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.
Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. With the help of beautiful and whip-smart Madeline Parker, a guest from America, Drew proposes to use the lessons he’s learned reading his mysteries to solve the crime. Before long, he realizes this is no lark, and no one at Farthering Place is who he or she appears to be - not the butler nor blackmailer, the chauffeur nor embezzler. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer - and trying harder to impress Madeline - Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.
©2013 DeAnna Julie Dodson (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I agree with the first reviewer that Rules for Murder has all the marks of a classic British cozy, with the requisite country setting and dashing amatuer detective. I was put off, however, but the overt religious subplot. Not only because it doesn't belong in the genre, but because it felt like it was added after the story was written, possibly to appeal to the publisher, Bethany House. Turns out, however, the author (DeAnna Julie Dodson) has interjected her own religious philosophy onto a couple of the characters. It totally doesn't fit the story, and it turned me off to the series. Because of this, I have given the story only three stars. The publisher's summary should mention the name of the book publisher.
Simon Vance is one of my favorites and he is superb.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
"Rules of Murder" is the first of the Drew Farthering books, a new series which is set in England in the 1930's. It meets all the requirements for a British classic detective story -- a large country estate hosting a large party, a wealthy man playing detective (in connection with several murders at his large country estate), an investigating police superintendent who would very much prefer that the amateur sleuth stayed out of his way, a rather sweet love story, a loyal sidekick, a number of servants who don't realize they have important information, and red herrings galore.
Given that framework, Julianna Deering has created an engaging and intricate plot, and has peopled the book with intelligent characters who engage in intelligent, very often amusing, dialog. The amateur sleuth, Drew Farthering, is not, alas, an aristocrat, but this failing does not keep him from being bright, intelligent, eager and, of course, handsome. The plot is well-paced, and several red herrings kept this reader guessing.
As usual, Simon Vance's performance was superb.
I would recommend this book to fans of Sayers, Allingham or Marsh. While this may not be quite up to their standards, it will still entertain, and I believe that succeeding books will reach higher standards over time.
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