Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.
Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.
Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.
And they say nothing happens in August . . .
I’m a big fan of cosy mysteries, so it’s quite surprising to note that this was the first Frances Brody novel I have read, despite the fact that this is the eighth book in her series featuring Kate Shackleton. With that in mind it was no hinderance to my enjoyment of the novel. As far as I could tell there are no spoilers in here for previous books, and I felt no need to have read any of them before this one, although there are plenty of references to past events that have given me a keen interest in catching up with some of the earlier books.
It’s a great read that’s ideal for snuggling up in a cosy armchair on a wet miserable afternoon and transporting yourself to the beautiful seaside resort. I loved the genuine sense of time and place I felt when reading Death at the Seaside, falling completely for the 1920’s atmosphere, of this truly British seaside mystery.
There are delightful characters, and a an intriguing plot line to ensure you keep turning the pages, which you will clearly want to keep doing. If you love some good old fashioned escapism, this is definitely the book for you.
Anna Smith is an award-winning journalist who spent a lifetime in daily newspapers, reporting from the front line all over the world, and who has been the first on the scene in many world shaking events. She now writes full time, using her vast experience as a journalist to create the hugely popular series featuring Rosie Gilmour, a gritty Glasgow journalist who tears down the walls of corruption and will stop at nothing to get her story.
Today, as part of her blog tour for the latest Rosie Gilmour release Kill Me Twice, Anna is taking on the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.
LOC: Kill Me Twice is the latest novel in your series featuring Rosie Gilmour, What can you tell us about it?
AS: Rosie tears down the wall of lies, from showbiz to Westminster.
LOC: How would you sum up Rosie to someone new to your writing?
AS: Rosie’s a gritty, tough frontline journalist with a shade of vulnerability.
LOC: How would you describe your writing process?
AS: I become wrapped up in Rosie’s life, I forget the real world!
LOC: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?
AS: If you believe in your story and characters, someone else will.
LOC: Any tips for aspiring authors?
AS: Finish what you started, and keep writing. Have faith.
LOC: Describe your perfect day
AS: Morning walk on a sunny in Spain or Ireland, writing in the afternoons.
LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?
AS: The Burning Room, Michael Connelly
AS. Been so busy this year, I’m still not finished it. But it’s brilliant!
and finally just for laughs……
LOC: Thanks to author David Mark you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of a TV Talent show, with only, a wagon wheel, your teenage diaries and a human foot. What do you do?
AS: Read diary: ‘I knew the road trip had gone wrong when I woke up next to a severed foot.’
A beautiful model’s death uncovers an ugly conspiracy stretching all the way to Westminster in Rosie Gilmour’s darkest case to date.
When rags-to-riches Scots supermodel Bella Mason plunges to her death from the roof of a glitzy Madrid hotel, everyone assumes it was suicide. Except that one person saw exactly what happened to Bella that night, and she definitely didn’t jump. But Millie Chambers has no one she can tell – alcoholic, depressed herself and now sectioned by her bullying politician husband, who would believe her? And that’s not all Millie knows. Being close to the heart of Westminster power can lead to discovering some awful secrets…
Back in Glasgow, Rosie’s research into Bella’s life leads to her brother, separated from her in care years before. Dan is now a homeless heroin addict and rent boy, but what he reveals about Bella’s early life is electrifying: organised sexual abuse in care homes across Glasgow. Bella had tracked him down so that they could tell the world their story. And now she’s dead.
As Rosie’s drive to expose the truth leads her closer to Millie and the shameful secrets she has kept for so many years, it becomes clear that what she’s about to discover could prove fatal: a web of sexual abuse linking powerful figures across the nation, and the rot at the very heart of the British Establishment…
When two small time crooks rob Reykjavík’s premier drug dealer hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.
Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eirikur and Helgi, find themselves at a dead end, investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.
Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages….
As part of the Thin Ice blog tour, here’s an exclusive extract to whet your appetite for more.
‘I will not get over it!’ Erna yelled at the top of her voice. ‘What’s going on? Why are we here? I don’t even believe that’s a real gun and I’ve a good mind to just walk out the door this minute.’
‘Go on,’ Össur hissed, ‘try it. See what happens.’
Erna stood up and stalked towards him, her hands on her hips, glaring down at him from the extra height two inches of heels gave her while Össur sat still, looking up at her from under heavy lids.
‘I don’t believe you. I think you’re a petty, thieving conman, and I don’t believe for a second that you’d dare carry a gun if it was real. I’ve half a mind to give you a slap and go to that phone in the lobby and call the police.’
The report was deafening, and as the smoke cleared there was a rattling of metal from one of the cupboards. Össur had fired without taking his eyes from Erna’s face and he watched her expression dissolve from fury into disbelief as her hands went to her mouth.
‘God . . .’ she whispered.
They looked to see a hole punched neatly in the cupboard door while Erna gradually sank to the floor on her knees.
‘I think the lady . . .’ Össur said with a sneer. ‘The lady has had a shock. So maybe she’d feel better if she went to lie down for a while?’