Rules of Murder, by Juliana Deering (Bethany House, 2013)
Drew Farthering: From the tip of his black Homburg to the crease in his cheviot trousers, he’s the epitome of a stylish 1930s English gentleman. His only problem? The body he just discovered. (from the back cover)
Drew is charming, urbane, and he wants more than the party circuit that absorbs many of his peers. He and his best friend Nick (son of the family butler) enjoy mystery novels, so what better sport than to investigate this crime? Except when the second victim appears, the deaths become personal.
Madeline Parker makes a delightful third member of the sleuthing team. Newly arrived from America, she catches Drew’s heart at their first meeting. But in a house of mourning, it’s not a good time to explore their mutual attraction.
Rules of Murder has the delightful tone and setting of a Golden Age English house party murder mystery, worthy of Agatha Christie herself. It has a gentle thread of faith, as Drew begins to wonder about the God he thought he outgrew.
The title comes from Father Knox’s Decalogue: The 10 Rules of (Golden Age) Detective Fiction, regularly quoted by Nick in the novel. Drew and Nick – and author Julianna Deering – know the rules, but this case wants to break each one.
I’m not much for villains who give a full explanation at the end, although in this case I’m not sure how else readers could have had our questions answered.
Rules of Murder is a satisfying mystery novel notwithstanding, with well-developed characters, layers of meaning and splashes of humour. I’m looking forward to the next Drew Farthering Mystery.
Julianna Deering is the pen name of historical fiction novelist DeAnna Julie Dodson. Check out this excerpt from Rules of Murder (the first paragraph convinced me to settle down and enjoy this book) and the author Q&A with Julianna Deering. You can read another interview with the author at Divine Detour.
[Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]
- My review of Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering (michellesutton.wordpress.com)
- A review of Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering (inkwellinspirations.com)
- Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering (edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.ca)
- Rules of Murder review: author Julianna Deering (faithhopecherrytea.blogspot.ca)
- Book Review: Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering (mixednutts.wordpress.com)