Pages

Sunday, April 24, 2016

DRESSED FOR DEATH by Juliana Deering

Iola Goulton reviews Juliana Deering's Dressed for Death.

Short Version from Amazon: 
A Regency-Era Costume Party Should Have Been an Amusing Diversion, But it Seems Wherever Drew Farthering Goes, Mystery--and Murder--Are on the Guest List

Drew and Madeline Farthering arrive at a Regency-era house party at Winteroak House, excited to be reunited with old friends, including Drew's former Oxford classmate Talbot Cummins. Tal is there with his fiancée, Alice Henley, and though many present seem worried about the couple, nobody is prepared when Alice dies from an apparent overdose. Tal refuses to believe she'd taken the drugs intentionally, and a dark question arises of whether the death is an accident or murder.

The police have their own information though, and Drew is shocked when they arrest someone he's trusted and admired since his childhood--someone who's been smuggling drugs into the country for years. Stunned by what has happened, Tal begs Drew to get to the bottom of everything, but Drew has never felt more unsettled. Questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, Drew doesn't know whom to trust, and he's not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover--or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.

My Review:

Another Excellent Drew Fathering Mystery!

Dressed for Death is the fourth book in Juliana Deering’s Drew Fathering Mysteries, following Rules of Murder, Death by the Book, and Murder at the Mikado. Yes, Drew is turning into a Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot or Lord Peter Wimsey, with dead bodies turning up wherever he goes.

In Dressed for Death, Drew, his new wife Madeline, and best friend Nick attend a Regency-era house party at the home of his old school friend, Talbot Cummins. It sounds like a fun party: everyone has  to wear Regency-era fashions and enjoy Regency pursuits, including learning the country dances of the time. Everyone (well, almost everyone) is having a lovely time when someone turns up dead. And then another someone . . .

Dressed for Death is a murder mystery, so naturally (!) I was waiting for a dead body, a crime for Drew, Nick and Madeline to solve. This took rather longer than I’d expected, so as a result, I found the first quarter of the book rather slow. Sure, it did a good job of introducing us to all the characters—the possible victims as well as the possible evildoers—and while it seeded all the necessary information, I certainly didn’t work out whodunit and how until the big reveal  at the end.

The writing was excellent. I particularly liked some of the lines, such as:
I’m not wise enough to see things as God sees them, and neither are you. But I don’t think we’re responsible for outcomes, just for doing what we’re called to do.
And:
Don’ t let anyone despise the gifts you’ve been given, and don’t you do so, either. They may not fit anyone else’s idea of a calling, but the world has all sorts of needs, and God has provided for each of them to be met, if we all do our part. It would be a shame if your part were undone.
Drew did well to get himself such a wise wife!

Deering has the right tone for a 1930’s murder mystery, and her writing is reminiscent of Agatha Christie or Georgette Heyer (her mysteries, not her romances). However, it was less of a fun romp than some of her earlier books, perhaps because the body count made it a little sadder. Although poignant, the plot and characterization were excellent, and Dressed for Death is a definite must-read for mystery fans.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Juliana Deering (also known as DeAnna Julie Dodson) at her website. http://www.juliannadeering.com/

About the Reviewer, Iola Goulton: 

I am a freelance editor specializing in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Tsu .

I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog. I'm a Top 25 Reviewer at Christian Book, in the Top 1% of reviewers at Goodreads, and have an Amazon US Reviewer Rank that floats around 2500 (and I'm in the Top 50 at Amazon Australia).

5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the lovely review!

    Next up, mysterious happenings in Yorkshire in Murder on the Moor. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll look forward to reading it. Will there be Yorkshire puddings?

      Delete
    2. LOL! I'm afraid I missed that opportunity. ;)

      Delete
  2. I love these Drew Farthering mysteries! Looking forward to reading this one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love these Drew Farthering mysteries! Looking forward to reading this one. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts! Your comment will show up soon!