Dying in the Wool: colorful stuff

March 2, 2012 6:35 pm

 

Exclusive interview with author Frances Brody and a review of her female detective novel

Rating: Three Stars

Reviewed by Gabrielle Pantera

“It delighted me to discover how many readers love the 1920s, as I do,” says Dying in the Wool author Frances Brody. “The art deco style, the fashions and the dances. This is the book that turned me into a crime writer. In a flash, I saw a man behind a high wall and a locked gate. Someone had to find out what was going on. Sleuth Kate Shackleton sprang to life, smart, tenacious and intrepid.”

Dying in the Wool is first in a new series by Frances Brody. This female sleuth novel is set in Yorkshire post-WWI. If you enjoy female detective novels by authors like Hannah Dennison, Rhys Bowen, Catriona McPherson and Carola Dunn, you’ll want to read Frances Brody too.

Kate Shackleton is an amateur sleuth turning professional with her first paying case. Accustomed to helping women find missing fathers, sons and husbands, Kate needs a paying case because her husband was lost fighting in WWI. The mystery of her missing husband is lightly interwoven in the story and will likely be a theme throughout the series. You’ll want to read closely to keep up with the unexpected plot twists in this story.

Kate’s friend Tabitha Braithwaite asks Kate to find Joshua Braithwaite, her father who’s been missing for over six years. Tabitha doesn’t believe he’s dead and wants Kate to find him so he can walk her down the aisle. Kate learns Tabitha’s father is not the shinning example of a family man that Tabitha thinks he is. Tabitha’s mother Evelyn doesn’t seem to miss having him around. Hector, Tabitha’s fiancé, seems to know more about Tabitha’s missing father than he should. Where is Tabitha’s father…. dead or hiding?

To make the imaginary village of Bridgestead seem authentic, Brody based her setting on the English town of Cottingley. In 1917, young Elsie Griffiths and Frances Wright created photographs of fairies near the stream Cottingley beck. “They fooled all sorts of people, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who makes a fleeting appearance in Dying in the Wool,” says Brody.

Before the First World War, Germans had all the expertise in dyeing. “When they left Britain in 1914, we had a lot of catching up to do,” says Brody. “I tried my hand at weaving, and talked to experts in textiles and dyeing. A district of Bradford is called Little Germany.”

Brody says she loved visiting Cottingley and doing research. “The Industrial Museum in Bradford has a collection of documents that give a flavour of life in the mills. We have family albums with a hundred years of photographs, and an old family friend is a dead ringer for Kate. For more detailed stuff on photography, I went to the archive at the National Media Museum. The local library was my source for contemporary newspaper accounts.”

“There is a character in the book who feels cheated by the master of the mill out of returns on his invention,” says Brody. “One elderly reader told me that exactly the same thing happened to her uncle. She was glad I had written about it.”

One of Brody’s sagas, Somewhere Behind the Morning, written as Frances McNeil, won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award for the most regionally evocative saga of the millennium.

Brody lives in Leeds, in Yorkshire, the largest county in England and home of the Brontes. “If you have seen Calendar Girls, Heartbeat or Last of the Summer Wine, you will know what a beautiful place Yorkshire is,” says Brody.

In May, Brody will be at the Bristol CrimeFest. In August she’ll be at the Annual Mystery & Crime Weekend at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody. Hardcover, 368 pages, Publisher: Minotaur Books (February 14, 2012). Language: English, ISBN: 9780312622398 $24.99

 

 

 

Comments are closed

More to Read...

  • Local News King’s Head celebrates 40 glorious years…

    King’s Head celebrates 40 glorious years…

    YE OLDE KING’S HEAD, certainly the most famous British pub in California (and probably the USA) is celebrating its 40th Birthday this month. The Santa Monica institution, founded by Phil and Ruth Elwell in 1973, has long been not just the first stop for British expats arriving in Los Angeles, but a magnet that brings them back time and again, for good food and drink and – of course – some civilized conversation with the regulars. Soon after its debut […]

    Read more →
  • Latest E-dition Sat. April 12, 2014 e-dition

    Sat. April 12, 2014 e-dition

    Tweet

    Read more →
  • Blogs & Columns Samba, spring break and sunshine just too much in Miami Beach

    Samba, spring break and sunshine just too much in Miami Beach

    By John Hiscock The Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach has a starry history as the place where Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack liked to party, where the Black Tuna drug cartel ran their operations from a luxury suite in the 1970s and where scenes from Scarface, Goldfinger, The Bellboy and A Hole in the Head, among other movies, were filmed. But now? After a one billion dollar renovation, the addition of two new towers and four swimming pools, the […]

    Read more →
  • Local News BABC OC name date for Annual Golf Tourney

    BABC OC name date for Annual Golf Tourney

    The British American Business Council  Orange County will host their Annual Golf tournament in association with BritWeek on Friday May 16th at the Monarch Beach links course (pictured, above). The event opens at 10am with registration and the driving range, followed by a putting contest at 10.30, with the scramble format tournament starting at 12.30pm. There will be prizes for ugly ball, longest drive and straightest drive, as well as closest to the pin. Beer and spirits will be available […]

    Read more →
  • Brits in LA Tipping points and canine pointers…

    Tipping points and canine pointers…

    Greetings Breeps!  Our ever-growing Facebook page has been humming this week with questions on subjects as diverse as pet insurance, tax time and etiquette of tipping in LA. I’ll tackle the last one first having some experience having been in the service area quite a number of times ‘in-between’ acting jobs. Why do we tip certain professions and not others? Why are we having to subsidize the tight proprietors who don’t pay their staff properly? Why do I tip my […]

    Read more →
  • Brits in LA Meet A Member: Catherine Siggins

    Meet A Member: Catherine Siggins

    Meet a Member: Catherine Siggins, originally from Ireland, who moved to Los Angeles three years ago because ‘the thought of taking a beach walk on New Year’s Day seemed enticing to me.’ Was there a particular reason you chose LA? I’d lived in London for 11 years, which I had loved, but felt that moving to New York would have been swapping one urban obstacle course for another. I had started to feel city life grinding me a little, high […]

    Read more →
  • Book Corner Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle

    Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle

    Exclusive interview with author Anthony Russell and a review of his auto-biography of his life as a boy growing up in Leeds Castle Rating: Three Stars by Gabrielle Pantera “Did I think my story of childhood was interesting enough to write a book about?” asks Outrageous Fortune author Anthony Russell. “Of course! How many children grew up at Leeds Castle, frequently referred to as the loveliest castle in the world? In the 1950s and 1960s, my grandmother, Lady Baillie, was […]

    Read more →
  • Entertainment Magical ‘Midsummer’ now on offer at the Broad Stage

    Magical ‘Midsummer’ now on offer at the Broad Stage

     By Catherine Siggins, Brits in LA Theatre Reviewer In the absorbing new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, we meet two young lovers, Hermia and Lysander, who flee Athens to escape the wrath of Hermia’s father and the dire judgment of Theseus, Duke of Athens. They are followed by Demetrius, Lysander’s rival with fighting on his mind, who wants Hermia as his bride, and Helena, Hermia’s childhood friend and the woman cruelly jilted […]

    Read more →
 

You need to log in to vote

The blog owner requires users to be logged in to be able to vote for this post.

Alternatively, if you do not have an account yet you can create one here.

Powered by Vote It Up