Book Review: Death by The Book

4 Jun


Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl’s tearful confession point to the victim’s double life, but what does the solicitor’s murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem–except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn’t at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?


julianna-deeringJULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014).


My Impressions:

I love a good mystery, especially one that is reminiscent of the great British offerings of the 1930s. Julianna Deering has created a series that will leave fans of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers satisfied. Death by The Book is #2 in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. (Rules of Murder, book 1, review HERE.) The endearing Drew Farthering, young lord of the manor, is back on the case, assisting the local Detective Inspector with a series of puzzling and seemingly unrelated murders. The only clues are cryptic messages affixed to the bodies with decorative hatpins. A mystery that will keep you guessing until the end, I recommend Death by The Book.

Deering has created a very authentic feeling classic murder mystery. The quaint setting of Farthering St. John and the attention to details of the time, including books read, cars driven and clothes worn, makes the reader feel he has stepped back in time. There is plenty of witty dialog and fun characters as well. The mysterious clues found on the body made me wish I had paid more attention to memorizing Shakespeare. Deering did a great job of incorporating obscure quotes into the action, making this novel really by the book! But what sets Death by The Book apart from other mysteries is the natural expression of faith by Drew and other characters. The clues build for both Drew and the reader allowing both to try their hand at solving the crimes. I must say, I was thoroughly shocked and surprised by just whodunit!

So if you like a great puzzler, then pick up both books. You won’t be disappointed. I am looking forward to book 3, Murder at The Mikado due out later this month.


(Thanks to Bethany House for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

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