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

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.

Murder on a Summer's Day

She is the author of five Kate Shackleton mysteries, of which the latest is Murder on a Summer's Day, published in the UK on 3rd October 2013; the sixth, Death of an Avid Reader, follows in October 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).

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


Frances has added some new dates to her diary for summer 2014 - and she's already making plans for the launch of Death of an Avid Reader in the autumn; if you are at any of these events, do come and say hello!:

Friday 15 - Sunday 17 August
Frances will speak at the 21st annual Mystery and Crime Weekend at St Hilda's College, Oxford
This year's theme is 'Crimes of the Past: War and Other Evils', providing an opportunity to examine the challenges of setting stories in the near and distant past and also the portrayal and effect of war in crime fiction.
Saturday, 30 August, 1.00 - 3.00 pm
Signing at The Whitby Bookshop, 88 Church Street, Whitby YO22 4BH
Saturday, 6 September, 12.00 noon - 3.00 pm
Waterstones, 97-98 Westborough, Scarborough, Y011 1UQ
Saturday, 4 October, 11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Launch of Death of an Avid Reader
with coffee and cake at The Leeds Library, 18 Commercial Street, Leeds LS1 6AL
Limited numbers. For an invitation, please
Saturday 29 November, 11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Signing at Waterstones, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5JS

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, Somewhere Behind the Morning, won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Visit to learn more.

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.

Frances 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.

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: 2nd July 2014.

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