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Murder in the Afternoon (Kate Shackleton #3)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  783 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
An intricate plot in the post-WWI English countryside and Frances Brody's "refreshingly complex heroine" (Kirkus) combine in Murder in the Afternoon, an absorbing mystery.

Dead one minute…

Young Harriet and her brother Austin have always been scared of the quarry where their stone mason father works. So when they find him dead on the cold ground, they rush off quickly to loo
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published September 1st 2011)
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"Murder in the Afternoon" is historical crime mystery set after the first WW. Readers of "Murder in the Afternoon" will follow Mrs Catherine Shackleton investigation into the disappearings of Ethan Armstrong. However, the investigation into Ethan Armstrong disappearances will change Catherine Shackleton life forever.

Readers of Murder in the Afternoon will enjoy the twist and turns in the story intertwine with two personnel issues of Catherine Shackleton. Also, readers of Murder in the Afternoon
It's the early 1920's in England and youngsters Harriet and Austin Armstrong take lunch to their dad, stone mason Ethan, at the quarry where he works. Shockingly, they find him on the ground, apparently dead. The kids run off to get help but when they return the body is gone. Dissatisfied with the police response Ethan's wife, Mary Jane, asks private detective Kate Shackleton for help. As it happens Kate was adopted as a baby and Mary Jane reveals she's Kate's biological sister. Thus, in this th ...more
Given the comparative improvement in this volume, I guess I have to push this to a 3.5 in its genre.

More focused than the other books, other POVs balanced and did not interfere with the story, fewer plot digressions. There are still 3 main issues (including the murder) that Kate is dealing with but they fit together and did not distract. Maybe a bit swiftly wrapped up/solved at the end, but all-in-all a decent read. I will say that Marcus is not growing on me, his characterization is either weak
Feb 28, 2017 LeAnne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book 3 of the Kate Schackleton Mystery series by Frances Brody. I put it in the category of serious cozy mysteries. It had my interest right from the beginning. I plan to go back and read book 1 to learn how a strong, smart woman like Kate got started on her journey.

It is 1923 in England. A child finds the body of her father lying dead in a quarry shed. Before help arrives, the body disappears. Was he really dead or did the girl make a mistake or did she make it up? Did he decide to leav
Michael Gallagher
A really attractive cosy mystery set in the north of England in the 1920s. Kate Shackleton, adoptive daughter of a superintendent in West Riding’s constabulary and his landed-gentry wife, has set herself up as a private detective. Her husband went missing-in-action during the war, but she’s a modern woman who is moving on with her life: she now has brand new suitor. In a neat twist on the usual will she/won’t she? question, I think most readers would be aghast if she did! Don’t do it, Kate! You ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Gerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A murder in a quarry, discovered by the children of the dead man sets the scene for this tale of mystery. The quarry scenes are dramatically described and capture the ambience admirably as Kate Shackleton, an amateur female detective, sets out to discover what is going on.

The body disappears, to turn up later but another murder takes place and Kate wonders if the two are connected. Scotland Yard get involved and Kate works with the Superintendent (is she in love with him? Does she want another r
Couldn't resist another English post-WWI mystery series with female detective (this one a widow, daughter of a police superintendent). Reminds me of Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series and of course, Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs. But the setting and story worked well (although ending was a bit too easily wrapped up) so no complaints. I'll probably try another in the series.
Mar 01, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading this, a good read. Kate Shackleton is a woman in a mans world but she stands her ground and solves the mystery with her sidekick the reliable Sykes.
Jun 22, 2017 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars) This is the third book in the Kate Shackleton series. Kate is presented a puzzling case of a stone mason who is found dead by his daughter at the quarry when she goes to bring him food while he is working on a special project of a sundial for the owner over the weekend. When she and her brother go for help, they are shocked on their return to find the body gone. Kate is brought the case by the mother who has a family connection to Kate that she was unaware of until that moment. Mary ...more
May 07, 2017 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Kate Shackleton is called into this case of a missing person because of a prior connection to the wife of the missing man, only she doesn't recollect the occasion. That's because she was a baby the last time she saw Mary Jane, one of her biological sisters. Kate was adopted as an infant. She always knew she was adopted, but had never expressed much curiosity about her birth family. All of that is about to change. She is about to become very closely involved with at least a few members of her bir ...more
Ann Boytim
Jun 07, 2017 Ann Boytim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate Shackleton is a private investigator and is surprised to find a young women knocking on her door who then informs Kate that she is her sister. Kate was adopted at a very young age and has never had any knowledge of the family she came from. This young women is seeking help to find her missing husband who was last seen in the quarry where is he is a stonemason. Kate decides she will help Mary Jane and goes with her to meet her two young children Harriet and her brother Austin. Harriet is the ...more
Anna Bergmark
Oops! Back to square one!

This installment is just as beige, or granite grey, as the first one (without the benefit of a dark satanic mill looming in the background, that at least was an interesting setting). So... Dull as dishwater really.

Which is strange. Our heroine having a personal, blood related interest in the case ought to have intensified things, but no... It seems to be the other way around. The book is low both on action and interesting characters. Even Kate's biological mother is a b
Jul 08, 2017 Faa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The charm in this third book is Harriet and Austin. I cannot stop imagining how Harriet must have look exactly like Kate. She admitted so herself in the book. It just quite sad knowing that Kate would never have a chance to meet her fierce working class-brother in law. They would make a good friend.

