Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.
Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.
Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.
And they say nothing happens in August…
What I Thought:
Death at the Seaside was a perfect marriage for me – historical fiction: check, crime fiction: check! I don’t know how I’ve not heard of Frances Brody before, but seeing as this is the eighth book in the series, it looks like I have some reading to catch up on…
The setting of the book is quintessentially English, and the author has a lot of period detail of the 1920s without it seeming forced, or being full of facts – as a character, Kate Shackleton could easily fit in in the present, but there are lots of subtle reminders that she’s a 1920s girl.
The plot here seems quite straightforward at first, but there is a lot going on and it is all revealed at a good pace, neither too breakneck or too slow to care about, and additional scenes from Felicity’s point of view give another dimension to the case.
I’m not sure how Kate’s supporting characters fit in in the other titles in the series, but they don’t really feature a great deal here and they seem likeable enough.
As I said, I’m quite excited to catch up on the previous Kate Shackleton novels now and see what else this independent lady detective has been up to!
Death at the Seaside is published by Piatkus Books on 6th October 2016.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher to participate in the blog tour and to provide an honest review.