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."
Read an interview with Frances at Mayhem and Magic.
She is the author of seven Kate Shackleton mysteries. The latest, A Death in the Dales, was published in October 2015, and has been longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger. The first five Kate Shackleton books are also available in the US, where A Woman Unknown was shortlisted for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, an Edgar award of the Mystery Writers of America. Minotaur Books now publish two Kate Shackleton books a year, moving towards coinciding publication dates on both sides of the Atlantic. Death of an Avid Reader will be out on September 13, 2016 in the US and Canada and A Death in the Dales on February 14, 2017.
"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. Sisters on Bread Street was published in January 2016, and is now followed by Sixpence in Her Shoe.
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 summer, and through into the autumn. She hopes you'll find one near you, and that you will come and say hello!
- Saturday 4 June, 12.30 - 1.30 pm
- Leeds BigBookend at Central Library: Frances introduces her three Leeds-based sagas which are being re-published this year, Sisters on Bread Street, Sixpence in Her Shoe and Halfpenny Dreams.
The novels explore the lives, loves and struggles of Leeds families between the eve of the Great War and the 1930s.
A free event, but booking recommended; More information.
- Monday, 6 June, 7.30 pm
- Talk to Wilsden Women's Institute at Tweedy Street Primary School
- Tuesday 7 June, 2.30 pm
- Talk at Mexborough Library, John St, Mexborough, Doncaster S64 9HS
Phone: 01709 582037
Tickets £2, includes tea and biscuits.
- Saturday 18 June, 2.00 pm
Crossing the Tees Festival
- Norton Library, 87 High Street, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees TS2 1AE
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE
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:
Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate
- Including a panel on Friday 22 July at 2.00 pm: Is the Legacy Of The Golden Age Still Alive?
Ah, those were they days. Weren't they? Frances invites you to reminisce with fellow 'cosy crime' panellists featuring Simon Brett, Ann Granger, Catriona McPherson and Ruth Ware.
- Tuesday 13 September, afternoon
- Talk and reading as part of Crime & Punishment Exhibition, Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, Leeds (details to follow)
- Thursday 15 - Sunday 18 September
- Bouchercon, New Orleans
- Wednesday, 28 September, 7.30 pm
- Frances joins a Readers' Group discussion of A Death in the Dales as part of the Richmond Walking and Books Festival
More information from Castle Hill Bookshop.
- 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: 24th May 2016.