Category Archives: Dylan Scott Mystery

Review: Dying Art by Shirley Wells

Title: Dying Art by Shirley Wells
Dylan Scott Mystery #5
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 83,000 words
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Portrait of a mystery

Dylan Scott vowed never to return to the dreary town of Dawson’s Clough. But one visit from a beautiful ex-lover and he’s back in Lancashire, investigating a possible murder. The police think Prue Murphy died during a burglary gone wrong, but her sister isn’t so sure–and neither is Dylan. After all, the killer overlooked the only valuable thing in Prue’s flat.

So who could have wanted the quirky young woman dead, and why? Dylan’s search for answers takes him to France, where he discovers Prue’s family didn’t know her as well as they thought they did. And the more he digs, the more secrets he unearths–secrets someone would kill to keep buried…

83,000 words

The Review:

Dying Art is an intriguing installment in Shirley Wells’ marvelous Dylan Scott mystery series.

Ex-lover Maddie Murphy seeks out Dylan Scott following the death of her sister Prue. Local authorities believe her death is related to a string a unsolved burglaries in the neighborhood, but Dylan’s instincts are telling him there is more to her untimely demise than meets the eye. Returning to the much disliked town of Dawson’s Clough, Dylan uncovers several possible suspects as he tenaciously investigates Prue’s death.

While Dylan has fond memories of Maddie, he is not too clear on the details of their relationship. He certainly remembers how hot the sex was though and he is still drawn to her. But with his relationship with wife Bev back on track, Dylan has no intention of falling into bed with Maddie. When his investigation reveals how much Maddie has changed over the years, Dylan begins to wonder what role she might have played in her sister’s death.

Aiding Dylan in his investigation is his friend and retired Detective Chief Investigator Frank Willoughby. Together they follow where the clues lead them and they uncover a fairly large pool of suspects who have various motives for killing Prue. What is Prue’s connection to dead artist Jack McIntyre? Did Prue unwittingly reveal secrets worth killing for to local wine bar owner Danny Thompson? And where exactly does Prue’s disturbing landlord fit into the picture? Rounding out their suspect list are Maddie’s husband Tim and his business partner Eddie Bryson.

Of course, a Dylan Scott mystery would not be complete without guest appearances by Dylan’s extended family. His relationship with his wife Bev is always entertaining and rather humorous. Dylan and his son Ben are still close and I always enjoy their interactions. What, if any, significance is there to Dylan’s introduction to someone from his aging hippie mother’s past?

As with other novels in the Dylan Scott mystery series, Dying Art is well written with a compelling plot. Shirley Wells provides an entertaining story with plenty of twists, turns and unexpected secrets. The murderer’s identity is virtually impossible to figure out and a startling plot twist took me completely by surprise.

Another topnotch installment in one of my favorite series, I highly recommend Dying Art to anyone who loves a good mystery.

Read my reviews of the other novels in the series HERE.

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Filed under Carina Press, Contemporary, Dying Art, Dylan Scott Mystery, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Shirley Wells

Silent Witness by Shirley Wells

Title: Silent Witness by Shirley Wells
Dylan Scott Mystery #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 87,000 words
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


After his ex-wife bled to death in a bathtub covered in his fingerprints, the case against Aleksander Kaminski seemed open and shut. Though sentenced to life in prison, he swears he’s innocent, a claim supported by his current wife.

Private investigator Dylan Scott finds himself drawn back to dreary Lancashire in a search for justice. The evidence against Kaminski is damning, but having been unjustly jailed himself, Dylan is compelled to pursue the case; if there’s even a small chance the man is innocent, he has to help. The other obvious suspect—the victim’s second husband—has a watertight alibi. But Dylan has a strong hunch that as usual, there’s more going on than meets the eye in Dawson’s Clough.

The deeper Dylan digs, the more secrets he unearths. The question remains: If Kaminski didn’t murder his childhood sweetheart, who did?

