I’ve been pretty interested in this book; in light of my recent slow reading I’m posting an extract before/instead of a review.
Julia Chapman is a pseudonym for the writer Julia Stagg and Date With Death is out on 9th March. It’s the first novel in a series and published by Pan Macmillan. This is the prologue:
Mist. Fog. Or even brume. Dense cloud lapping at the muted glow of the station lamp; twin tracks emerging suddenly from the murk, the edge of the platform softening into nothing. It was too far inland to be a haar or a fret. But however it was labelled, it made the dark, early-morning hour redolent of death.
Richard Hargreaves, alone in this cold, shadowy world, stamped his feet, the sound smothered by the dampening shroud, and lamented the paucity of words to describe this recurrent feature of autumn in the Dales. Unlike the Inuit in the frozen north with their wealth of terminology for snow, the locals here had very few ways of representing these dark, damp, drizzly days.
Fog, then. It was too thick for mist, visibility almost zero, and gave no hint of being burned off, should the sun ever rise above the hills to penetrate the low-lying vapour mass. He pulled his scarf tighter against his chilled neck, thrust his hands in the pockets of his overcoat and smiled into the gloom.
Last day of the week. Two days without having to get up to catch the six-thirty train. And this evening with her. There was a lot to look forward to, despite the dreary weather.
He had no idea how wrong he was.
To his right, the flare of an approaching light bled into the blanket of grey. Richard Hargreaves, for the last time in his life, hunched his shoulders, shoved his hands further in his pockets, and stepped towards the edge of the platform.
When the blow struck him in the back, he had no means of defence. No means of stopping himself falling.
The press release looks to fans of Alexander McCall Smith, Robert Galbraith, and Midsomer Murders. Author Cath Staincliffe describes it as ‘A classic whodunit set in the spectacular landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, written with affection for the area and its people’. If you like the sound of it and would like to know more, there will be further extracts and other posts this week:
Do you enjoy reading ‘whodunits’?
March 7, 2017, 12:25 am
This sound right up my alley. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.