Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Cozy Mystery Written in a Typical British Setting

"Death by the Book"

 By Julianna Deering

Julianna continues "The Drew Farthering Mysteries" with another British style mystery,"Death by the Book", which follows Book One, "Rules of Murder". I had not heard of this author, so was very curious. I do love mysteries! The term "cozy" often puts me off, however, I decided to give this book a try! 

The setting is the village of Farthering St. John, the era is the 1930's, perfect for this cozy mystery to take place. Drew Farthering, the main character, wants nothing more than to end the summer of 1932, by announcing his engagement. However, instead, he finds himself in the middle of another mysterious case when the family soliciter is found murdered, in the MOST strange and unique way- with an antique hatpin accompanied by a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest. 

There is clear evidence of secret meetings with a young girl's confession that points to the soliciter having lived a double life. BUT, what does this have to do with the murder of a physician on a nearby golf course?? Is there a connection?? What could it be? The reader is kept guessing as the plot involves twists and turns that totally confuse and add complications. I was perplexed as to how this mystery would ever be solved. My guesses were not even near the actual outcome. The only connection that can be discovered- another puzzling note, with another similar looking weapon- a bloodied HATPIN!  

The police succeed in arresting a suspect but Drew is not convinced that the right suspect is in custody. His own investigations and the results are very different from the police.  In fact, they lead him looking closer and closer to home! A scary situation.

The book was written with the flavour of Agatha Christie and contained many qualities that are evident in typical British mysteries. I felt the the story started off very slowly and it took me a while to fully understand what was happening and how the characters connected with each other. Perhaps, had I read Book One, this would have been easier and grabbed my attention earlier. I do think it is a book that cozy mystery lovers would enjoy. Since it is not my favourite genre, I had some difficulty getting through the book. I must say, the ending was a COMPLETE shock!! Totally unexpected!! The author leads you in other directions to guess the conclusion and all of them were wrong! 

The characters were quirky and unique. I loved Aunt Ruth with her honest , often crazy remarks. Each of the people in the story had interesting and somewhat unusual personalities. They were all described in details that gave you a clear picture and understanding of them. I could see each of them in my mind as I worked my way through the adventure.

This book is well written with an interesting plot line, however, to me, it seemed to be slow moving. This could be that it just wasn't "my type" of book. It was what I would class a good  read for those who enjoy this genre.   
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

1 comment:

  1. Read the first book in this series and enjoyed the whole British tone, like watching an old mystery movie. Haven't found time to read this one yet. Hope I can find a copy somewhere.