I just finished reading “Death By the Book,” which is the second title in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. These tales are set in England during the 1930s, and written by Juliana Deering, who is better known by her real name, which is Deanna Julie Dodson. The opportunity for a free sneak peek came to me via Bethany House, through their partnership with Netgalley.com. All that was requested of me was a fair and honest review, so you get to enjoy this post.
When we first rejoin Drew and the rest of the cast, he is hopeful that Madeline will return his declaration of love and agree to marry him. Thoughts of murder and mayhem are once again relegated to the pages of fiction where they belong, and no one has any intention of assisting the police with any of the real life variety. Mr. Farthering has little choice in the matter when he shows up for a planned meeting with his solicitor at a hotel and discovers the man in question is a victim of obvious homicidal violence. The matter is further complicated when a young woman shows up claiming to be the attorney’s mistress, and the disbelieving widow begs Drew to uncover the truth. More murders that are undoubtedly connected come to light, and the local constables eventually make an arrest. They are sure they have the right man, but our amateur gumshoe is far from certain. When the violence hits close to home, he questions his powers of deduction. Can he clear an innocent man’s name before the unthinkable happens? Will Madeline and her visiting aunt be safe in the meantime? Drew can not shake the feeling that the killer is right under his nose. How can identify the culprit without risking his own life? Fans of the first novel featuring these characters will not be disappointed. This tale can be read on its own, but I believe people will gain more enjoyment if they read its predecessor first. I recommend this title to fans of Terri Blackstock, Agatha Christie, and Mary Higgins Clark. There is no objectionable content, and a solid Christian message is woven subtly throughout the story. It is appropriate for all ages, but will most likely be absorbed best by those those twelve years and up. My rating is five out of five stars. I can not wait to see what happens next in this little universe. Go out and grab a copy today! Until we meet again…