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  • Location: Giggleswick, Leeds

Death in the Stars

Death in the Stars

Why a Booktrail?

1927: See the eclipse…but following the darkness, it shines light on a murder…

  • ISBN: 978-0349414317
  • Genre: Cosy crime, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

Eclipse fever grips the nation – in 1920s England, even more than the present day, this is quite the event. People travel from all over the country looking for a good spot to see it, and there are viewing parties up and down the country.

Selina Fellini  is one such actress who wants to see the golden moment. She comes to Kate Shackleton to invite her to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel. Not your usual request of a private investigator, Kate suspects an ulterior motive.

During the eclipse, Selina’s friend and co-star Billy Moffatt disappears and is later found dead in the chapel grounds. This is just the first mystery of many and it could well be that within the group of actors, there is a murderer playing a very convincing role indeed.

Lights, camera…Murder?

Travel Guide

Leeds and the Great Eclipse of 1927

The 1927 Totally Eclipse of the sun caught the imagination of public and press and drew hundreds of thousands of people to viewing points across the line of totality.” There were many observation points but the one in Giggleswick School Chapel was said to be the best one. Sir Frank Dyson, Astronomer Royal set up his observation point in the grounds of Giggleswick school.

The eclipse in the story is a huge event (as indeed it it nowadays) and it even seems to be a society event where posher people have their places to sit away from the masses and where you sit is where you are on the social strata (also like today in some ways)

City Varieties Music Hall

This was built in 1865 and although it has changed dramatically over the years and a lot since the setting in this book evokes of course. Take the backstage tour if you have a chance…you may meet one of the cast from the novel!

The Tunnels of Leeds

There have been many stories of tunnels and finding underneath the city of Leeds says the author and in the novel there is a tunnel between the City Varieties and the old Empire Palace Theatre…Who knows?

“Our footsteps gained an echo at a certain point as the chamber rose in height and then suddenly my torch picked out a set of stone steps”

With lengths of string, they walk along the underground tunnels looking for the escape route as it were between the two old theatres. There’s a bit of  a thrill about going underneath a city and see its heart and soul!

Streetview Maps

C) Leeds - Roundhay Park - Soldiers Fields
E) Leeds - City Varieties Theatre
F) Giggleswick - The Observatory!
F) Giggleswick - The Observatory!

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

Mystery set during the solar eclipse of the 1920s when it was even more on an event and a magical situation when people thought it was something to do with witchery and illusion. Added into that a murder within a theatre company, visits to old fashioned Variety shows and some super sleuthing from Kate Shackleton and it’s a winner and a half this book!

There’s something very genuine and fascinating about these books. Kate Shackleton investigates without all the modern day technology or knowledge but the crimes are equally as brutal and the motives twisted. It’s the old fashioned sleuthing that appeals here and the characters which are richly evoked and distinct on the page. Death to the Stars is a very theatrical read, set in the world of theatre and this is a  great appeal for the shadowy goings on back stage. The eclipse was fascinating since this was a  real life event and considered other worldly compared to how we view it today. There’s a lot going on in this novel and it’s a very entertaining read, unravelling slowly but surely with a good few red herrings along the way.

If you’ve not read a Kate Shackleton yet, get this one and then start on the back catalogue – you won’t be disappointed!

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Death in the Stars

Destination:  Leeds, Giggleswick  Author/Guide: Frances Brody  Departure Time: 1927

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