Published by Pan Macmillan
ebook and paperback : 9 March 2017
Date with Death is the first in a new series and set in the gorgeous location of the Yorkshire Dales. Described as being a “A charming new series for fans of Alexander McCall Smith, Robert Galbraith and Midsomer Murders” this very much appealed to me (I’ve always been a fan of Midsomer Murders) and I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour launch celebrations with an extract. I have been sent a copy and will post a review on the blog when I’ve had a chance to read it.
How was it possible to love somewhere and hate somewhere at the same time?
Not sure there was an answer, the motorcyclist pulled over at the top of Gunnerstang Brow, turned off his bike, took off his helmet and stared down at the slate roofs that cluttered the dale below. Mid-afternoon with the October sun hanging low, the sheer limestone cliff that formed the backdrop of the town was ablaze, casting its reflected light on the houses and streets of a place he hadn’t been near in fourteen years.
A squat collection of dwellings, cut through by a river and a train line and hemmed in by the abrupt rise of the fells on three sides, it nestled confidently on the valley floor as it had done for centuries, bookended by the tall chimneys of long-disused mills. Despite its isolation, its inhabitants believed themselves to be at the centre of the universe. Arrogant. Forthright. Quick to highlight faults. A lot slower to praise. And wary of offcumdens – outsiders. Like him. Born and raised there, but never local.
He pulled his gaze away from the buildings, let it rove over the green hills, the distinctive stone walls marching up and down their steep sides, the swell and fall of land that stretched into the distance. The indignant squawk of a pheasant scratched at the silence, followed by the pleading bleat of a sheep.
It was a long way from London and the life he’d been leading. Which was why he’d returned. Refocusing on the town, he followed the route the river took, cascading from the north; and there, off to the south and a white blur against the green, he saw Ellershaw Farm, the Metcalfes’ place. Sheltered by the hills, yet with an open prospect, it had always been well maintained. Pristine. But then it hadn’t been run by a drunkard.
Instinctively, his attention swung back up the dale, past the jumble of housing, out the back of the town to the cleft of two hills where the sun no longer lingered. And the wry smile that had settled on his bruised face dissolved into a frown.
Home. The only one he had right now. Otherwise he wouldn’t be here, up on this hill, filled with this feeling of aversion and longing.
Here’s what author Cath Staincliffe had to say: ‘A classic whodunit set in the spectacular landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, written with affection for the area and its people. A satisfying read riddled with dry Yorkshire humour (and dry stone walls).’ – Cath Staincliffe, author of The Silence Between Breaths
About the book
Samson O’Brien has been dismissed from the police force, and returns to his hometown of Bruncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales to set up the Dales Detective Agency while he fights to clear his name. However, the people of Bruncliffe aren’t that welcoming to a man they see as trouble.
Delilah Metcalfe, meanwhile, is struggling to keep her business, the Dales Dating Agency, afloat – as well as trying to control her wayward Weimaraner dog, Tolpuddle. Then 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, the two feuding neighbours soon realize that they need to work together to solve the mystery of the dating deaths. But working together is easier said than done …
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. Date with Death is the first in the Dales Detective series.