Saturday, October 10, 2020

Death and the Brewery Queen (Kate Shackleton #12)


Murder is in the Air is the 12th Kate Shackleton historical cozy by Frances Brody. Released 6th Oct 2020 by Crooked Lane Books, it's 316 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. 

This is a gently written, engaging historical (1930s) mystery series set in England. This entry sees Kate and her partner investigating a series of incidents at a brewery in Yorkshire. I love the slow paced golden-age interwar classic feel of these mysteries and this one fits in well. For new readers, it works very well as a standalone; the author is adept at providing backstory in context without info-dumping.

There's a quite impressive verisimilitude. There has clearly been a prodigious amount of research behind the setting and workings of an English brewery of the time, and it shows. The plot is character driven and their interactions as they learn about one another and their interrelationships both past and present allow Kate to disentangle all the plot threads and turn them into a cohesive whole by the end of the book. The denouement was somewhat melancholy for me. Sometimes (most of the time?) there's no perfect "happily ever after" and this is true here as well.

I highly recommend the series as a whole, and this entry specifically to any readers who enjoy golden age interwar classic mysteries in the British style. The writing, plotting, and pacing will draw inevitable comparisons with Josephie Tey and Christie amongst the period selections, as well as Nicola Upson and Imogen Robertson's modern period pieces. This is one series I really look forward to, and this particular offering compares favorably with earlier volumes in the series.

Four stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment