I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Death by the Book: A Cozy Mystery Review!


WHEN THE VILLAGE OF FARTHERING ST. JOHN IS STUNNED BY A SERIES OF MURDERS, DREW FARTHERING IS DRAWN AGAIN INTO THE SLEUTHING GAME.

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?
***
 
Julianna Deering has done it again: the second book in her Drew Farthering Mystery series is a fast-paced, fun read that had me guessing until the end.
 
In the style of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Deering's series features a charming young amateur sleuth with plenty of money and time on his hands. Drew is smart, sophisticated, and witty--but he can't seem to stay out of trouble.
 
One doesn't need to have read Book 1, The Rules of Murder, to enjoy this mystery, but those who have will be delighted to recognize old friends. Back in this book are Drew's sidekick, the adorable Nick, and Drew's lady love, Madeleine, who still can't decide if she should marry Drew. Meanwhile, she resides in the guest cottage after the devastating murders in Book. Joining her this round is her Aunt Ruth, a fabulous character a bit like Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess. She's a tough cookie, but her quips are hilarious, and Drew is smart enough to work hard to win her to his side while he struggles to solve the vexing murders plaguing his village.
 
Drew has a solid Christian faith that he shares in a genuine, kind way with those suffering around him--nothing preachy here. He tries to be a light in a fallen world, and Deering pulls no punches when it comes to the effects of sin and brokenness in the book's themes. Still, the book is clean, and while Drew and Madeleine share passionate kisses, nothing's described in detail.
 
I adored the story, which was full of twists and red herrings. I recommend to any fan of cozy mysteries. Can't wait for book 3, Murder at the Mikado!
 
 
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for the book in exchange for an honest review.

2 comments:

DeAnna Julie Dodson said...

Awww, thanks so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

:D

Susanne Dietze said...

My pleasure, Julianna!