Tuesday 6 April 2021

Guest Review: Date With Deceit by Julia Chapman

Julia Chapmans sixth Dales Detective Agency novel, Date with Deceit, sees Delilah going undercover at a shoot involving dangerous criminals. Perfect for fans of Richard OsmanThe Thursday Murder Club and M.C. Beaton.

A woman in tears in the Dales Detective Agency is never the best way to start the week. But when that woman is the wife of Bernard Taylor, town mayor and eminent businessman, there is even more cause for alarm. So when Nancy Taylor asks the detectives to investigate whether her husband is having an affair, Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe know they will have to tread carefully.

The case, however, proves to be more complex than even they had imagined. While Delilah is undercover at a local shoot to better keep tabs on the errant husband, she is on the scene for a fatal incident that sends the town into turmoil. Soon the detective duo are embroiled in a far more serious investigation than mere infidelity as they discover that deceit is rife in Bruncliffe. And it may well prove deadly . . .

Review: This is the sixth book in the Dales Detective Series by Julia Chapman. All these books are set in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales in and around the town of Bruncliffe, and feature Samson O’Brien, owner of the Dales Detective Agency, and Delilah Metcalfe, owner of the Dales Dating Agency, who frequently work together to solve cases. I have been a fan of these books since the very first one and always look forward to the next as soon as I finish the current story. The attractive covers of these books always give a flavour of the story that lies within, this one being no exception. As usual with a series, there are many recurring characters and references to previous events in these books, but each could be read as a standalone.

This particular story begins with the wife of the Bruncliffe mayor asking Samson to look into the comings and goings of her husband, who she suspects may be having an affair. However, such a seemingly simple request leads both Samson and Delilah into a very dangerous case. The mayor is involved in something far more sinister than his wife suspects, in partnership with local property developer Rick Procter and some very dangerous people from further afield. When a fatality occurs at a local shoot, the detectives become involved in the investigation. Was it accident, suicide or murder? Some very clever sleuthing is required if innocent people suspected of involvement in the death are to be cleared.

This was a very enjoyable book that kept me guessing all the way through. I can certainly recommend it, and indeed the whole series, to readers who enjoy a mystery in a picturesque setting. Here, the main storyline is accompanied by many incidents involving other residents of Bruncliffe who will be familiar to fans of the series and of course Tolpuddle, Delilah’s faithful Weimaraner, adding extra interest and often a touch of comedy. It is good to see that Delilah’s dating agency is doing well, but not at all encouraging that Samson’s past seems to be catching up with him. Just when I thought that everything was nicely tied up, and there may even be romance in the air, the book ended on a cliffhanger - skilful writing, but now I’m itching to find out what happens in book 7!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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