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Posted July 28, 2014
What I liked most about this mystery was I felt like I had stepped back in time to an era captured by some of my other favorite crime novelists Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers AND the series Downton Abbey. High tea is served, a butler sees to the needs of the owner Drew Farthering, and a wedding is imminent, or is it? Murder interferes with well-laid plans. Oh, my.
And the clever author kept me guessing who done the dastardly deed. Just as I was sure I’d figured it out, she surprised me with an unexpected twist.
More than the mystery and the setting kept me reading, the characters are well-drawn and I found myself caught up in the mental torture of Drew’s dilemma over helping the woman from his past. If he does, he might rid himself of past demon and a loyal employee. However, his fiancée’s pleas to stay out it of are hard to ignore. Entanglements that are out of his control keep him involved. A clever solution to the murder left me totally satisfied.
My one small criticism would be that the ending went on too long, but for those who love romance and weddings, this will not detract. (I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this review.)
Posted July 28, 2014
This is the delightful third installment of amateur sleuth, Drew Farthering and his sidekicks, Madeline and Nick. Drew and Madeline are preparing for their coming nuptials. When Drew invites his new business manager and his wife to dinner, he discovers that Mrs. Landis is someone with whom he shares a troubling past. He knows her to not be a woman of her word and a very good actress. When Mrs. Landis comes to Drew for help after being accused of murder, Madeline is very sure that she doesn’t want Drew to have any part in it. Drew feels that Mr. Landis and his delightful son are deserving of help. As the murders grow from one to two to three, Drew finds himself caught between identifying the murder and following his fiancée’s wishes.
Fans of Agatha Christie will be delighted with this series as they take place during the same time period with plots that take many turns and twists. This book has great appeal to anyone who enjoys a great mystery without the gruesome details. This being the third in the series, it is much more enjoyable to have read Rules of Murder and Death by the Book so you will have the background story behind this book.
I received this book from NetGalley in return for my honest review
Posted July 19, 2014
Are Wedding Bells Ringing?
Once again, the author brings us back to the classic English Mystery of the 1930′s, writing in a style similar to Agatha Christie. Drew Farthing is a rich young man, and the owner of a sprawling estate in the English countryside. In the past, he has enjoyed mystery solving as an interesting past-time. However, Drew has come to the conclusion that uncovering the truth is a special gift he has been given–and plans to devote himself to that occupation. While sleuthing, Drew gets help from his American fiancée Madeline, and long-time friend, Nick.
This time, the mystery revolves around characters in a theater troupe. Before the story ends, three mysterious deaths take place, plus one very close call. After the first death, that of the owner of a theater and lead actor, Fleur Landis is accused. The former actress, and very beautiful Fleur, has a connection to Drew. It turns out that she and Drew had a rather torrid, although brief, love affair six years earlier.
Drew confesses all to his fiancée, saying his relationship with Fleur was over and done with six years earlier. Unfortunately, Madeline is being eaten alive with jealousy about it. She doesn’t want Drew to help with the case, or finish it, once he starts. However, Drew feels obliged to look into it, not for the sake of Fleur, but for that of her little boy and husband–who incidentally works for Drew.
Although solving the mystery is the main point in the book, updates of Madeline and Drew’s relationship, and wedding plans, are woven throughout. The character of Madeline was frustrating in this story. A side of her is shown that is never pretty in anyone: jealousy and insecurity, along with the sometimes irrational decisions based on those feelings. Ultimately, everything comes to a satisfactory end.
Murder at the Mikado is the third installment in this series. There are references to some things in earlier books, but this book could be read as a stand-alone story. I always love a good mystery, especially one that is not easy to figure out. Happily, this tale does not disappoint, and Ms. Deering keeps the reader guessing right up to the end. Hopefully there will be more books from this series in the future. The characters are likeable, and the setting is fun. I recommend this 5-star book, as well as, the entire series to anyone who likes fascinating mysteries that are clean, and written from a Christian point-of-view.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
Posted July 7, 2014
Murder at the Mikado
Book Summary: British High Style Meets Old-Fashioned Detective Work in This Witty Series. Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect. Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiancé, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet.
Review: I really liked the third book in the Drew Farthing series. I found Madeline more human and less standoffish. She was exactly what a heroine should be. The mystery was great and realistic. I found Drew to be the main constant who was fun to read and a strong character along with Nick. The secondary characters were realistic and brought out the solid storyline that I heard Ms. Deering wrote. I enjoyed the mystery and went back and forth in my mind as to who did it and concluded who I thought it was, although many things were thrown into the pot to keep me questioning my conclusions. This made the ending quite suspenseful. I found Fleur to be well written with her wishy-washy ways toward men and other! I am hopeful for a book four to tie up some loose ends!
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Posted June 29, 2014
I adore this series! Every time I pick up an installment, I feel like I'm in the middle of a Thin Man mystery. This book, the third in the series, was the best yet. And the ending even felt like a Thin Man because the main suspects were all together in one place.
Each story builds the romance between Drew Farthering and his girl Madeline Parker. Their romance is filled with believable twists and turns and I won't spoil that here. I love that each book stands alone on the murder mysteries. Each can be taken completely separately and out of order for the mystery. But I do advise reading them in order for the romance -- and it is a sweet one! This could become one of the great crime fighting duos.
The mystery is layered and each time I thought I was figuring it out, a new body was discovered. The twists and turns came together beautifully in the end, but it kept me guessing. That's hard to do... mind you, I had suspicions but wasn't convinced enough to land on one side or the other.
This book (and the series) are perfect for those who love a good whodunnit it mixed with romance and a great dash of black and white movie flair.