87,000 words

The Review:

Shirley Wells’ Silent Witness is the third novel in her popular mystery series starring British detective Dylan Scott. Like the other books in this series, it is an engrossing mystery with no shortage of suspects in Dylan’s investigation into who killed Aleksander Kaminski’s ex-wife Carly Walsingham.

Silent Witness picks up several months after Dead Silent ends. Many changes have occurred in Dylan’s life including his reconciliation with wife Bev and a new baby. Self-deprecating and wry humor catch the reader off guard as he tiptoes around postpartum Bev. Surprisingly enough, Dylan is quite dependent on his quirky yet helpful mother, Vicky. The only relationship he feels like he is on solid ground is with his thirteen year old son Luke.

The investigation into Carly’s murder takes Dylan in several unexpected directions. His investigation leads him to numerous suspects and it seems like everyone has secrets they are desperate to keep. Dylan’s hallmark dogged detective work finally breaks the case, but not before Dylan finds himself facing someone who is willing to do anything to keep the truth about Carly’s murder from surfacing.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Silent Witness is the evolution of Dylan’s relationships with his wife and mother. While he is still mostly clueless when it comes to the women in his life, he definitely gets an A for effort in trying to keep Bev happy. While he still does not understand his mother, he is more accepting of her quirky behavior. The addition of a new baby adds an interesting dynamic to his various relationships and shows a softer side to Dylan’s personality.

Appealing protagonists, a tight plot and an engaging writing style keep the story moving at a brisk pace. Shirley Wells does a brilliant job keeping the killer’s identity under wraps. Silent Witness is a top-notch murder mystery that I highly recommend.

Read my review of Dead Silent HERE.


Filed under Carina Press, Contemporary, Dylan Scott Mystery, Mystery, Rated B, Shirley Wells, Silent Witness

Dead Silent by Shirley Wells

Title: Dead Silent by Shirley Wells
A Dylan Scott Mystery
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 80,000 words
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Ten months ago, Samantha Hunt set off for work…and was never seen again.

Despite the statistics of cold cases, Dylan Scott wants to believe the young woman’s alive—and not just because her father, his client, is desperate to find his missing daughter before he dies of cancer. By all accounts Sam was a lovely girl, devoted to her younger stepsisters, well-liked at her work, in love with her boyfriend.

But as usual not everything is as it seems in sleepy Dawson’s Clough. Sam’s boyfriend has a violent past. She may have been having an affair with her boss. And Dylan can’t shake the feeling that her stepfather is hiding something. Meanwhile, someone is trying to scare Dylan off the case.

Who wanted to silence Sam, and why? The truth turns out to be worse than anyone expected…

The Review:
Dead Silent is the compelling second novel in Shirley Wells British detective series starring Dylan Scott.

Dead Silent picks up right where Presumed Dead left off as Dylan begins his investigation into Samantha Hunt’s disappearance. Dylan’s investigation takes him back to Dawson’s Clough where he doggedly interviews Samantha’s family, friends and co-workers. With the assistance of friend and former co-worker Frank Willoughby, Dylan slowly pieces together the horrifying truth to Sam’s disappearance.

Many of the key elements of Presumed Dead are present in Dead Silent. Dylan is still estranged from his wife, Bev. He maintains his love/hate relationship with his quirky yet likeable mother, Vicky. He enjoys an easygoing and loving relationship with his son, Luke. The difference lies in Dylan’s attitude and the dynamics between him and Bev. His demeanor toward Vicky is softer but still retains the biting humor that was so enjoyable in Presumed Dead.

Dead Silent is an engrossing and spellbinding mystery that is full of surprises. It is an engaging story with an assortment of unexpected and interesting subplots. With a wide variety of startling twists and turns, Shirley Wells brings Dead Silent to a stunning and unanticipated conclusion that is guaranteed to shock her readers.

My review was originally posted at The Readers Roundtable

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Filed under Carina Press, Contemporary, Dead Silent, Dylan Scott Mystery, Mystery, Rated B, Shirley Wells