Book Review: Murder is in the Air by Frances Brody

Finding the Book

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My latest cozy mystery book review of Murder is in the Air by Frances Brody is here!

One of my very favorite things to do is to leisurely walk the aisles of the public library, soaking in the book environment, reveling in the presence of kindred spirit book lovers, and seeing ALL.THE.BOOKS that have yet to be read by my eyes.  It’s just such a pleasant and peaceful feeling, invoking overwhelming contentment.  It is well with my book soul during these moments.

That’s how I found Murder is in the Air, the latest book in the Kate Shackleton Mystery series by Frances Brody.  I have never even laid eyes on this series, but knew instantly it was a book and series for me.    I’m so glad I picked up this book and was willing to read it out of the series order (who starts with book 12 in a series!!!), it was that good.

gray and red background with book cover and text saying cozy mystery book review murder is in the air by frances brody.

About the Book: Murder is in the Air by Frances Brody

The setting is North Yorkshire, England in 1930.  Kate Shackleton, the main character, is a Golden Age woman running her own private investigation business, along with her assistant and sidekick, Jim Sykes.  

After being approached by a brewery owner to help him get the goings on under control in the brewery in anticipation of his nephew returning to take over, Kate and Jim go to work.

They uncover theft, deception, and murder, while helping many people along the way.

I gave this book a 5 Star rating on Goodreads because I couldn’t put it down and was drawn into the story from beginning to end.  (Click here to follow me on Goodreads!)

From the Publisher:  A competition for the crown proves deadly when confidences are betrayed and secrets are spilled.

North Yorkshire, 1930. It’s the season for warm and spirited countryside celebrations. Ever since the war, pubs have been in the doldrums, and in an attempt to promote and breathe new life back into the business, brewers select a charismatic employee as local queen–to be the face of their industry. And this year’s queen, wages clerk Ruth Parnaby, has invited the ever intrepid Kate Shackleton and her niece Harriet to accompany her on public engagements at a garden party thrown in her honor. But when Ruth leads children to the stables for pony rides, the drayman is missing, later found in the last place imaginable–the fermentation room, deceased.

What looked to be a simple case of asphyxiation in the dangerous fermentation room is quickly clarified by the pathologist as murder–the drayman was already dead before he was taken into the room. Someone was looking to cover it up. The horse dealer who sold the pony to the drayman comes under suspicion, but more and more Ruth’s nasty father, Slater Parnaby’s strong motive to dissuade his daughter from any festivities lingers in Kate’s mind, despite his having an alibi. The case is muddy, at best, and it’s going to take Kate at her keenest to decipher the truth.

What I Love

The Setting  

I’ve said it many times, but this geographical setting, as well as this era, are at the very tippy top of my favorites list for cozy mystery setting.  Featuring the quintessential British fixtures of pubs, beer and breweries, and the staff and horses that make up the 1930s brewery industry, this setting is at once historical and pleasingly interesting.

The Characters

I was drawn to the characters instantly, even though this is book 12 in the series and I haven’t read the previous books.  Even the smarmy characters were so well done that the capture of their essence overwhelmed the dislike of the ugliness of their character!  

One reason I enjoy this setting time frame is that it tends to showcase the human spirit, and women in particular, in such a beautiful, positive light.  The characters in this book did not disappoint; there was much consideration and grace extended to even the unsavory characters, showing, I think, the author’s loving nature of humankind. 

The History

I’m enjoying a run of historical cozy mysteries and am so thankful to all of the amazing authors who put in the time to do the research required to make a truly fabulous story.  

The history in this story, including the geographical history, the history of the era, and the history of the brewery industry was astounding.  It really is so much more interesting than reading a history textbook, but I learned and retained so much more than I would have in class.

This is the 12th book in this series, all of which you can find here on the author’s series page.  All of these books are available as an ebook and paperback, and some are also in hardcover and/or audiobook format.

My Recommendation

Read this book!  And get the series.  It’s seriously that un-put-down-able.  You don’t have to start at book one in the series, but you’ll definitely want to go back and read them all once you’ve read one!

 Follow the Author

You can find Frances Brody, the author of Murder is in the Air here:





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