Skip navigation Dying in the Wool Murder in the Afternoon A Woman Unknown A Death in the Dales Death at the Seaside Death in the Stars A Snapshot of Murder The Body on the Train Death and the Brewery Queen / Murder is in the Air

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."

Frances is the featured Author of the Month of the CRA (Crime Readers' Association).

A Murder Inside

She is the author of twelve Kate Shackleton mysteries - and in October 2021 launched a brand new series, the story of a prison, the prisoners, and their jailers.

In April 1969, Nell Lewis arrives at HMP Brackerley as deputy governor. A woman with great plans, she intends that this Women's Open Prison will be a beacon of hope, a place of rehabilitation where prisoners will learn new skills, achieve qualifications, maintain contact with family and friends and gain the confidence to go back through the prison gates equipped to begin again.

A Murder Inside: the first Brackerley Prison mystery, was published by Piatkus Books in October 2021.

Murder is in the Air

Meanwhile, Kate Shackleton is taking a break - but there will be another mystery for her to solve next year. Kate's latest investigation has two titles, one for either side of the Atlantic! Both were published in October 2020: first the US edition, published by Crooked Lane under the title Murder is in the Air (and now also available in a trade paperback edition), then the UK edition, Death and the Brewery Queen followed, from Piatkus.

In the Spring of 1930, Kate Shackleton responds to a call for help from the owner of Barleycorn Brewery in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Financial whiz Jim Sykes suspects threats to the brewery's business. When the one employee who may have an insight into what's really going on meets with a fatal accident, Kate's investigation intensifies.

"Britain between the wars provides the backdrop for murder and an engrossing look at women's place in society."

Kirkus Review

Read more about Kate's latest adventure or find a full list of the Kate Shackleton mysteries.

* * *

"Brody's writing is like her central character Kate Shackleton: witty, acerbic and very, very perceptive."

Ann Cleeves, award-winning author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope mysteries.

"Absolutely captivating! With charm, skill, and spot-on insight, the talented Frances Brody expertly transports us to Yorkshire, 1928 - and we are thrilled to be there. You'll adore the wonderfully atmospheric dialogue and put Brody on your bookshelves with Bowen and Winspear.."

Hank Phillippi Ryan, national bestselling author of Trust Me.

* * *

Sixpence in Her Shoe

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 an 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!


Due to a busy writing schedule, Frances is currently limiting her appearances. But if you want to organise an event, please contact Senior Publicist at Piatkus/Little, Brown with enquiries: .

Tales from the Leeds Library

You caan enjoy Frances talking about her life in libraries to the Leeds Library's Molly Magrath for their podcast, Tales from the Leeds Library (click the link for the podcast home page, or click the image to go direct to Frances's talk).

And if you missed Frances's previous events, signed copies of A Murder Inside may still be available from the following booksellers - but please check in advance with the shop:

  • The Grove Bookshop, 10 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EG
  • The Little Ripon Bookshop, 1-3 Westgate, Ripon, HG4 2AT
  • Truman Books, Farsley, Pudsey, 95 Town Street, LS28 5HX
  • Waterstones, The Wool Exchange, Hustlergate, Bradford, BD1 1BL
  • Waterstones, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AP
  • Waterstones, 15 James Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QS

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 member of the Crime Writers' Association Cornwell Internet

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Last update: 8th December 2021.

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