I'll admit I am a great fan of Agatha Christie. I love cozy mysteries and the historical ones set in the 1920's to '50's are favorites of mine. Ms. Deering has done a fantastic job of writing a Christie-esque style murder mystery. In fact, there were times I became so intwined in the story and writing that I thought I WAS reading a Christie, and then a character would bring out some Biblical or Christian point, and I was reminded I was reading modern Christian fiction. Very well done. (By the way, the Christianity is not overdone, quite subtle overtones.)
I enjoyed the first novel of this new mystery series. Drew Farthering in the main sleuth intent on solving the double murder especially as it happened on his own estate and one of the victims was his own mother. The story included a great cast of characters who fit perfectly in this 1930's world. Nick is his right hand man and friend while Madeline is his love interest but also at his side trying to solve the crime as well. Drew and Madeline reminded me a lot of Tommy and Tuppence in their first book together (Agatha Christie characters). I look forward to seeing all these characters in the following books and how the relationship between Drew and Madeline develops.
Overall I found it to be a riveting novel, well-researched, with a mystery and writing voice perfectly suited for the time period. 5 stars.
I've been looking for good mysteries with NO profanity or other offensive content. Thank goodness for Christian Book.com! I will definitely add this series to the books I read. The first in this series is excellent in every way. The mystery wasn't solved until at least 20 pages before the end, which is what I like. I enjoyed the suspense of the plot as well as the characters.
I've mentioned before that I love a good mystery novel. I love any well-crafted story, but if you give me a well-crafted murder mystery? Well, you just found the way to my heart!
Set in 1930s England, Deering has created a world where Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie. Lovers of good mystery novels, Drew Farthering and his friend Nick team up to solve a string of murders. Drew, however, is distracted by his new friend from America, Madeline. Can they solve the mystery before the murderer gets away?
I must admit that I felt that Rules of Murder was a bit of a knock-off, pulling elements and inspiration from multiple sources, but not coming across as a coherent whole.
My greatest concern was that the theology presented in the book was a bit shaky. While referencing the Westminster Shorter Catechism and Scripture, which I appreciated, Rules of Murder also seemed to infer that we must come to Jesus of our own volition, and that Jesus simply waits for us, which is not what Scripture teaches (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13).
I was also disappointed in the way that Deering handled the romantic interaction between Drew and Madeline in Rules of Murder. It felt forced, consuming too much of the story. Why couldn't Drew and Madeline just be friends? At times I felt like I was reading a romance novel, rather than a mystery. I also found Madeline to be a weak female character, especially as she is the primary female character throughout the book, as well as the main character's love interest.
Overall, I found Rules of Murder to be both disappointing and enjoyable. With a tighter focus, I believe Deering could quite possibly become a great mystery writer, something that the Christian market desperately needs. I would give Rules of Murder a "C".
Welcome to Farthing Manor, home of Drew Farthing, a young man who is an avid mystery reader.
When Drew Farthing returns home after an extended vacation, he finds that his mother has thrown a weekend party and that his nemesis is now occupying his bedroom. When said nemesis is later found murdered, Drew along with his best friend Nick and his new girlfriend Madeline set out to find the killer.
Rules of Murder is set in England in the 1930's and is a breath of fresh air. The overall mystery was magnificently written with several plot twists that will keep the reader guessing. I adored the quaintness of the time, such as Drew and Maddie on their leisurely stroll from the manor to the village, quietly discussing the case, or the times that Drew, Nick and Maddie would discuss what their favorite sleuth, Father Knox, would do in this or that situation. There was just enough detail that I could picture the situation, but not enough that overwhelmed me. It's the little things like this that can make or break a book.
The author brings a whole host of likable characters. Drew's stepfather Mason, is also Madeline's uncle. Nick is the son of Fathering Manor's long time butler Dennison, Inspector Songbird who is the lead investigator on the case and of course Madeline, who has lived all her life in America, but is in England on vacation and to visit her uncle. The author did a wonderful job with the way that these characters all interacted with each other. It was very natural, not forced.
Really the only complaint that I had was with the cover. It was a little cartoony for me, but I am so glad that I took a chance with this book.
This is a must read for all mystery lovers, or if you want an introduction into something new.
This reminded me of an adult version of a Nancy Drew or a Hardy boys type novel.. I loved it. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. I love this time of year that these books take place.