Confession: before Murder on the Moor, Id only read Rules of Murder (the first Drew Farthering novel) by Julianna Deering. I had every intention of catching up on the series (and even had all the books checked out from the library), yet I simply ran out of time, quite unfortunately. Luckilyand to my delightwhen I picked up Murder on the Moor, it read easily as a standalone, and Drew Farthering and his friends captured my attention just as well in this fifth book as in the first (and naturally, made me even more determined to read the second, third, and fourth).
When amateur sleuth Drew heads to the moors to help a friend, he encounters mystery, uncertainty, and classically influenced atmosphere, and Deering constructs this historical story with great style. Her mystery is well-plotted with clever clues to piece together, her characters have engaging depth and personality, and her setting jumps from the page to the imagination with excellent detail. Within a few chapters, I was hooked on Murder on the Moor and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of another Drew Farthering novel.
Fans of British historical mysteries, be sure to read Murder on the Moor (and the rest of the Drew Farthering mysteries, of course). This novel is delightful and mysterious and will not disappoint. I recommend it.
Thanks to Celebrate Lit, I received a complimentary copy of Murder on the Moor and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
What a fun atmospheric read this one was. A murder mystery set in the moors along with all the creepiness that goes along with that: ghost stories, legends, pagan rituals, a mansion falling to pieces, you get the picture. Old friends, shifty characters, suspicious encounters and in the midst we have Drew and his lovely wife Madeline looking into the situation for Drew's old buddy, Beaky. I really liked the relationship between Drew and Madeline their banter and obvious love and respect they have for each other. They make a great detective duo team. The author really paints the town and help puts us there with the speech and phrases that they use.
Drew has a bit of prejudice against a certain someone, solely based on a betrayal done to him in the past. So we get to watch as he tries very hard not to let that cloud his judgement. But he is a very cool and confident detective.
This is the fifth book in the series and the first one I have read. It reads very well as a standalone; however I really want to go back to the first and read the series from the start. I really want to see the beginnings of Drew and Madeline's relationship. This is not the first I have read of Ms. Dearing's. I have read her medieval series written under another name and those have been placed on my keeper shelf. Having already read her stories before, I knew I was in for a treat with this one.
With nods to Jane Eyre and Sherlock Holmes this was a quick read and hard to put down. The mystery kept me guessing, and I never did figure it out on my own.
I was given a copy of this book for free. I was not required to give a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Review This was fantastic as always. I love Drew and Madeline. I wish Nick might have been in a little more but at least he was in a little. I loved the other character of Beaky who hires Drew. He was fun. I hope there will be many more to this series. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit and the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Look out! The "Golden Age" of Mystery might have returned!
March 11, 2017
Julianna Deering has created a truly delightful series set in the era of mystery's "Golden Age." In fact, this series is so well done that I consider it on par with the skills of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Margery Allingham. While the language and style of prose fits that of a modern novel, not once did I feel as if I was jerked out of the time period into the present--with either of the novels I read (I read the first of this series to give me a feel for this series before I read this one). This so rarely happens that I had to note it right off!
The mystery itself:
Excellent. Ms. Deering led us a merry chase around the Yorkshire moors, throwing just enough red herrings in there to provide a nice feast without so many that it stank up the plot--so to speak. I did guess who did it in the first moment I could have--and why! However, she made me doubt my thoughts at every. Single. Turn. No joke. Just about the time I was sure that the person who had to be behind it WAS... someone else, even the least likely, most obvious suspect, made me question how I could be so stupid.
This is, in my not-so-humble-opinion, the mark of a great mystery novel. It's even better than not guessing at all. If you can hand me the suspect like that (I am usually rather good at picking them out) and make me doubt? That's a million times better than just throwing up someone at the end who should have been obvious and never was. Those are fun, too. But this is my favorite. And she did it in grand style.
I don't always review cover art. After all, it's not quite fair to the author. He or she doesn't always have much of a say in it. But KUDOS to Bethany House for this fabulous artwork. Every time I see one--EVERY. TIME. I want to stop and read it. Right now. And you know what? Now that I have, I see binge reading in my very, very, like starting MONDAY very near future. The fonts, the almost WPA style artwork. Yeah. It draws you into the era perfectly.
Drew Farthering is a delightful mixture of strong, mature man and impish boy who never quite grew up. Think what would happen if you matched Bertie Wooster's charm and cheekiness with Jeeves' brains. He's a delightfully imperfect character, and I thought this book rather showed it extra well. It's extra fun if the main detective character keeps coming to similar doubtful conclusions just as you do.
Madeline, on the other hand, while cheeky and rather funny herself, is much more understated in it. Her personality helps balance Drew's more overt personality, but she is no shrinking violet. I rather liked her,
Nick, well he's the token sidekick and like Bunter of Lord Peter Wimsey fame, he's quite handy in a pinch. I think he gets to have the most fun sometimes, if you want the truth. Can't wait to read all the delightful things I've missed by not reading books 2-... however many I've missed before this one. I'll be doing that soon.
So... the verdict?
When I received this book from Bethany House, I expected to like it. I also expected I would wish to review it. But I had no idea how much I would truly LOVE this book and this series. Murder on the Moor is a fabulous tale involving multiple murders (every time you think you've seen the last...), down-right scarlet herrings, and more with a subtle message woven through it. That message? Don't jump to what you think are the "obvious" conclusions. People are more complex than a series of clues to be assembled into a puzzle. And I'm not talking about murder at all. :)
This British mystery set in 1934 brings to mind Miss Reed's Thrush Green and Laurie King's continuation of the Sherlock Holmes stories. This is the first I've read in the Drew Farthering series, and it can stand alone even though the characters mention things from the past. The slower pace doesn't really drag, and the tension certainly ramps up near the end. I had a hard time deciding who the guilty party was. Drew and Madeline Farthering make a great team, complementing each other in life and in solving mysteries, both in novels they read together and actual ones. I enjoyed the cozy mystery and the interesting setting. The characters seemed real and well-developed. It's like journeying back in time to a simpler century as you watch the action unfold. The book contains plenty of surprises too. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.