Here’s some more recent reads that I don’t have much to say about.
Date with Malice, by Julia Chapman
It’s dark in the Dales this winter . . .
When Mrs Shepherd arrives at the Dales Detective Agency on a December morning, quite convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Samson O’Brien dismisses her fears as the ramblings of a confused elderly lady. But after a series of disturbing incidents at Fellside Court retirement home, he begins to wonder if there is something to her claims after all . . .
With Christmas around the corner, Samson is thrown into a complex investigation. One that will require him to regain the trust of the Dales community he turned his back on so long ago. Faced with no choice, he enlists the help of a local – the tempestuous Delilah Metcalfe.
Against the backdrop of a Yorkshire winter, Samson and Delilah must work together once again if they are to uncover the malevolence threatening the elderly residents of Bruncliffe. Could the danger be perilously close to home?
This is the second in the series, but can be read as a standalone. I did definitely get the Christmassy vibes from this book. But it felt overly long, and the resolutions that remained hanging in the air from book one have still not been tied up, and will drag into the third one. It’s good for a cosy Christmas crime, but not a series I will continue with.
The Night She Died, by Jenny Blackhurst
The bone-chilling new novel from Jenny Blackhurst, the #1 eBook-bestselling author of HOW I LOST YOU, BEFORE I LET YOU IN and THE FOSTER CHILD. If you love dark, twisty thrillers, you’ll love THE NIGHT SHE DIED.
On her own wedding night, beautiful and complicated Evie White leaps off a cliff to her death.
What drove her to commit this terrible act? It’s left to her best friend and her husband to unravel the sinister mystery.
Following a twisted trail of clues leading to Evie’s darkest secrets, they begin to realize they never knew the real Evie at all.
I quite enjoyed this twisty thriller. The short chapters made it easy for the old “just one more chapter”! I did find the middle slightly long, but every time I thought I knew what was coming the author wrong footed me. I would definitely read more from this author. I gave it 4*.
Death Comes at Christmas, by Gladys Mitchell
It is December and Mrs Bradley has left London behind for a relaxing visit to the Oxfordshire countryside.
Then, on Christmas Eve, a local solicitor is found dead by the river. Everyone believes that he suffered a heart attack – but Mrs Bradley is suspicious, and is soon investigating a series of disturbing clues.
As the frost thaws and spring begins, the inimitable detective must work fast if she is to protect the people close to her from a resourceful killer…
I really struggled with this one. A lot is written in local dialect, and it slowed the pace. I also couldn’t decide if I liked Mrs Bradley as a sleuth or not. It did have a Christmassy feel to it, which I enjoyed. I gave it 2*.