A prodigal son returns to the Yorkshire Dales to thwart a murderer.
Almost no one greets Samson O’Brien with pleasure when he roars back into Bruncliffe on his vintage motorcycle. Least of all members of the Metcalfe family, who are still angry with Samson for not showing up at the funeral when their brother Ryan was killed in action in Afghanistan. Not only won’t Ash and Will Metcalfe speak to Samson, but they turn their backs on their sister, Delilah, who allows realtor Rick Procter to let out the first floor of her shop only to discover that her new tenant is the pariah himself. Not that Delilah can afford to turn away a source of potential income. Her business, the Dales Dating Agency, is solidly in the red despite a growing clientele and two successful speed-dating events. Besides, Delilah suspects that Samson’s detective agency will fold within months, especially after he learns that his first case is the death of Richard Hargreaves, a case closed instantly by the authorities as an obvious suicide. But as Samson begins his investigation, he finds that Hargreaves had no reason to kill himself. In fact, he had every prospect of starting a new relationship thanks to Delilah’s service. Now Delilah not only has to suffer Samson’s presence on her premises: she has to help her nemesis find out who could have wanted to kill one of her clients.
An engaging cast of characters and a cleverly clued puzzle move Chapman’s debut to the top of the English village murder list.