This is a whodunit written in the classic English mystery style of the 1920’s and 30’s. Handsome Drew Farthering is single, rich and the heir apparent to Farthering Place, a grand estate in the English countryside. His best friend, Nick, is the son of the head butler. After the death of Drew’s father, his mother, Constance, married Mason Parker.
The story opens with Drew and Nick arriving back at the manse and discovering his mother was throwing a grand party, complete with fireworks, that weekend. The house is overflowing with guests. Mason’s American niece Madeline and two girlfriends are scheduled to arrive the next day, one of the first stops on their European tour. Upon Madeline’s arrival, Drew is immediately smitten with her.
The night of the party, a body is found in the greenhouse, and Constance is discovered dead in her bed. Drew and Nick are hopeful they can discover the identity of the murderer. Per Drew’s request, Madeline agrees to give up her tour of Europe to stay and help solve the murders, as well. Madeline also wants to help and support her uncle during his time of grieving.
This story has many twists and turns, with more bodies showing up as time goes by. There are lots of interesting characters and events. The reader is led in many different directions when trying to solve the mystery. Even though I thought I had the mystery figured out, I was completely wrong. The author really fooled me.
I liked this story, it is a clean mystery. This is the first book in the Drew Farthering Mysteries series. I am a great fan of classic English mysteries, especially works by Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. Because of that, I am pernickety about the work of modern authors who attempt to write as if they were from that time period. Julianna Deering did a good job creating that illusion. She does enough period references to make this story really feel like it was written between the two world wars. Her characters were well developed and believable. This tale kept me guessing “whodunit” to the very end. I liked that faith was part of the story, although I do wish it had a bit stronger presence. The next book in the series will have a lot to live up to, and I look forward to reading it. I recommend this book and give it five stars.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
The author’s website: http://www.juliannadeering.com.
More information: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/julianna-deering/4079