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).

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


Frances has a number of events in her diary for the second half of 2015. If you are at any of her events, do come and say hello!

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate
Thursday 16th - Sunday 19th July
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate
Friday, 17 July, at 6.30 pm: Yorkshire Pride Frances will share a panel with Lee Child, Steve Mosby and Peter Robinson, chaired by Nick Quantrill
Saturday, 18 July, at 6.15 pm: Murder in the Lemon Grove: Frances will be hosting a table at the Author Dinner. Help her to crack the case over a few courses of fine dining.
Friday 14th - Sunday 16th August
St Hilda's College, Oxford, 22nd Mystery & Crime Weekend.
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.
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th October
Frances will be appearing at the Ryedale Book Festival - details later

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: 27th June 2015.

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