“Date with Death” is the first book in the new ‘Dale’s Detective’ series.
This is a fun, madcap, small town cozy mystery which centers around Delilah Metcalfe, who is struggling to maintain two businesses after her sordid and messy divorce.
Sampson O’Brien, who has been fired from his job, and is facing a very uncertain future, returns home to Bruncliffe to open his own detective agency. He’s not exactly welcomed back with open arms, especially by Delilah.
But, with Sampson offering to pay rent for office space, she agrees to let him set up shop. Before long, Delilah realizes she is in need of Sampson’s services in order to find a connection between the rising number of suspicious deaths connected to her dating service.
This is a nice start to this new series, with an excellent location, a nice cast of characters, and unique mystery to solve.
The story does suffer from that ‘first in a series’ syndrome that requires time for character introduction and setup, which slowed down the momentum, especially in the first quarter of the book.
However, the mystery does start to gel once you get past the half way mark and the pacing really picks up speed after that.
I think the characters enjoyed some nice dialogue, had a bit of chemistry between them, and worked pretty well as a team once they got past some initial awkwardness.
The secondary characters are all essential to the story and provide comic relief as well as deeper character analysis.
This charming, cozy series definitely has potential and a lot of wiggle room for growth and development.
I am on board for the next installment and will be very interested in what adventures Sampson and Delilah will embark on next.
Samson O'Brien has been dismissed from the police force—quite unfairly, according to him. Now back in his home town of Bruncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales, Samson sets up the Dales Detective Agency while he fights to clear his name. However, the people of Bruncliffe aren't entirely welcoming to a man they see as trouble.
Delilah Metcalfe, meanwhile, is struggling to keep her business, the Dales Dating Agency, afloat. When Samson gets his first case, investigating the supposed suicide of a local man, things take an unexpected turn, and soon he discovers a trail of deaths that lead back to the door of Delilah's agency.
With suspicion hanging over someone they both care for, Delilah and Samson soon realize that they need to work together to solve the mystery of the dating deaths. But working together is easier said than done, and the couple must find a way to kiss and make up before more villagers wind up dead.
Julia Chapman's Date with Death is the newest installation in the delightful Samson and Delilah Mystery series.