Rating: 3.75 / 5
I was on the look out for a cosy murder mystery for a while before I accidently stumbled upon this series. In all honesty, I did not know what to expect, and as a result kept my expectations relatively low. Yet, Date with Death was delightful and the perfect read in so many respects. Whilst no book (in my humble opinion) can possibly be on par with Agatha Christie’s mysteries, this book certainly came close.
Being the first book in a series, it was not surprising in the least that the story tended to focus more on the characters and their relationships within the community of Bruncliffe, whilst dipping in and out of the murder mystery aspect of the plot.
Both Delilah and Samson proved to be extremely likeable and feisty protagonists with their own complicated pasts, which were revealed in small delicious snippets as the book moved along at a steady pace. Samson made for an intriguing character given his complex relationship with his father as well as his past with the police that was shrouded in mystery. Delilah, on the other hand was more of a straightforward character despite her somewhat complex relationship with her family, especially with Will. Tolpuddle was a welcome addition, making up the trio. I was also curious about the protagonists’ names – is this perhaps some kind of foreshadowing for the later books or merely a coincidence? (Guess there’s only one way to find out for sure)
Upon first glance, there seemed to be an abundance of characters to keep track of and of course not forgetting their relations with the other characters presented. However, after a while, this did not seem so daunting and soon as a reader, I was able to take it naturally in my stride. At times, I did have to stop for a few seconds and remind myself who a particular person was, but this only happened a handful of times, which was not too bad in all fairness.
Given that this is the first book, there is certainly room for development, however this was a promising start to the series. One of my favourite aspects (amongst many) was the originality of concept of a private detective teaming up with someone who runs a dating agency. Additionally, there was a little bit of everything within this cosy story – humour, raw emotion and tension.
In a nutshell, this was a cosy murder mystery. Time and effort had clearly been spent on developing the characters, even the secondary ones. Although at times this may have been at the expense of the swiftness of the plot. This first book also helps to set the foundation for later books, as there are some shady characters whose intentions remain in the dark. An amazing book to start off the series, and cannot wait to read the next book in the series!
Happy reading folks,
P.S. I would tell you an unemployment joke, but none of them work 🙂