STORY: Life for Andrew Farthering is an easy one. As the only son of a wealthy entrepreneur, Drew lives a comfortable country life. But since the passing of his father, he’s left with his mother, a woman who never emotionally connected with her son. As a child, Drew became enamored with mystery novels, which instills in him a love of solving a jolly good puzzle. His stepfather wishes Drew would join him in the business, however Drew never feels totally at ease with the man.
Coinciding with his mother scandalizing the Farthering name, trouble comes a-calling on his own estate grounds, and Drew has more mystery than he could ever wish for. With the help of his best friend, Nick and a sassy American guest, Madeline Parker, Drew and the gang search for the clues that elude the police only to find out murder is not just the stuff Agatha Christie novels are made of.
Rules of Murder, by Julianna Deering | Book Review
Some books are decent at passing time, and others make it onto reader’s inevitable “best of” lists. Rules of Murder has the distinction of the latter. Julianna Deering’s first in a trilogy series is such a charming novel and I feel quite at a loss as to how best to say this. There’s elements of classic British mysteries (think Agatha Christie’s Marple) and Downton Abbey sophistication. One of its best assets is a strong male presence. Not many books have a prominent male “voice” and readers are rewarded with a good one. He’s prominently male (readers who long for male to BE a male understand) yet there is a cheeky side to him (he’s still a gentleman and 100% BRITISH!). There is a price to pay for the strong perspective of Drew, which could be the underdeveloped romantics. I don’t find fault with this, and this is for two reasons.PROOF THAT I DID READ HISTORICAL FICTION! ‘RULES OF MURDER,’ BY JULIANNA DEERING. #BookReviews #HistoricalFiction #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Unlike most series, Drew and Madeline will be primary for all three books. This gives Deering more freedom to keep the romance in play without “showing” too much, too early. What she begins with these two leaves us wanting more, and that is an excellent place to be. I adore these two quintessential love birds together; from his rebuffed marriage proposals to Madeline’s zany sass, there isn’t a better duo. The second reason I’m unaffected by the whirlwind relationship is the era. Everything fits neatly into its genre box, and I say this with only the highest regard. None of the prose seems out of place or awkward leaving a reader nothing if not impressed by the time the final page is turned; and eager to read Death by the Book!
Before wrapping this up, I cannot exclude a mention of the excellent mystery. The surprise isn’t so much who the man behind the mayhem is, as the body count. Great Gatsby! That is something quite unexpected. Fortunately, Julianna does everything for a purpose, making nothing about this book “useless” in any form. And if there is one thing that is a sure thing here, it’s a sparkling good time; like the secondary characters including Nick whom I also love, there’s never tedious moment. Like a fellow reviewer boasts, anyone who enjoys this is going to be beyond eager for more adventures from Drew & Company; if its impending sequel is anything like this novel, count me in!
ABOUT the BOOK:
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Author: Julianna Deering
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013
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Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery – book 1
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Mystery
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.