12139433Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

Murder in the Afternoon is the third book in the Kate Shackleton mystery series and I’m now putting the first two on my wishlist. This is  a good book for those that enjoy the English cozy murder mystery along the lines of Agatha Christie et.al. I thought the book felt a little slow but I somewhat attribute that to not having read the first two installments in the series. It didn’t take me too long to get into the story and before I knew it, I was arriving at the end!

Harriet and her brother Austin are bringing their father a bit of supper at the quarry where he is working on a Saturday evening since he hasn’t come home. When they arrive it is very quiet, no one is working and their father doesn’t respond to the calling whistle. Harriet goes into the quarry and finds her dad laying on the floor of his workshop. He isn’t moving and he will not wake up. Harrier and Austin rush to the nearest neighbors for help but when they return there is no sign of a body or foul play.

After a search with nothing turning up, the constable decides this is just a case of a man who has had enough and left his family. This is where Kate is brought in. The big shock to Kate is that the wife of the missing man is Kate’s sister. Kate was adopted out and has never met any of her birth relatives. So Kate gets more than she bargained for…

While I felt the story seemed to have a slow start, I got over that fairly quickly and was pulled into the story, wanting to know what was going on and who was behind it all. Like many of the best mysteries, this one had a few good false trails and some dirty little secrets that got in the way of finding the murderer. To be honest, I was surprised when I found out who the guilty person really was–the culprit was not even on my radar and that doesn’t happen very often. The surprise ending along with the good writing means that I will be reading more of Kate Shackleton!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Minotaur Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.