Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Date With Malice
Dales Detective Series – Book II
Julia Chapman

Pan (Macmillan UK)
19 October 2017/ ISBN 9781509823857 Mystery/Contemporary / HOLIDAY: Christmas

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 

Old Mrs Alice Shepherd is a resident at old people’s home Fellside Court, and convinced that somebody is trying to kill her. But when she confides her suspicions to private detective Samson O’Brien, he dismisses them as the ramblings of a confused old lady. But there does seem to be something suspicious going on at the home and a farmer is keen to hire Samson as well to look for the mysterious missing Ralph. With still nowhere to live he is eager for the work, and soon he has a death to investigate.

This is the second in a series of mysteries set in the Yorkshire Dales town of Bruncliffe, following on from Date With Death (also reviewed on this site). PI Samson and dating agency owner Delilah Metcalfe worked together to solve the crime and are doing so again, investigating the goings-on in the retirement home. This setting adds poignancy to the tale and some darker moments than a typical cozy, balanced out by the fact that the events take place in the runup to Christmas. As with the first book, the best thing about this series is going to be the author’s knowledge of what makes Yorkshire special, and this permeates every aspect of the story. There is more going on here than just a mystery, which tends to take a back seat some of the time to the minutiae of life in a rural Yorkshire town and its outlying farms. We get to know a bit more about the series characters including hints about the mystery surrounding Samson, and if you were a fan of Nicholas Rhea’s Constable books or the Heartbeat TV series, you ought to enjoy this.

Previous reviews for this series:

Date with Death #1
Date with Malice #2

Reviewed 2018