I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to review. I've actually never read a historical fiction book and was hesitant. But, I cracked the cover and couldn't put it down! A well blended mix of Mystery, Historyand Romance. Flows nicely. Keeps one guessing. I would recommend this book highly.
Book Summary: With Farlinford Processing and the family's good name safe again following the events in Rules of Murder, Drew Farthering wants nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker. Instead, he finds himself involved in another mysterious case. The family lawyer has been found dead in a Winchester hotel room, skewered through the heart by an antique hat pin with a cryptic message attached: Advice to Jack. Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the man's double life, but what does that have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem. Nothing except for another puzzling note and the antique hat pin affixing it to the doctor's chest. Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all sure they have the right man. Could the killer be one of his society friends, or is it someone much closer than that?
Book Review: I will confess that I started with this book. I heard all the hype from the first in the series and was interested. I found the book to be easy to get into and the main characters of Drew, Nick and Madeline were likable and fun to get to know. It was obvious I came into the series late, but enough details were given about the first book, but not so much to spoil reading it. I liked Madeline's aunt who was a great catalyst for the author to use to explain to those who joined the party late, like myself some of the background. This new mystery was a real puzzle. The entire book was well written and had an authentic historic British feel to it. While I enjoyed the book very much as a mystery I did not feel a tremendous suspense that anyone was truly in danger except for people that were introduced as peripherally. It was easy to read, but it was not till the last 10 pages that the mystery twisted to become exciting. Yes, it had a tremendous Agatha Christie feel to it at times, but the suspense was not that intense.
I would like to thank 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.
Once again Drew Farthering is drawn into sleuthing as four murders rock the town of Farthering St. John. Each body is found with a note and a hatpin. None of the victims appear to have anything in common, and it's up to the team of Drew, Nick and Madeline to solve the mystery.
To make matters more intriguing, Madeline's Aunt Ruth has arrived from America to retrieve her niece to come home. Drew is trying to impress Aunt Ruth while trying to convince her that he will be a good husband for her niece.
"Rules of Murder" was the first Drew Farthering Mystery and was a hit. The characters are fun and enjoyable. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Julianna Deering is on a roll. Hopefully, the Drew Farthering Mysteries will continue for many more sleuthing adventures.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
Death by the Book is the second book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series by Julianna Deering. While you could probably read this book as a stand alone, I think your reading experience would be greatly enhanced by having read the first book of the series, Rules of Murder.
Once again, we follow Drew Farthering, amateur sleuth, as he and his friends try to solve a string of murders. And I just have to say that the first page of this book was one of the best I have read all year! It made me laugh out loud and I immediately read it to my husband, who also thought it was a great start to a book.
I love the characters in this series. Drew and Madeline have a sweet romance and Drew is so patient with Madeline as she tries to decide whether to agree to marriage. Nick is a great side kick and a loyal friend. I enjoyed the return of Chief Inspector Birdsong. His witty dialogues with Drew are great. I even grew to love Aunt Ruth by the end (and I really didn't like her in the beginning)! I also love the setting of the early 1930â€²s.
The author kept me guessing till the very end of the book as to who the murderer was. There were so many victims and a very creative killer. Following the clues with Drew is exciting and never dull and I so look forward to reading the third book in this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, through The Book Club Network, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
I read Julianna Deering's book Rules of Murder at the very end of last year. I enjoyed it a lot, though I didn't absolutely love it like most people seemed to. There were a few things about it that didn't quite click with me, though I can't really explain why. Still, I was excited to pick up the second book in the Drew Farthering series: Death by the Book.
First of all, can I just mention how awesome these covers are, in their vintagey, coordinating goodness? They look so neat next to each other on the shelf. :)
I actually enjoyed Death by the Book a lot more than the first book! The beginning was a little slow (which is ironic because it opens with the first murder), but once I was drawn in, I flew through this book. I really liked the unusual mystery: several murders with apparently nothing in common but the fact that each victim has a hatpin pinned to their chest along with a mysterious message. (The messages turn out to be literary, which was a neat touch, I think.) I really had no idea how the mystery would be resolved until about fifty pages from the end, and then suddenly I had a sneaking suspicion. I rarely, if ever, guess the correct suspect, and my hunch this time seemed even more far-fetched than usual. But, amazingly, I was right! I'm still in shock. :)
As with the first book, I love the setting of 1930s England. I like Drew and Madeline's romance, though I did get a little frustrated with Madeline's inability to make a decision in this book. I loved the addition of her aunt Ruth. I've heard several people compare her with Violet (Maggie Smith) from Downton Abbey, and I think that comparison is fair...though Ruth seems to be a milder version. :) I do have to admit that I don't feel really emotionally connected to the characters, though. That's generally a big deal to me, but with mysteries I don't mind as much because I'm there mostly for the mystery. If I do happen to connect with the characters, then great. But it's not as much of a deal-breaker for me in mysteries as it is with other stories.
I also like how the author isn't preachy at all, but subtlety weaves Christianity into the plot. And considering that this is Christian fiction, but also a detective story, I'm pretty impressed that the author doesn't shy away from murders...multiple ones, in fact.
Aside from Madeline's indecisiveness and the fact that I sometimes had trouble keeping track of the many people connected to the victims, I was pleased with Death by the Book. I'm glad that this second book seemed to improve on the first one, and I can't wait to read the third book, which comes out in July! I really recommend these books to anyone who loves a good detective story, especially one reminiscent of golden age murder mysteries.
*Note: I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.*