Cover image for A woman unknown
Title:
A woman unknown
Author:
Brody, Frances, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Minotaur Books/A Thomas Dunne Book, 2015.
Physical Description:
vii, 374 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
"The woman unknown: Deirdre Fitzpatrick is married to a man who wants to know where she really goes when supposedly taking care of her sick mother and calls on the expertise of Kate Shackleton, amateur sleuth extraordinaire to investigate. The gentleman: Everett Runcie is a banker facing ruin and disgrace. His American heiress wife will no longer pay for his mistakes, or tolerate his infidelity, and is seeking a divorce. The murder: When a chambermaid enters Runcie's hotel room, she is shocked to find that he is alone and dead. Suddenly Kate is thrown into the depths of an altogether more sinister investigation"--
General Note:
Originally published: Great Britain : Piatkus, 2012.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9781250037046
Format :
Book

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FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

A Library Journal Best Book of 2014

A winning combination of both intricate plotting and nostalgic post-WWI English country setting, Frances Brody's A Woman Unknown will appeal to fans of both classic murder mysteries in the vein of Agatha Christie as well as readers of historical mystery series set in 1920s England, two popular subgenres.

The Woman Unknown: Deirdre Fitzpatrick is married to a man who wants to know where she really goes when supposedly taking care of her sick mother and calls on the expertise of Kate Shackleton, amateur sleuth extraordinaire to investigate.

The Gentleman: Everett Runcie is a banker facing ruin and disgrace. His American heiress wife will no longer pay for his mistakes, or tolerate his infidelity, and is seeking a divorce.

The Murder: When a chambermaid enters Runcie's hotel room, she is shocked to find that he is alone - and dead! Suddenly Kate is thrown into the depths of an altogether more sinister investigation. Can she uncover the truth of her most complex, and personal, case to date?


Author Notes

FRANCES BRODY lives in Leeds. Before turning to crime, she wrote historical sagas, winning the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin award for most regionally evocative debut saga of the millennium.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Kate Shackleton built her PI business around finding people, using skills honed by looking for her husband, missing in action in WWI, so it's with reluctance that she takes on a very different kind of case, following Deirdre Fitzgerald at the request of her husband, Cyril, a newspaper compositor in Leeds. Deirdre was once arrested for shoplifting, and Fitzgerald fears she's reverted to her old ways in an effort to support her mother in a nursing home. When asked by Marcus Childs of Scotland Yard to assist in the investigation of the strangling death of Everett Runcie, the spendthrift son of hotel owners, Kate realizes that the unknown woman Childs is seeking is Deirdre, still nowhere to be found. What follows is a dance between Childs, both using Kate and warning her off, and Kate, pursuing her own leads in the effort to find Deirdre for Fitzgerald. Like Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs and Charles Todd's Bess Crawford, Kate navigates the fine line between observing traditional roles and expectations and living as an independent career woman in the 1920s.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in England in 1923, Brody's fabulous fourth Kate Shackleton mystery (after 2014's Murder in the Afternoon) finds the savvy PI trying to help a distraught husband, Cyril Fitzpatrick, locate his wife, who has a habit of disappearing for days at a time. Meanwhile, Kate is shocked to discover that banker Everett Runcie, who was seeking a divorce from his wife, has been found dead in his room at the Hotel Metropole in Leeds. The two threads turn out to be ingeniously related. Humming underneath the main story line is Kate's continued mourning for her husband, who went missing in WWI. Such details as cloche hats, Yorkshire pudding, and "grand country houses" provide period flavor, while more serious historical matters, such as cultural attitudes toward divorce and adultery, prove germane to the plot. Snappy dialogue and a cast of well-developed minor characters are a plus. Agent: Judith Murdoch, Judith Murdoch Literary Agency (U.K.). (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

A husband asks amateur investigator Kate Shackleton to find out where his wife, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, actually goes when she is supposed to be visiting her sick mother. In the meantime, Everett Runcie is facing financial ruin, and his American heiress wife has had enough of his mistakes and is seeking a divorce. When Runcie is discovered dead in his hotel room, Kate's case takes a far more ominous turn. With the help of her assistant, former policeman Sykes, Kate delves deeply into the intrigue of infidelity and a woman unknown. VERDICT Brody's spirited and stalwart protagonist has found her true calling in solving mysteries, and her fourth case (after Murder in the Afternoon) holds true. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Agatha Christie will enjoy these historical mysteries set in 1920s England as entertaining read-alikes. (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.