April 26, 2014

Book Review: Death by the Book by Julianna Deering

Death by the Book

Julianna Deering

When murders occur in the small English village of Farthering St. John, Drew Farthering, resident of the local manor, finds himself drawn into the investigation and eventually, working with the police.  The killer leaves the calling card of a cryptic message attached to the dead with a hat pin.  Drew and Birdsong, the constable, have a tenuous relationship, but Drew is a thinker, and even Birdsong begins to have respect for his opinions as they search for the killer.

Drew is truly a gentleman – tactful, unpretentious and friendly to all – and deeply in love with an American girl, Madeline, who dallies in giving him an answer to his marriage proposal.  Enter also, Madeline’s grumpy aunt, come to protect her poor niece from Drew’s advances.  The dialogue among these characters is charming and clever, and definitely a strong point of the novel.  Using lines from Shakespeare’s plays as part of the killer’s clues was also intriguing.

It was refreshing to read an “old school” murder mystery where romance and violence do not dominate, and red herrings and clever detective work take prominence.  I was also totally inept at guessing the identity of the killer until almost the reveal! 

This is the second of the Drew Farthering Mystery Series, which begins with Rules of Murder.  I only give five star ratings to books that capture me completely, and this is one of those books.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

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