Murder in the Afternoon: A Kate Shackleton Mystery, Book 3 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Young Harriet and her brother Austin have always been scared of the quarry where their stonemason father works. So when they find him dead on the cold ground, they scarper quick smart and look for help. When help arrives, the quarry is deserted and there is no sign of the body. Were the children mistaken? Is their father not dead? Did he simply get up and run away? It seems like another unusual case requiring the expertise of Kate Shackleton. But for Kate this is one case where surprising family ties makes it her most dangerous and delicate yet.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 49 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 11, 2014|
|Publisher||Dreamscape Media, LLC|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #117,695 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#233 in Teen & Young Adult Art
#1,106 in Traditional Detective Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,425 in Historical Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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I was definitely glad one of Mary Jane's big secrets is revealed near the beginning. In this way, the reader is able to process the information along with Kate. Again, her thought process is so relatable. While she's trying to overcome her shock and reconcile the reasoning for being given up for adoption, especially after finding out there were several other children in the family who weren't given away, she has the most illogical thought. Maybe because she didn't have two names like her sisters Mary Jane and Barbara May. Wholly illogical, but the sort of stuff one might come up with while trying to rationalize a shock to the mind. I also like the mixed emotions she displays regarding her birth family, a definite pull of loyalty, curiosity and affection mixed with a bit of hurt, anxiousness and resentment, and the genuine concern she feels regarding her adoptive parents.
And the end is so bittersweet. Her hopes of finding some peace in regards to Gerald's fate is not realized, but she gets a beautiful glimpse of his time away from her and knows he was still able to find goodness amidst so much sorrow.
And, as usual, the mystery is interesting with several suspects to choose from. I guessed wrong this time. Oddly enough, even though Marcus isn't unlikeable, I hope Kate turns down his expected proposal. I don't want her losing any independence and I really think she needs a more definitive sense of closure in regards to Gerald. Too many historical mysteries with a lead female detective have the character marrying and relinquishing a measure of her independence and I really don't want that happening with Kate. I'm glad I already have the next book in the series in my possession as I'm eager to see how Kate's new relationships will develop.
PS I bought the large-print edition because it was the cheapest BUT eight pages were missing toward the end. Fortunately things were wrapping up and I don't think I missed much, but I'd avoid this edition if I were you.
Top reviews from other countries
A young girl and her brother walk to the local quarry to deliver lunch to their father. The girl finds him lying in a workers hut. She knows he is dead. She takes her brother and rushes for help to the nearest farm. By the time they all get back to the quarry the body has gone. As days go by the feeling is he was not dead, maybe drunk and when he came too he up and left the area. After all he was a good stone mason, could get a job anywhere and wasn’t he always arguing with his wife anyway.
If he is dead they will look to his wife who was seen heading to the quarry earlier in the day.
His wife, Mary Jane has a secret weapon in her defence, Kate Shackleton. She goes to Kate to tell her she must find Ethan, her husband and she will do this because she is Kate’s sister.
From this you know Kate was adopted (mentioned in other books). She does not know her birth family and had not really been curious. But she is now!
Most of the book concerns Kate’s feelings about this new family and getting to know the children and the locals in her investigation. Her partner in crime Jim Sykes gives a more determined effort to uncover clues, I like him. As the dead man was a ‘trouble making’ trade unionist Scotland Yard is involved and this brings Marcus Charles (Kate’s erstwhile lover) into the fray. Another layer in the story is how committed is Kate to the affair. She still looks in hospitals for her husband, missing presumed dead at the end of the war, and she is worried Marcus will ask her to marry him and she really doesn’t want to settle into being a wife, with all the connotations that brings for women at that time.
The stories have potential but need to build up a bit more tension. Kate is likeable and can be quite funnily sarcastic (in her own thoughts), Sykes is a good character and her adoptive parents are quite strongly drawn.
Like the first two books in the series this is an engaging story, set primarily in Yorkshire, in the immediate aftermath of the Great War. It is well plotted and the characters come alive. The victim who was 'murdered in the afternoon' was Ethan, a quarry worker in a rural village, a radical socialist campaigner for workers' rights. Kate is brought in to investigate by the man's wife who wakens Kate in the early morning banging on her door. It turns out that this labouring man's wife is Kate's sister. Ethan did not return from work in the quarry on Saturday evening but his wife thinks of him as missing, not dead, there is no body. Just as Kate still thinks of her husband who did not return from the war.
During the course of the week as Kate investigates we are introduced to a large group of new characters, the local gentry in the big house, the village vicar and his sister, and the neighbouring farmer and his wife. Kate also meets her own blood relatives for the first time, not least Ethan's children, Harriet and Austin who play a major part in this story. Kate's assistant Jim Sykes is called in to help investigate and gets some pleasure from his undercover role.
Ethan's body is found. It is a murder, not the first nor the last. The murderer is unmasked in the end and we are left feeling satisfied but saddened by the destruction of lives brought about by the killer. There are lots of interesting twists, turns and subplots but they add to the story and are not there just as red herrings. This is a very good, atmospheric read. A cut above the average.
Curiosity soon drags Kate into the case and she is convinced that Harriet saw her father dead when she went to take him some food while he was working near a local quarry. When Harriet gets help the body is nowhere to be seen.
This is an intriguing story which shows Kate battling against the culture of the time to carve out a place for herself as a private detective. Her assistant, Jim Sykes, plays a large part in this story and it was interesting to see him battling with the disadvantages of no longer being a policeman. The story is narrated by Kate herself with some chapters showing in the third person what other people in the story are doing.
I loved the ending especially the way the personal advertisement in the newspapers is dealt with. The tension is built up gradually during the book and I just wanted to keep reading to find out how it was all going to fit together. I read all of it in one day and stayed up late to finish it because I had to know how it ended.
I like the series characters - Kate herself, her housekeeper and her parents as well as her lover - Marcus Charles. The series started with Dying In The Wool but the books can be read in any order. If you like Daisy Dalrymple, Phryne Fisher or Maise Dobbs then give Kate Shackleton a try.