I grew up on Agatha Christie, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers, and the like. I love British mysteries and I love the ones Deering has created.
I love the witty and “terribly clever” dialog, the tongue in cheek comments, the repartee between Drew and Madeline. I love the characters – that Aunt Ruth, the “old pepper pot,” is a kick! I love the Chief Inspector Birdsong and his relationship with “Detective” Farthering.
Drew is just a darling fellow, such a gentleman, and a fine Christian. He is so in love with Madeline. He has an insatiable curiosity and is intrigued by the murders, even though they are becoming uncomfortably close. He's pretty smart too, even if he did miss the clue when it nearly bumped into him. He is certainly a hero worthy of any British (or American) maiden.
I love the way the mystery is slowly but methodically investigated, how the author has deftly choreographed the action. I love the literary references to Shakespeare and the overall writing style. I love the author's use of language. (When was the last time you saw “lief” in a novel?) I love the bit of humor added from time to time. I love how this is a thinking person's mystery.
This is a delightful British murder mystery set in the 1930s. It is extremely well written with the perfect balance of developing plot and compelling dialog. I do hope they'll be another in the series soon.
Julianna Deering, author of Rules of Murder, is the pen name of the multi-published novelist DeAnna Julie Dodson. A fifth generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas. Learn more at http://juliannadeering.com/.
Bethany House Publishers, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this independent and honest review.