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vilja

Vilja Reads

I'm a student, so I don't have nearly as much time for leisure reading as I'd like. If I manage to read an entire course book instead of just the assigned chapters, I'll review that here, too.

A Medal for Murder (Kate Shackleton)

A Medal for Murder - Frances Brody

Mrs Shackleton's second professional case involves tracking down a thief who robbed a pawnshop in bright daylight. The murdered man she stumbles upon outside a Harrowgate theatre seems, at first, unconnected. But that isn't the way detective novels work, is it? Kate is dragged into an investigation in which she has to choose between the truth and justice more than once. 

 

The writing was not flawless, nor did the novel obviously follow the formula of a classic detective novel or provide a clear puzzle for the reader, but I was entertained from start to finish. I have a fondness for the very specific genre of "1920s lady detective novels written by women" so I might be a soft touch, but I don't have to make any excuses for liking this one. I was a little thrown off by the first person narration interspersed with scenes from other points of view, especially since those extra scenes weren't entirely necessary, but once I got used to it it was not an issue at all. Besides, even if not necessary, those extra scenes were in themselves entertaining - especially the flashbacks to the Second South African War. 

 

I missed the first novel in the series but am well into the third now. Kate is a reasonably wealthy woman in her early thirties and childless, her husband having been lost in the war. Beyond this, I know very little about her aside from what arises from the narration. There isn't anything very spectacular about her, save for her powers of observation. This isn't a criticism. I felt comfortable slipping into her skin. She is independent, her own boss (and that of her assistant), and has a capacity for compassion without being soppy. I'm likely going to keep reading these until I run out of money or into one of my dealbreaker tropes.