Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery #1) by Julianna Deering (Bethany House Publishers)
It’s early 1930‘s in England and Drew Farthering and his best friend Nick Dennison are avid mystery buffs. Drew owns the Farthering Place estate and Nick is his butler’s son who was raised and schooled along with Drew. Drew’s mother and his step-father, Mason Parker, live on the estate and were hosting friends for a party the weekend that Drew and Nick decided to come home.
Almost like a murder mystery party, the events unfold. Drew’s step-father’s niece from America and two of her friends show up for the weekend, along with his business associate and new secretary and the stage is all set. Before the weekend is over there are two deaths and Drew and Nick are eager to use their detective skills, learned by reading mysteries, to solve the case. There are lots of twists and turns and you really don’t know what’s going on until the end. I love to be kept guessing! Of course there is a budding romance in the works between Drew and his step-father’s niece, Madeline Parker. She gets involved in solving the murders also.
This book was enjoyable, but I had to get into it about halfway before I really got the characters set in my mind. It is described as “Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie”. I must admit I’ve never been able to really get into Agatha Christie, but I do love Downton Abbey and other than the big estate in England and the butler, I don’t see any similarities. I’m giving it a 3 star rating, for me 3 stars means it’s OK. This is the first in a series and I will probably read the sequel to see what other adventures Drew and Nick get into and see how the author develops the characters. I wanted to give this book a second chance and did start reading it again and I was able to get into the characters and the way they talked better the second time around. This is published by a Christian publisher but the Christianity was not preachy and I think anyone that likes a good, clean mystery (especially set in England) will like this book.
Book 2 in this series, Death by the Book, will be coming in the Spring of 2013. Visit Julianna’s website, by clicking HERE, to read an excerpt of the book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”