Death of an Avid Reader
By Frances Brody
What it’s about?
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.
What I think:
Not going to lie – I absolutely judged this book by its cover!
I loved the title and cover art and as I do enjoy cosy mysteries I added it to my bookshelves.
This was a gripping but easy read.
The mystery is complex and keeps you guessing. In fact, there are two mysteries going on. Kate is called in by Lady Coulton to find her illegitimate daughter who was adopted at birth. But she soon finds herself embroiled in a darker mystery as a local scholar, and avid reader, Dr Potter, is found dead in the library. The suspect seems obvious but Kate is not convinced and things the police are taking the easy option.
The more she looks around the case the more she becomes convinced that there may be a connection. But could her own intuition be leading her astray.
Kate is a great character. Set in the 1920s, she is a WW1 widow finding her place in a changing world. She is reluctantly independent but intelligent and resourceful.
This is an ongoing series, The 13th mystery is set to be published this year. I read this one out of order as a standalone and it totally worked, although I’m sure, like any long running series you will get to know the characters better if you start at the beginning.
I have a couple more Frances Brody books on my shelves and I will definitely be reading them soon.