Review: A Medal for Murder by Frances Brody

Description (from publisher):

A pawn-shop robbery:

It’s no rest for the wicked as Kate Shackleton picks up her second professional sleuthing case. But exposing the culprit of a pawn-shop robbery turns sinister when her investigate takes her to Harrogate–and murder is only one step behind…

A fatal stabbing:

A night at the theatre should have been just what the doctor ordered, until Kate stumbles across a body in the doorway. The knife sticking out of its chest definitely suggests a killer in the theatre’s midst…

A ransom demand:

Kate likes nothing better than a mystery–and nothing better than solving them. So when a ransom note demands $1,000 for the safe return of the play’s leading lady, the refined streets of Harrogate play host to Kate’s skills in piecing together clues–and luring criminals out of their lairs…’

My thoughts:

When I read the first book in this series, Dying in the Wool, I thought I had found a historical mystery on the same par of excellence as the Maisie Dobbs series. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and enjoyed getting to know war widow Kate Shackleton. So of course I didn’t hesitate to pick up this next installment in the series. While I enjoyed this book, I feel that the first book was a lot better. There was a lot going on at once in this one and it got confusing at times. I hate that I felt this way about this book, because it does have good bones, but it almost felt like the author was trying to impress the reader too much and it missed the mark.

Kate Shackleton’s character reminds me a lot of Maisie Dobbs. These two characters share the same time period and knack for using their intelligence to solve crimes. However, just because the characters are similar it doesn’t mean that they are the exact same type of stories. Kate has a past and it shows through her characteristics and creates a mysterious aura that surrounds her. This book features heavily on the theatre and I really enjoyed that the chapters started with some type of theatrical explanation. That in itself set the atmosphere for the chapters and I appreciate all the thought that it took to come up with that. To be honest, I felt that there was too much going on at once and that it really took something away from this story. It was confusing in a sense to try to keep up with all the story lines.

I know that these books are already released in the UK and they are taking forever to be published here in the United States. I have heard wonderful things about this series, so maybe this book was a fluke and the next ones in the series recreate the brilliance of the debut? The only way to find out is to of course read the next ones released and I plan to do exactly that before I make a serious decision to continue or drop this series. I was a little disappointed with this one as I was expecting more.

Overall Rating: 2.5

Title:  A Medal for Murder
Author:  Frances Brody
Series:  Kate Shackleton Mystery #2
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Publication Date:  February 12, 2013
Pages:  432
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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