2013, Bring it on … (Oops! It’s here)

2013, Bring it on … (Oops! It’s here)

The Kate Shackleton mysteries start 2013 with a hat trick. January sees the US paperback publication of DYING IN THE WOOL; in February, the hardback of A MEDAL FOR MURDER will be published in the US; in March comes the UK paperback publication of A WOMAN UNKNOWN.

browser bookshopI’m looking forward to meeting more booksellers and readers, especially during March and April. Not all signings are confirmed yet, but many are on the home page of the website. If I’m in a bookshop near you, I hope you’ll pop in and say hello.

It was a pleasure to be asked to judge the Stamford (Lincolnshire) Arts Centre short story competition. I’ll be presenting prizes at the award ceremony. I always feel a little ambivalent about writing competitions, but they are an excellent way for writers to focus on a goal, and to have work read and appreciated. Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone who took part. And a big thanks to Stamford Arts Centre for encouraging new writing.

stamford arts centre


My birthday is in April – the day before the queen’s! I plan to lunch at the Metropole Hotel in Leeds. This isn’t just because it’s a posh hotel. The Metropole features in and provides the cover picture for A WOMAN UNKNOWN. The title for that novel came from a line in THE LONG WEEKEND by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge: “… most men were gentlemen enough to go through the farce of adultery with ‘a woman unknown’ and thus give their wives grounds for divorcing them.” That will give a hint of the story to those who haven’t yet read the book …

In May, I’ll be attending the Malice Domestic convention, in Bethesda, Maryland, for writers and fans of traditional crime mysteries. I’m told there’s a hat competition! So I have borrowed a hat from a friend who has an annoyingly fine collection of vintage clothing.

This will be my first time at Malice. On the Sunday, author Marcia Talley will whisk me away to an evening signing in Annapolis. On Monday we’ll be at the Festival of Mystery at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

I’m so thrilled about this trip that even last night’s dream of lost luggage doesn’t put me off. I blame this dream on my sister and her RAF joke: Breakfast in Brize Norton, lunch in Akrotiri, dinner in Singapore, luggage in Hong Kong.

I wish readers, friends (real life and social media), and fellow writers a healthy and peaceful year, dotted with days that shine.



  1. Thanks, Eddie. MURDER ON A SUMMER’S DAY will be out (UK) in October. I think you’ll like it. It’s partly set around Bolton Abbey.

  2. After the Flying Ducks meeting in December, I “dipped into” the first of your Kate Shackletons on Amazon and liked what I read. I’ve now taken the plunge and bought the first three novels; read the first, started the second and I’m loving them. Great characters, interesting plots, a nice touch of nostalgia and the best of all settings – Yorkshire…
    Will definitely recommend you to my friends!

  3. I wish you all the best for 2013. You sound to have a busy year ahead. I look forward to the new Kate Shackleton novel and I am sure they will go down a storm in America.
    I think your birthday is the same as writer Jessica Blair!!
    Judith G

  4. Frances, I just finished “A Medal for Murder,” and I’m always sorry to say goodbye to Kate Shackleton & Company. Your writing is exquisite, with enough personality in your characters to make me like or dislike them a lot. You develop them so well, along with plots filled with unusual history. I’ve also read “Dying in the Wool,” and I’m happy your books are in the United States. Keep having fun so that I can sit down and get lost in Kate’s adventures. Thank you!

    1. Anita, thanks so much for your kind words. It’s good to know that Kate & Company are making such good friends on your side of the Atlantic.

  5. Hi Frances. I just finished A Woman Unknown and found Kate’s acknowledgment of her situation with the missing Gerald very poignant. Find that woman a good man!
    I really like how you involve Jim Sykes in the investigations more and more as an equal and not as just the employee or “gofer”. And this last investigation was sure twisty turny! When will Kate’s next story be out? I am eagerly anticipating!

    1. Hi Pat
      Glad you liked A Woman Unknown. I’ll bear in mind your instruction to find Kate a good man! The next Kate Shackleton book, Murder on a Summer’s Day, will be out in the UK in October.

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