If you grew up on Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers you'll like this series. If you like historical English mysteries you'll like this one.
In this third novel of the series, Drew and Madeline are preparing for their wedding mere weeks away when a flame from Drew's past rears her beautiful head. Drew had been captured by Fleur's beauty during his Oxford days. Now she asks for his help in a murder, one she fears she'll be accused of doing. Drew loves a mystery but his potential sleuthing is a problem for Madeline. Seeing Fleur's beauty and sensing her deceptive feminine ways, Madeline becomes insecure and demands Drew make a choice – the mystery or the marriage.
This is a great period mystery. I love the way the 1930s England comes alive through Deering's writing. The dialog and action are well crafted. The mystery is well done. We are introduced to the world of a theater group in that era. There is much deception afoot and only Drew and Madeline, combining their efforts, have a chance of uncovering the murderer.
The best part of this novel for me was the interaction between Madeline and Drew. Drew is such a nice English gentlemen and when Madeline becomes jealous of his old and forgotten flame, it really throws him for a loop. He is torn. He loves Madeline so much but solving the murder is so tempting, especially when it seems he will be able to learn something of his unknown birth mother.
Great characters, great mystery, great dialog, great setting – it all makes for a great novel in a favorite series of mine.
Julianna Deering is the pen name of the multi-published novelist DeAnna Julie Dodson. She lives north of Dallas, Texas. You can find out more about her and her books at http://juliannadeering.com/index.php.
Bethany House Publishers, 336 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.