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).
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.
"an intriguing and heart-warming story."
A Murder Inside: the first Brackerley Prison mystery, was published by Piatkus Books in October 2021.
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Meanwhile, Kate Shackleton is taking a break - but there will be another mystery for her to solve in October. A letter from a stranger takes Kate to the model village of Saltaire, and the nearby Milner Field mansion, overshadowed by its reputation for misfortune and untimely deaths. And here's an advance look at the cover...
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"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.
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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!
- Saturday, 18 June, 10.45am to 12.15pm
- To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week and Crime Writing Month, Frances will be in the store at Limestone Books, Settle, signing books and chatting. Do come and say hello!
- Friday, 24 June, 7.00 pm
- Celebrate Crime Writing Month at Waterstones, James Street, Harrogate
Join Frances and J M Hall to discuss Yorkshire Fiction - Criminal and otherwise
More information, and online booking.
- Thursday 21 - Sunday 24 July
- Frances will be at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate - not on duty, just enjoying herself! She says: "My Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programme arrived in the post today - a great line up! I'm looking forward to being back in Harrogate and catching up with friends."
If you want to organise an event, please contact Senior Publicist at Piatkus/Little, Brown with enquiries: .
You can 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).
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: 21st May 2022.