Young Harriet and her brother Austin have always been scared of the quarry where their stonemason father works. So when they find him dead on the cold ground, they scarper quick smart and look for help. When help arrives, the quarry is deserted and there is no sign of the body. Were the children mistaken? Is their father not dead? Did he simply get up and run away? It seems like another unusual case requiring the expertise of Kate Shackleton. But for Kate this is one case where surprising family ties makes it her most dangerous and delicate yet.
©2011 Frances McNeil (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
I really like the Kate Shackleton series, written by Frances Brody. This takes place in rural English post WWI period, and Kate, a widow, is one of the women who are moving into new positions in society by becoming a detective. (Her father is a policeman, so it sort of is a natural move for her.) In fact, this series is much like the Masie Dobbs books--which have a similar setup.
In this book, Kate is awakened by a woman in the middle of the night, who tells her that her husband is missing. She says that her daughter and son went to the quarry where he worked to take him his meal, and that the daughter was certain she found her father dead there. But when a group of people (including the police) went to search for him, his body was missing. Because they had had a slight quarrel before he left for work, everyone else believes he has just taken off--and the daughter was mistaken about what she saw. However Kate believes Mary Ann and Harriet--mostly because of the situation as she investigates it for herself, and partially because the introduction of this woman into her life has just opened a family door and connections she never knew about. The various threads of this book are both interesting and touching.
I don't really know what exact genre this new trend toward women detectives emerging with new roles into post WWI society, combined with a good mystery, might be called. They seem a bit more than cozies to me--because they are filled with interesting information about the times, good insights about the transitions women are making, as well as being good mysteries. Whatever one might call them, I'm enjoying seeing women be depicted as capable and independent during a time when there was so much social upheaval going on. I particularly enjoy this series--and liked this book (and it's narration) very much.
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