Frances Brody comes from a great family of story tellers, though she's the first in the family to write professionally. "On the screen of my imagination," she says, "I can conjure aunts and uncles from years gone by, and the word pictures they painted of people from earlier generations."
She gives a glimpse of the writing life in The Leeds Big Bookend blog.
She is the author of seven Kate Shackleton mysteries. The latest, A Death in the Dales, was published in October 2015. The first five Kate Shackleton books are also available in the US, where A Woman Unknown has been shortlisted for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, an Edgar award of the Mystery Writers of America.
"The series began," explains Frances, "with a picture in my head of a man trapped behind a high wall, unable to return home. Someone needed to discover who and where he was. Along came Kate Shackleton, sleuth extraordinaire. She stepped from our family album like the genie summoned from the lamp."
Click any cover to read more about that novel, or click here to learn more about Kate and the series as a whole.
Before creating the Kate Shackleton mystery series, Frances wrote many stories and plays for BBC radio, scripts for television and four novels (as Frances McNeil). Now Sisters on Bread Street, Sixpence in Her Shoe and Halfpenny Dreams, originally published as Frances McNeil novels, are beginning a new life as Frances Brody books. The first, Sisters on Bread Street, won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award when it was originally published as Somewhere Behind the Morning. To celebrate its forthcoming reissue, Goodreads organised a giveaway which ran through the first week of January. We hope all the winners are enjoying the book!
Frances's 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. She lives in Leeds where she was born and grew up, and then travelled, including a spell in the USA. Time spent in Bradford, heart of the woollen industry, gave her a valuable insight into the background for Dying in the Wool, the first Kate Shackleton mystery.
Read a recent interview with Frances in the Yorkshire Post.
Make sure you visit Frances's blog for the latest from her in her own words!
Frances has plenty of events and appearances planned for the spring and summer, and through into the autumn. She hopes you'll find one near you, and that you will come and say hello!
- Thursday 10 March, 7.00 for 7.30 pm
- Signing at Write Blend, 124 South Road, Liverpool L22 OND
For more information, telephone 0151 928 1303 or e-mail:
- Saturday 12 March 2016, 4.00 - 5.00 pm
- Location, Location, Location: The Importance of Setting in crime fiction and thrillers, with Frances Brody, Christopher Fowler and Tom Harper, at Yorkshire Children's Centre, Brian Jackson House, New North Parade, HD1 5JP.
A Huddersfield Literature Festival event
- Wednesday, 23 March
- Masham Town Hall with Stephen Booth (details to follow)
- Thursday 31 March, 2.00 - 4.00 pm
- Author talk at Tickhill Library, Castlegate, Tickhill, Doncaster DN11 9QU.
Tickets £4, by telephone 01302 742871 or e-mail
- Wednesday 6 April, 2.00 - 4.00 pm
- Author talk at Edlington Library, Martinwells Centre, Thompson Ave, Edlington, Doncaster DN12 1JD
Tickets £2, by telephone 01302 736471 or e-mail
- Saturday 30 April - Sunday 1 May
- Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE
Historical Crime panel with Kate Griffin, Clare Carson and Luke McCallin on Saturday 30 April, 4.00 - 5.00 pm.
- Monday, 16 May, 2.00 - 3.00 pm
- Talk to to Menston Retirement Group
- Thursday 19 - Sunday 22 May
- Crimefest, Bristol
Frances's Crimefest SPOTLIGHT session, Friday, 20 May 10.10 - 10.40 am: WPC 25 Lilian Wyles, A Woman at Scotland Yard
Frances will be participating moderator on the Saturday, 21 May, 10.10 am Panel: Once Upon A Crime: Long, Long Ago with Shona Maclean, Oscar de Muriel, Rod Reynolds and Linda Stratmann
- Monday, 6 June, 7.30 pm
- Talk to Wilsden Women's Institute at Tweedy Street Primary School
- Saturday 18 June, 2.00 pm
Crossing the Tees Festival
- Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton, TS18 1TU
For details telephone 01642 526522 or e-mail
- Wednesday, 13 July, 7.30 pm
- Talk to Otley Women's Institute at Cross Green Community Centre
- Thursday 21 - Sunday 24 July
- Tuesday 13 September, afternoon
- Talk and reading as part of Crime & Punishment Exhibition, Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, Leeds (details to follow)
- Thursday 6 October, 10.30 am
- Talk 'Becoming a Writer' to Leeds Ladies Coffee Club, Church Institute
Header photograph, Ingenues arrive, Central Station, Sydney, 1928-1929, by Sam Hood from the collection of the State Library of New South Wales.
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Last update: 9th February 2016.