Death in the Stars by Frances Brody
Published: 5th October 2017
Available in Hardback, Paperback and on Kindle
BlurbYorkshire, 1927. Eclipse fever grips the nation, and when beloved theatre star Selina Fellini approaches trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton to accompany her to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel, Kate suspects an ulterior motive.
During the eclipse, Selina's friend and co-star Billy Moffatt disappears and is later found dead in the chapel grounds. Kate can't help but dig deeper and soon learns that two other members of the theatre troupe died in similarly mysterious circumstances in the past year. With the help of Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, Kate sets about investigating the deaths - and whether there is a murderer in the company.
When Selina's elusive husband Jarrod, injured in the war and subject to violent mood swings, comes back on the scene, Kate begins to imagine something far deadlier at play, and wonders just who will be next to pay the ultimate price for fame . . .
Fans of the Kate Shackleton mysteries by Frances Brody will be pleased she is back for her ninth investigation in Death in the Stars. In this novel Kate has been enlisted to accompany theatre star Selina Fellini to view the upcoming eclipse at Giggleswick School Chapel. Selina is worried as two members of her theatre group have met unfortunate endings in the last eighteen months and she fears she might be next, but sadly it is her long-term friend and co-star Billy Moffatt who is found dead in the Chapel grounds. Kate calls on the help of good friends Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden to help her uncover the truths behind Billy’s death and the so called accidents at the theatre.
In Death in the Stars the event of the eclipse and the following day take up the first half of the book where we learn more about Selina Fellini and the company she keeps. Selina seems to lead a very glamourous life and always seems to have someone to accompany her to various events, which sadly for Billy Moffatt doesn’t end well. She also has her life kept in order by manger Trotter Brockett and personal assistant Beryl Cooper and estranged husband Jarrod never seems to be far away.
I loved the glimpses we are given to theatre life in the 1920s and all the different variety acts which were so popular at the time. I would love to have seen Jake and his miniature pony perform. I also loved the edition of Harriet, Kate’s niece who brings youthful excitement to the team as she is willing to help investigate too.
I love that these novel are very gentle and more mysteries than crime novels, no gory scenes here. I love the though precise way in which Kate carries out her investigations and find many similarities to the famous “Miss Marple ” by Agatha Christie. With many characters falling under the suspicions of Kate and her team there are many twists and turns before the murder is finally revealed, this made for a very enjoyable read.
Kate and her team are characters which are growing on me and I’m looking forward to see where their next investigation takes them. Thank you so much to Piatkus for this review copy and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour