Skip navigation Dying in the Wool A Medal for Murder Murder in the Afternoon A Woman Unknown Murder on a Summer's Day Death of an Avid Reader A Death in the Dales

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."

Death of an Avid Reader

She gives a glimpse of the writing life in The Leeds Big Bookend blog.

She is the author of six Kate Shackleton mysteries. The latest, Death of an Avid Reader, was published in October 2014. Writing in the Daily Mail, Barry Turner said: "I have enjoyed all five Kate Shackleton books but this is the best so far... Frances Brody has made it to the top rank of crime writers."

A Woman Unknown

The first four Kate Shackleton books are also available in the US, A Woman Unknown having been published on February 10th 2015. The Library Journal chose Murder in the Afternoon as one of its Best Mystery selection for 2014.

"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. (The first three of the series are now published in the US, and others will follow).

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) one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award; next year, starting in the New Year, Sisters on Bread Street, Sixpence in Her Shoe and Halfpenny Dreams, originally published as Frances McNeil novels, will begin a new life as Frances Brody books. Visit the new 'Sagas' page to learn more.

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.

Make sure you visit Frances's blog for the latest from her in her own words!


Frances will be very busy this autumn, launching A Death in the Dales. If you are at any of her events, do come and say hello!

Thursday 17th September, 7.00 pm
Hull Central Library, Albion Street, Hull HU1 3TF - an evening with fellow crime writers Helen Cadbury, Chris Nickson and Nick Quantrill
Thursday 24th September, 7.00 pm
Author talk at Rastrick Library, Crowtrees Lane, Rastrick, Brighouse, HD6 3NE, in the main library: part of the Brighouse Festival
Refreshments provided. Bookstall.
Tickets: £5.00 / concessions £3.50; book online or by telephone: 01484 718324 or in person at Harrison Lord, Rycorn, Simply Flowers or Brighouse Library.
Wednesday, 30th September, 7.00 for 7.30 pm
Crime & Curry evening - part of the Ilkley Literature Festival, Wheatley Arms, Wheatley Lane, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley LS29 8PP
Tickets on sale from 1 September.
Thursday, 1st October, 6.30 - 7.30 pm
Launch of A Death in the Dales, Settle Library, Limestone View, Lower Greenfoot, Settle, BD24 9RB
E-mail: or telephone: 0845 034 9537
Friday 2nd October, 7.00 pm
Leeds launch of A Death in the Dales at Waterstones, Albion Street, Leeds, with cake and wine.
Saturday 3rd October, 11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Signing A Death in the Dales at Waterstones, Albion Street, Leeds
Saturday 10th October, 11.30 am - 1.30 pm
Signing A Death in the Dales at Waterstones, James Street, Harrogate
Sunday 11th October, 1.00 - 1.45 pm
Old Town Hall Malton, as part of the Ryedale Book Festival
Tickets £5 / £2 for children bookable online
Saturday 17th October, 1.00 - 3.00 pm
Signing A Death in the Dales at Waterstones,15 Coney Street, York YO1 9QL
Saturday 24th October 11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Signing A Death in the Dales at Waterstones, 12/13 Kingsgate Centre, King Street, Huddersfield HD1 2QB
Sunday 25th October, 2.00 - 3.00 pm
At Middleton Library, Long Street, Middleton, M24 6DU, as part of the Rochdale Festival
Tickets £5, includes tea and scone, available online from Eventbrite
Wednesday 28th October, 6.00 - 7.00 pm
Talking about A Death in the Dales at Oakwood Library, 1 Oakwood Lane, Leeds, LS8 2PZ
A Roundhay and Oakwood Festival event
Thursday 29th October, 7.00 - 8.00 pm
Talking about A Death in the Dales at York Explore Library and Archive, Library Square, York, YO1 7DS
FREE event but booking is essential as seats are limited - to book, contact (01904) 552828 or email:
Saturday 7th November
Signing A Death in the Dales at Waterstones, 2 Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 1SP

Header photograph, Ingenues arrive, Central Station, Sydney, 1928-1929, by Sam Hood from the collection of the State Library of New South Wales.

Frances Brody is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Frances Brody is a member of the Crime Writers' Association Cornwell Internet

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Last update: 29th August 2015.

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