Most poignant was when Kate met Walter Barker by the end of the book. He met Gerald twice as Gerald was his MO during the war. He told Kate about a day when he and Gerald watched for a bird called go
Cathy Graham
I enjoyed this very traditional whodunnit. It's not going to make you view life differently and there are no great surprises but it will help while away a couple of wet afternoons.
One teensy complaint- the heroine, daughter of Lady Someone said serviette! Aagh!!
Jun 10, 2017 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having just discovered this series, I am now gobbling them up. Second one was out at the library, so I had to skip to #3 and I must say I was not as impressed as I was by the first. Quarrying and the work around it was interesting.
May 05, 2017 Madelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an absorbing mystery. Young Harriet and her brother Austin find their father dead in the quarry where the stonemason worked. They rush off to look for help but when they return there is no body.
LaVerne Cording
May 11, 2017 LaVerne Cording rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Shackleton is a wonderful series of mysteries

Her books always have a great twist so it's impossible to know who "dunnit", until it is revealed.
Well written with great dialogue and character development.
I'm reading the entire Kate Shackleton series.
Jun 06, 2017 Francine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like Kate, hope we will see more of her extended circle. Very well written .
Janet Schaffner
Mar 04, 2017 Janet Schaffner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting, well written
Diane Heath
Mar 01, 2017 Diane Heath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the second Kate Shackleton book I have read. I have not yet located book 2 in the series. Apparently in book 2 Kate will meet a possible love interest but based on book 3 I doubt it will last....
This book introduces Kate and the reader to her biological family when her sister Mary Jane comes to Kate for help in locating her missing husband....
Jul 30, 2015 Geraldine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, series, 2015, 20s-30s
This isn't fluffy and it isn't a hard psychological thriller. An entertaining page turner featuring a private investigator in West Yorkshire in 1923, written in this century.

The third in an increasingly rewarding series. Kate Shackleton's character is well established and has a strong cast of recurring supporting characters whose personalities are emerging and being consolidated. A further cast of functional characters appear only in this book. It's important to read the books in this series in
Laura Edwards
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Received as a GoodReads giveaway. A British mystery set in the early 1920s, and I found myself picturing characters and locations from Downton Abbey as I read. Well written, featuring interesting characters with some depth to them and a decent plot. It was slow in spots, though, and I was sometimes confused by references to people and situations from the earlier books in the series that I haven't read.
Aug 02, 2014 J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this on the shelves of the library and it ticked a lot of my interest boxes: Modern English author, detective story set in England post-WWI. The first half of the book was excessively dry and boring. I felt lost because almost no background or description was provided on the main character. I just assumed she was an old Miss Marple type, but discovered over 100pgs into the book that she was youngish. This is book #3 in the series and apparently you have to read the series from book #1.

Oct 15, 2014 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Shackleton is woken early one morning by a young woman who claims to be her sister. Mary Jane Armstrong's husband, Ethan has disappeared and the police are not taking the matter seriously as they believe he has left her. Kate is dubious about Mary Jane but when she goes to her home and meets her young daughter, Harriet, who is the spitting image of Kate at that age she is convinced.

Curiosity soon drags Kate into the case and she is convinced that Harriet saw her father dead when she went to
Feb 15, 2017 Joan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cute mystery, definitely a very good, light diversion. It won't tax your brain but it will amuse you. The plot was good, the red-herrings well placed and the resolution plausible.
Jun 27, 2014 Grey853 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2015 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder in the Afternoon is the third book in the Kate Shakleton series by Frances Brody. Set in England between the Great War and WWII, Kate Shakleton has become an expert in finding people. She is asked to help find Mary Jane Armstrong's husband who has disappeared. Ethan Armstrong is a stone mason and does his work at the quarry. Hired to complete a sundial he goes to work on his off day and is found lying on the shed's floor by his two young children who braved walking across the quarry to br ...more
Lizzie Hayes
Apr 26, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Murder in the Afternoon’ by Frances Brody
Published by Piatkus, 1st March 2012: ISBN: 978-0-7499-5487-1

Kate Shackleton is called to help locate a missing stone mason. His wife Mary Jane Armstrong is adamant that Kate can help her, and in the face of such belief Kate agrees to accompany the woman back to her home in Great Applewick.

The story Kate pieces together is, that Mary Jane’s children Harriet and Austin had gone to the quarry where their father worked to bring him lunch, and that the daug
Kate Shackleton is a WWI widow who has set herself up as an investigator near Leeds. One morning, very early, she is wakened by a woman named Mary Jane desperate for her help in finding her missing husband. Her husband was working at their local quarry, but when their children went to bring him dinner, ten-year-old Harriet found him dead. She went to the nearest farm to report, but by the time anyone arrived, the body was gone and no one but her mother believed her. Mary Jane seems vaguely famil ...more
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Frances Brody's highly-praised 1920s mysteries feature clever and elegant Kate Shackleton, First World War widow turned sleuth. Missing person? Foul play suspected? Kate's your woman. For good measure, she may bring along ex-policeman, Jim Sykes.

Before turning to crime, Frances wrote for radio, television and theatre, and was nominated for a Time Out Award. She published four sagas, winning the H
More about Frances Brody...

Other Books in the Series

Kate Shackleton (9 books)
  • Dying In the Wool (Kate Shackleton, #1)
  • A Medal for Murder (Kate Shackleton, #2)
  • A Woman Unknown (Kate Shackleton, #4)
  • Murder on a Summer's Day (Kate Shackleton, #5)
  • Death of an Avid Reader (Kate Shackleton, #6)
  • A Death in the Dales (Kate Shackleton #7)
  • Death at the Seaside (Kate Shackleton, #8)
  • Death in the Stars (Kate Shackleton, #9)

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