Murder on the Moor is a story that has all the elements of a baffling mystery one would expect of its genre. Set in 1930's England, it is complete with old stone mansions fully staffed with servants, expensive cars and jewel clad ladies who dress for dinner.
Drew Farthering and his lovely wife Madeline have built a reputation of solving unsolvable crimes. He is not only wealthy and handsome but as clever as he is compassionate. She is beautiful and charming but also the perfect confidant. Julianna Deering expertly captured the essence of the wealthy sleuthing couple. I could almost imagine Nick and Nora Charles staying at Bloodworth Park Lodge, but Drew and Madeline are the guests of Beaky and Sabrina Bloodworth.
Murder on the Moor (A Drew Farthering Mystery Book #5) by [Deering, Julianna]The story began in earnest when a quiet evening at Farthering Place was interrupted by one Hubert (Beaky) Bloodworth, Drew's chum back in his Eton days. He had just driven 200 miles to entreat Drew and Madeline to see who is behind dreadful mischief on the moor. Topping off all the mysterious goings on, someone committed the unthinkable by murdering the vicar.
The moor is lonely and desolate, generally not a place to wander about and adding fog to the mix spells danger. Remnants of an old church tower, an abandoned kiln and an oversized dog had this reader breathing rapidly as I turned the pages for more. As one murder leads to another one has to wonder how this second murder could possibly be linked to each other in such a quiet village as Bunting's Nest.
Reading about the moor I was reminded of Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. With a cast of savory characters such as Rhys Delwin, the gamekeeper, I could only imagine his bearing a resemblance to the likes of Heathcliff. The author also prominently placed the Bronte books within the homes of the characters as if to spark even more interest of the moors.
Several red herrings cleverly add to the mix of clues to throw the reader off of the trail of the killer. Everything is tied up in a neat bundle in the end though, to everyone's satisfaction.
Also reminiscent of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane I was pleased to see a reference to The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers in this book. Wealthy couples who love to play detectives in their leisurely lives have proven a successful formula for mystery writers. I recommend Murder on the Moor if you enjoy this genre. It will not disappoint you. Simply put the kettle on and settle down for a good read.
An old school chum of Drews, Beaky Bloodworth, arrives on Drews doorstep asking for his detective skills in his home village on the moors. Drew hasnt had a mystery for quite a while so he and Madeline are up for the case. They travel to Beakys neck of the woods to try and discover who has been causing some odd happenings around the village and on the moors as well as who killed the old vicar. Soon after their arrival, Beaky receives a letter from his wifes old governess, who also lives in his village, stating she had something of importance to tell him. Before he can talk with her she is found murdered. Now Drew has two murders to solve, and then there is an attempt on Beakys life or is it an attempt on his wifes life?
Drew also encounters mysterious footprints of a massive dog, who the villagers believe is some sort of ghost hound. He also finds a couple of places that are being used as hideouts or rendezvous places. Who is meeting whom? There has been bad blood between Beakys family and their next door neighbors for years. Beaky is trying to mend the rift, but could they be the culprits of these strange goings on? Are the murders related to the odd incidents? Drew is on the case with his erstwhile assistant, Nick Dennison. Madeline also does her part in helping to find clues and solve the crime.
I love the interplay and chemistry between Drew and Madeline! Their relationship is most satisfying to read about. This mystery had a great twist at the end that I only had partially figured out. To me, as an avid mystery reader, keeping me guessing is a great way to keep my interest in the story. I also really liked Beakys character in this story and Drews advice/guidance regarding faith toward Delwyn, the gamekeeper. He talked about God, but he didnt beat Delwyn over the head with it. My only negative about this story is that it moved too slow. There seemed to be too much time spent walking on the moor. I have read all the books in this series and am anxious already for the next offering from this authors pen!
I don't generally write book reviews in accordance with standard book review practices, such as a comprehensive, detailed look at everything. I tried that one time, and it bored me out of my skull. I'm more feeling-oriented, with general thoughts when I write book reviews.
With this in mind, here are my thoughts and impressions about Murder on the Moor, by Julianna Deering.
I've been reading this series from the beginning. My favorite one is still the second in the series, (Death by the Book), but each book has it's own distinct flair and fun mystery.
In Murder on the Moor, amateur sleuth Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline, have been summoned by Drew's old school scum, Beaky Bloodworth, to investigate strange goings on in the moor, and find out who killed the local vicar, and why.
And yes, there's a hound. Is he a phantom, a gigantic monster roaming the moor to attack unsuspecting wanderers? Or a poor lost dog of a dead owner?
There's plenty to keep Drew busy, especially after Beaky's wife's old nanny is also found dead.
Plenty of suspects abound, the gamekeeper, the neighbors, a poacher, and even Beaky's wife. Drew has his hands full weeding through scarce evidence, and mysterious happenings in the north wing of Beaky's mansion.
And what about a strange patient in a nearby mental institution that Beaky's family has been supporting for years?
It gets dangerous for both Drew and Madeline as they sort through people, history, and few leads.
I'd give Murder on the Moor four stars, because I liked it. It didn't blow me away like the second book did, but I liked it.
Drew and Madeline Fathering are called by a friend to come to Bloodworth Lodge by Yorkshire moors (hence the title of this book) because strange and mysterious things have been going on.
Drew finds it "funny" that his friend is smitten with his new bride and the bride seems smitten with her funny and somewhat awkward new husband. Drew seems to think she is out for his friend's money because she seems to have her eyes on the gamekeeper.
Now you see that "prejudices" that Drew has against the new bride. He must look beyond his prejudices to find the murderer and to sort out the problems.
This novel is full of glamorous people, misty moors, unseen beasts, poachers, old problems and new loves. And just when one thinks that's "it" a twist!
This is the fifth novel in the Drew Fathering books but one does not have to read the previous books to enjoy this read. Each book is a stand alone read.
I loved this cozy mystery! This is my favorite of all the Drew Fathering mysteries and I've read them all.
*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*
I thoroughly love Drew and Madeline! Their chemistry is unmistakable and very fun to watch. I enjoyed the story, although, it started off slow for me. However, the author creates such interesting characters I found myself drawn in. As the story progressed I found it more and more intriguing. Mysteries are my favorite genre and I love it when I can try to solve the crime along with the main characters. The author gave subtle clues throughout the story. But she definitely threw a very nice twist that I didnt see coming.
This is my second Drew Farthering mystery and I look forward to reading more. If you enjoyed the other Drew Farthering mysteries Im sure youll enjoy this one. If you like well written, thought out mysteries, give this a try. If you are an adrenaline junkie that feeds of the Seatbelt Suspense of Brandilyn Collins or the action packed suspense stories of Terri Blackstock, then this may be too slow paced for you.
Rating: 4 Stars!
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher, via Netgalley.com, but I was not required to leave a review. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.