by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Date with Malice, and a link to purchase it from Amazon and an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Bruncliffe is not a village that soon forgives or forgets. This is why despite having left Yorkshire and his Black Sheep legacy nearly fifteen years ago, Samson O’Brien struggles to attract new business today. That’s also why Samson isn’t in a position to reject Alice Shepherd as a client of his Dales Detective Agency, even though her claims that she is being threatened and robbed at the Fellside Court retirement home are vague and convoluted. It also explains how Samson’s other current case entails hunting down a chronically missing sheep.
At least these jobs should keep Samson away from the distractions of his landlady, who herself is the struggling owner of the Dales Dating Agency. The confusion resulting from the similarity between the names of his and Delilah Metcalfe’s businesses is only one of the reasons that sparks fly whenever the two meet, although neither is enthusiastic about figuring it all out. Delilah still has anger about the way her late brother’s best friend suddenly left town, and Samson fears that the reasons he stayed away may be following him. They’re going to have to once again work together though when Alice’s fears to appear to be playing out, as Samson’s estranged father becomes one of those enmeshed in the rising crime rate within Fellside Court.
This is a fun twist on the traditional English cozy, blending together Samson’s professional investigation with Delilah’s amateur detecting. Once they get past their misunderstandings and occasional crankiness towards one another, Samson and Delilah do have an undeniable chemistry as they balance out each other’s personalities. Far more formidable will be one of Delilah’s brothers, who stubbornly refuses to admit that Samson is not doomed to follow in his father’s once-drunken footsteps. Adding no small amount of good humor is Delilah’s Weimaraner Tolpuddle, who suffers from massive separation anxiety alleviated by chewing everything in sight.
The only thing Tolpuddle loves more than a nice pair of leathers is Samson, so it will be heartbreaking to all if Delilah’s ex-husband gets his way in a canine custody battle. That is just one of the secrets being kept between Delilah and Samson, although their latest escapade into Bruncliffe’s elders will unite them and perhaps repair damaged reputations. While Delilah’s speed-dating events are always delightful moments within this series, it is the long mystery threaded throughout the two novels of the series that make them so compelling. Wry British humor, the delightful quirky Yorkshire setting, and a true puzzler of a plot will more than satisfy fans of the modern English novel.
To enter to win a copy of Date with Malice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “malice,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 28, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.