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 is the author of nine Kate Shackleton mysteries, with the publication of Death in the Stars in October 2017 (and in the US in Febriary 2018, as Minotaur Books move towards coinciding publication dates on both sides of the Atlantic). The story begins in June, 1927 when Selina Fellini, a popular singing star who is performing with her troupe at Leeds City Varieties, calls on Kate Shackleton. She wants Kate to accompany her to view a total eclipse of the sun...
Read what Frances told Leeds Big Bookend about Death in the Stars: "My single regret about this book is that there is not enough ice cream!"
"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.
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). Now Sisters on Bread Street, Sixpence in Her Shoe and Halfpenny Dreams, originally published as Frances McNeil novels, are beginning a new life as Frances Brody books. Sisters on Bread Street was published in January 2016, followed in April by Sixpence in Her Shoe, with Halfpenny Dreams completing the set in July.
Visit the 'Sagas' page to learn more.
Frances's 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. She 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.
Read a recent interview with Frances on the 'Writers Who Kill' website.
And make sure you visit Frances's blog for the latest from her in her own words!
Frances has a busy programme of appearances for 2018, and sometimes more events are added at the last minute, so do keep an eye on her diary (below). She hopes that if she is appearing near you, you will come along and say hello!
- Saturday, 24 March
- International Women's Day / Vote 100 Festival organised by Tracy Brabin MP at Batley Older People's Centre, 90 Commercial Street, Batley, WF17 5DS
Free event: Register through Eventbrite.
- Tuesday, 27 March
- Local Authors Panel at Shire Oak, Heart Centre, Headingley
a Headingley LitFest event
- Tuesday, 10 April, 12.20 pm
- Talk Turning to Crime for Cleckheaton Women's Lunch Club, Cleckheaton & District Golf Club
- Saturday, 14 April, 3 pm - 4.30 pm
- Enjoy Afternoon Tea with Frances and fellow crime writers Mari Hannah and Chris Nickson at Bothams, 35/39 Skinner St, Whitby YO21 3AH
Look out for information from Bothams (Phone: 01947 602823) about how to book.
- Wednesday, 18 April, 7.30 pm
- Talk Yorkshire Locations in the Kate Shackleton novels for Shepley WI
- Friday, 27 April, 12.00 - 2.00 pm
- Speculative lunch: Investigating cosy crime fiction and the Golden Age at the University of Leeds. More information and booking details.
- Tuesday 1 May, 6.30 pm
- Talking about The Golden Age of Crime Writing with Fiona Veitch Smith at Newcastle Noir
- Thursday 17 May, 2.30 - 4.30
- A Criminally Good Afternoon Tea at Anchorsholme Library, Luton Road, Blackpool, FY5 3RS
Part of Blackpool Wordpool Festival Writers Day
- Thursday, 24 May, 7.30 pm
- Talk to Wharfedale Scone Roses, WI, Burley in Wharfedale
- Wednesday, 6 June
- Guest speaker at Clevedon ladies lunch in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research
- Tuesday, 17 July
- Lunchtime talk: Meanwood Oddfellows, Leeds
- Tuesday, 18 September, 7.30 pm
- Talk for Fewston Foxy Ladies, Harrogate
- Saturday 28 September, 2.45 - 3.30 pm (subject to confirmation)
- Crossing Genres panel at Morecambe & Vice Crime Writing Festival
- Tuesday, 9 October, 7.20 for 7.30
- Talk to Hartshead WI, Clifton, Brighouse, HD6 4HX
Header photograph, Ingenues arrive, Central Station, Sydney, 1928-1929, by Sam Hood from the collection of the State Library of New South Wales.
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Last update: 23rd March 2018.