In 1928, a Photography Society outing to Haworth to see the opening of the new Bronte Parsonage Museum has an unexpected outcome. One of the group does not go home alive. A Snapshot of Murder by Frances Brody is tenth in the Kate Shackleton 1920s detective series, a satisfying story about jealousy, long lost love and betrayal.
Kate’s friend Carine Murchison runs a photographic studio with her boorish husband Tobias. Derek, friend of Kate’s niece Harriet, has a theory that Tobias wants his wife dead so he can inherit the studio. But the story is so much more complicated. Throw in a long lost lover returned, the wonderfully scratchy mother and daughter landladies of Ponden Hall near Haworth where the Photography Society stays, the flamboyant Rita who dresses in Indian silks and works in a pharmacy, and a London policeman and former love of Kate who arrives to investigate the murder, and there are plenty of options for arguments, jealousy, upsets and both rejected and reciprocated love. The echoes of the Brontes are welcome too, but Brody never allows this to dominate her story.
This is a character-led crime drama. Kate’s world is created with skill by Brody, I particularly enjoyed Mrs Sugden, Mr Sykes and the addition of Sergeant Dog who plays a key role. Kate investigates with a combination of skill learned from watching her policeman father and a sense of human nature of which Miss Marple would be proud.
The shadow of the Great War hangs over the story with everyone touched in some way by the conflict. Brody twists and turns our emotions, and her reveal of the facts, so our sympathy and dislike of characters is always in flow and the true stories of victim and perpetrator are never simple.
BUY THE BOOK
Read my review of A Death in the Dales, seventh in this series with the most beautiful cover designs.
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A SNAPSHOT OF MURDER by @FrancesBrody #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-4u9 via @SandraDanby