Death In The Stars by Frances Brody

Death In The Stars was one of three books I received in the November crime and mystery box from My Chronicle Book Box (unboxing here) This is a genre that I don’t read a lot of with the majority of my books falling under the category of general/literary fiction. But I was immediately drawn to this one as it looked to be a classic mystery novel set in the 1920’s, so I was excited to read it!

This is the ninth book in Frances Brody’s Kate Shackleton mystery series. From what I found reading this book they can be read as standalone novels as I didn’t feel like I was missing out on too much having not read previous books in the series. The events of this novel take place in the 1920’s and begin with the total eclipse of 1927 which generated a lot of excitement across the nation. But when trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton is invited along to a viewing party at the Giggleswick school chapel, she suspects that her invitation may not be solely down to this spectacle. Kate is approached by Selina Fellini, a theatre star who has her suspicions over some strange goings on within her theatre troupe. And when a friend and co-star of Selina’s goes missing, only to be found dead within the chapel grounds, it soon becomes apparent that there is a murderer in the company…

I found this book easy to get into, and enjoyed meeting the large cast of characters that make up the theatre company along with Kate Shackleton and her companions. As the story progresses, we see Kate delve deeper into the mystery surrounding the death and that of two other members of the troupe within the past year. There is plenty of intrigue along the way as past tragedy and secrets are brought to the surface, as it becomes clear that there are mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths which raise questions about who could be responsible, and why the stars of the show are the target. This story made me think of Agatha Christie and the classic style of mystery where there are twists and turns and plenty of suspects to be considered along the way. It was a story I enjoyed reading and I liked the build up towards the conclusion. Having not read previous books in the series I am not sure how this compares to the others but I really liked the style of writing and the historical setting, particularly gaining insight into the life for theatre performers in this era.

I enjoyed Death In The Stars and found it to be a cosy mystery story which kept my interest with its fascinating cast of characters and well constructed plot. I would certainly be interested in reading another book in the Kate Shackleton series!

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