Murder goes part and parcel with the theater, but one does not usually expect it to be the actors actresses to be the ones dying. However, that is what Andrew Farthering, Madeline Parker, and Nick Dennison find when Brent and Fleur Landis individually approach them for help in discovering the person responsible for killing members of the local theater troupe. With a bit more support of the local constabulary than in the past, the three friends (at least for now) tackle the difficult problem at hand.
The challenge is made more difficult by relationships long past, but not easily forgotten. Yet part of solution comes in the development of trust and forgiveness - trust and forgiveness will also, as the reader discovers, serve as the foundation of the upcoming wedding.
As in the two previous books, the mid-20th century setting of the story is believable and enjoyable. The lack of modern technology and the growing number of murders makes for a gripping plot that held this reader's attention to the end. Weaving in threads and lines from various Gilbert and Sullivan musicals makes the reading fun as well. Add to that the various bit parts of Ruth, Madeline's aunt, Chief Inspector Birdsong, and one or two others introduced or re-introduced in the current volume, and we have a fun trip through a mystery of rural mid-20th century England.
One can only hope that Julianna Deering, pen name for DeAnna Julie Dodson, will bringing us more from the life of these three amateur sleuths and their friends even a they begin the next stage of their lives.
One final note - this reader loved the image that the author gives for marriage in the final two or three chapters. Marriage is never easy, but given the hard work involved, it is worth it. I would not be surprised to find the picture painted in these chapters in a future sermon.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
If you grew up on Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers you'll like this series. If you like historical English mysteries you'll like this one.
In this third novel of the series, Drew and Madeline are preparing for their wedding mere weeks away when a flame from Drew's past rears her beautiful head. Drew had been captured by Fleur's beauty during his Oxford days. Now she asks for his help in a murder, one she fears she'll be accused of doing. Drew loves a mystery but his potential sleuthing is a problem for Madeline. Seeing Fleur's beauty and sensing her deceptive feminine ways, Madeline becomes insecure and demands Drew make a choice - the mystery or the marriage.
This is a great period mystery. I love the way the 1930s England comes alive through Deering's writing. The dialog and action are well crafted. The mystery is well done. We are introduced to the world of a theater group in that era. There is much deception afoot and only Drew and Madeline, combining their efforts, have a chance of uncovering the murderer.
The best part of this novel for me was the interaction between Madeline and Drew. Drew is such a nice English gentlemen and when Madeline becomes jealous of his old and forgotten flame, it really throws him for a loop. He is torn. He loves Madeline so much but solving the murder is so tempting, especially when it seems he will be able to learn something of his unknown birth mother.
Great characters, great mystery, great dialog, great setting - it all makes for a great novel in a favorite series of mine.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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.
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.
What a delightful romp through clues and mysteries
July 14, 2014
jeris real reviews
Murder at the Mikado is the third Drew Farthering mystery and is set in England around the main character's estate in the country, sometime in the 1930-40's. It has the feel of a classic black and white murder mystery movie and I felt like I was watching it unfold on the screen as I was reading. It was great fun! Drew Farthering is drawn into the investigation of a murder when a former girlfriend is suspected and subsequently arrested for the crime. She fetchingly coaxes him to investigate the crime to hopefully clear her name. But, there is more here than meets the eye. Is he still attracted to her? That would make him easy prey for her to make use of his detective skills to her benefit. Further complicating things, Drew is engaged to be married to Madeline, the girl of his dreams, who also shares his amateur sleuthing adventures. His best friend gets into the act also, as he jumps in to help solve this multi-layered puzzle. Will Drew's devotion to the case risk his fiance's eagerness to tie the knot and threaten his upcoming wedding? Does he risk losing her to solve the crime? With each character having various side plots weaving into this story to complete the picture, I could not help but keep reading until I reached the last page. This is my first Julianna Deering novel, but it will not be my last. It is so well written that it flows easily through each seeming catastrophe and it kept me reading in the hopes that all would turn out o.k. for Drew and Madeline. Each time I thought I knew who the guilty party was, some new wrinkle showed up and I was back at square one! Ms. Deering writes this very well and that makes it easy to read and hard to put down. It was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in quite a while. I give Murder at the Mikado five stars!
I received a complementary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. These words are my opinion.
Murder at the Mikado is the third book in the Drew Farthering Mystery Series written by Julianna Deering. I have read the second book in the series - Death by the Book - and let me tell you, even though that one was good, this one is ten times better! I usually set end-dates for myself when reading a book that I'm going to review, but this one was finished in four days! It was that good!
The case itself was riveting! An actor is found dead inside his dressing room at the Tivoli - all fingers point to Fleur Landis, Drew's old flame. Fleur comes to Drew for help, but Drew is planning his wedding and doesn't really want to focus on anything but that, and his fiancee Madeline-but he just can't let this mystery go unsolved and leave the poor girl in a fix. When a sort-of-script-girl is found strangled and stuffed into a wardrobe holding tightly to a tassel off of a cloak just like Fleur's, Fleur is then arrested. How could Lew Zuraw call Drew and tell him to come down to the theater immediately so he could disclose some important information, but then be found dead, strangled, with a tassle under his body, when Drew arrives? How could this be if the suspected murderess is in jail? Who is doing away with these people at the Tivoli? I have to tell you to read this enthralling, page-turner book for yourself to find out! It will leave you wanting to turn every page, read every word, so you can just know who-done-it! I'm giving this book 5-out-of-5 stars, simply because it's that good! Love mysteries? Then you might not want to pass up Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to give an honest review on it. I was not asked to write a positive review.