twists and turns.

Frances has an undeniable talent for world building, from the minute you open the book. You are transported to a vivid and what I think is an accurate 1920's world. Her characters (even secondary characters) are lifelike and genuine.

Kate is a wonderful protagonist, she is smart,daring,courageous, compassionate,kind and determined. When you consider the time the story is set in she is everything back then that was not expected of a lady.

The author's writing style felt very polished, she writes elegantly, beautiful even and very descriptively, She describes everything in a lot of detail and explains situations well. The dialogue between characters was very well done and I found it quite unique and charming in its old worldness.

The plot is well thought out, believable, interesting and somewhat unique. It is full of twists and turns. I even fell for a red herring or two. We also get a nicely tied up ending , no mystery left unsolved or rushed to an ending. I wouldn't say it is predictable.

I did like the book, it was enjoyable. It's confusing to me as I cannot find any real faults but I just haven't been able to connect with the main character and book as much as I like to (whether it be good or bad things). I would recommend it to fans of crime and mystery books. Especially if you fancy something different to the normal ones you read and like a strong, smart not the norm heroine.

My Rating : 

Purchase Links

About The Author & Author Links

Frances Brody is the author of five mysteries featuring Kate Shackleton as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.

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