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...
This is the second book I have read in the Kate Shackleton series. Last year I read the previous book for a blog tour, and I found myself quite liking Kate Shackleton. I had some problem with the story, felt it dragged a bit, to be honest, but I wanted to read this one to see what would happen next to Kate.
I found this book to be a bit better than the previous one. However, just like the one I was reading last year did this one loose a bit of steam in the middle of the book. It wasn't until Jim Sykes and Mrs. Sugden showed up in the story towards the ending that it returns to be interesting again. I think it has to do with the fact that it was by then everything finally started to unravel and the truth started to come out about the murder of the jeweller. As much fun it was to see Kate suspected of the murder, the story felt like it was moving forward a bit too slowly. Perhaps focusing on Kate POV instead of adding Alma's would have made the book a bit evenly.
Still, I did find this book enjoyable and this time, did I have some previous knowledge of the characters so that I did not to get used to the characters. I also learned some more about them. Also, I thought the addition of Chief Inspector Marcus Charles to the story was splendid. Kate and Marcus have some history together, he wanted to marry her and she turned him down. Yet, the spark is still there, even I could see that and I haven't read the book(s?) with him in them. I think the book just got a bit better when he arrived in the town. And, I hope he will be in the next book.
I want to thank Piatkus for proving me with a free copy for an honest review!
About the author: Frances Brody is the author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries, as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.