A Death in the Dales: A Kate Shackleton Mystery

Minotaur: St. Martin's. Feb. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781250098825. $23; ebk. ISBN 9781250098849. M
Problems come in sets of three, and it's no different in 1926 Yorkshire, the setting for Brody's seventh series installment featuring private investigator Kate Shackleton (after Death of an Avid Reader). This time she has her teenage niece, Harriet, in tow, and the pair stay in a cottage owned by Dr. Lucian Simonson. As befitting a small English village in a mystery novel, there's plenty of tension bubbling just beneath the surface in Langcliffe. Lucian's recently deceased aunt was positive the wrong man was executed for a crime—except that crime took place in 1916. Kate decides this is a perfect old case to investigate, but that's not the only thing to occupy her time—and detective skills. Harriet becomes fast friends with a girl whose brother has gone missing, and one of the village's biggest landowners wants Kate's assistance in secreting away some letters, though he's far from the only villager in this picturesque hotbed of intrigue with something to hide.
VERDICT The mysteries themselves may not be complex, but given the fascinating cast of supporting characters, a pleasant Yorkshire setting, and an endearing heroine, this is a solid British traditional mystery that should please series regulars and newcomers alike.

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