Wednesday 8 November 2017

Guest Review: Date with Malice by Julia Chapman

It’s dark in the Dales this winter . . .
When Mrs Shepherd arrives at the Dales Detective Agency on a December morning, quite convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Samson O’Brien dismisses her fears as the ramblings of a confused elderly lady. But after a series of disturbing incidents at Fellside Court retirement home, he begins to wonder if there is something to her claims after all . . .
With Christmas around the corner, Samson is thrown into a complex investigation. One that will require him to regain the trust of the Dales community he turned his back on so long ago. Faced with no choice, he enlists the help of a local – the tempestuous Delilah Metcalfe.
Against the backdrop of a Yorkshire winter, Samson and Delilah must work together once again if they are to uncover the malevolence threatening the elderly residents of Bruncliffe. Could the danger be perilously close to home?

Review: This is the second book in the Dales Detective series from Julia Chapman. I found the first in the series (Date With Death) very enjoyable and was looking forward to publication of this new title. As before, the action takes place in the Yorkshire Dales, an area of great natural beauty that I know well. Also in common with the first book, this one has a most attractive cover, illustrating various aspects of the story. 

This tale once again unites the characters Samson O'Brien and Delilah Metcalfe. Both have business premises in the village of Bruncliffe, where Delilah runs not only the Dales Dating Agency, but also a web design company. Samson has returned home to the village after a long absence to open the Dales Detective Agency. Mysterious goings on at the Fellside Court retirement home in the village bring the pair together when Samson is asked to investigate. In addition to Samson and Delilah, there is a delightful collection of elderly residents from the home and local residents from the village playing roles in the story, many adding a touch of humour. Of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention Delilah's faithful hound, Tolpuddle the Weimaraner, who helps with the inquiry as well. 

I very much enjoyed this story. It drew me in from the start and kept me guessing all the way through with respect to what was going on and how it was all going to end. It was very skilfully written to put the reader off the scent at a few junctures. Of course, the lovely Yorkshire Dales scenery was brought to life in the narrative. Although not obviously a festive tale, it was nice that the action took place in the run up to Christmas, with all the preparations going on in the background. This would certainly be a good book to pop into someone's Christmas stocking, but don't forget to buy a copy for yourself as well. 

Click here to order your copy: UK or US

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