A Medal for Murder: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Written by Frances Brody
Review by Jeanne Mackin

Detective Kate Shackleton solves her second murder mystery in this fun, well-plotted mystery set in 1920s Harrogate. An amateur theatre production managed by a fatally ambitious woman who will do anything for her career, a new-fangled horseless carriage dealership, and a pawn shop well versed in the financial problems of the upper classes are some of the locals that twist together in a complicated murder. There’s love and class friction and a fine sense of the subtle distinctions in post-WWI British society, where tradition is being overtaken by an increasingly modern world. Perhaps most convincing, most interesting, is how the back story of evil deeds during the bloody Boer War in Africa comes to haunt the present of the characters.

Brody presents us with a mystery full of lively characters and significant stories of both past and present. As Faulkner said, the past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past. Brody’s mystery is expertly crafted and keeps the reader guessing right up until the last pages, as a good mystery should.