In the seventh novel in Julia Chapman’s Dales Detective series, Date with Betrayal, betrayal is rife in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales as Samson O’Brien, owner of the Dales Detective Agency, is targeted by a hitman.
Can Bruncliffe save him? A brilliantly engaging and witty mystery, perfect for fans of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club and M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series.
Death is coming to Bruncliffe: its target is Samson O’Brien. Oblivious to his impending date with fate, Samson is busy juggling a number of cases at the Dales Detective Agency. Too busy, in fact, to notice his partner behaving oddly. Because Delilah Metcalfe knows what is coming. A hitman. Sent from London with one objective: to finally silence the troublesome O’Brien before his corruption case can make it to court.
With Samson’s life in peril, and betrayal around every corner, Delilah has no choice but to call in favours from all of her Bruncliffe connections in order to counteract the menace threatening to engulf the Dales town. The only trouble is the townsfolk have long memories and deep grievances when it comes to Samson O’Brien. Trust must be earned and they will take some convincing before they put themselves in danger in order to save him.
And even then, it might not prove enough . . .
Not having read the first six novels in the series, it took me a while to work out who was who apart from the dog, Tolpuddle, a Weimaraner with separation anxiety issues. So I’ll never know where the name came from. Maybe he’s a ‘martyr’ to his issues!
Not my usual feast of bloody serial killings awash with gore and body parts, and sacrificial murder with religious undertones, Date With Betrayal is more of a cosy mystery. It involves the targeting of our hero, ex-cop Samson O’Brien, by a hitman, due to his time in the Met when he worked undercover. Obviously if I’d read the other books, I would know more about this, but I know he came home to the village of Bruncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales and started the Dales Detective Agency with Delilah Metcalfe.
Samson adores the delectable Delilah, (yes the names made me hoot) and she adores him, but they struggle to get together on a personal level, and I’m guessing this has been going on for some time.
But who is the hitman and who hired him? This is all part of the ‘mystery’ and there is a hilarious scene in the pub when landlord Troy is trying to work out which of three customers is the culprit.
We also have numerous other quirky and eccentric characters who have been involved since the beginning I’m guessing – Samson’s father Joseph, the inscrutable Ida Capstick, glamorous Hannah and her horse, DCI Frank Thistlethwaite and the elderly residents of Fell Lane, including Eric who walks around with a portable oxygen cylinder (how’s he going to go after the hitman unless he hits him with it?). Together with Delilah, they set out to stop the hitman killing Samson and their antics are hilarious.
Date With Betrayal is full of charm, warmth and humour and I absolutely loved it even though I was, at times, as confused as the residents of Fell Lane. Actually that’s not true – they are all as sharp as the members of The Thursday Murder Club.
Many thanks to @annecater for inviting me to be part of #RandomThingsTours.
About the Author
Julia Chapman is the pseudonym of Julia Stagg, who has had five novels, the Fogas Chronicles set in the French Pyrenees, published by Hodder. She is also the author of the Dales Detective series which follows the adventures of Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe as they solve cases in the Yorkshire Dales.
Born with a wanderlust that keeps her moving, Julia has followed her restless feet to Japan, Australia, the USA and France. She spent the majority of that time as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language but also dabbled in bookselling, pawnbroking, waitressing and was once ‘checkout chick of the month’ at a supermarket in South Australia. She also ran an auberge in the French Pyrenees for six years with her husband. Having spent many years wandering, she is now glad to call the Yorkshire Dales home. Its distinctive landscape and way of life provide the setting for her latest set of novels, the Dales Detective series.