I’ve not actually watched one of those old black-and-white detective shows but I’ve seen several clips over the years. The one of a work-hardened detective sitting behind his desk when a woman walks in needing his help. Julianna Deering’s Drew Farthering Mysteries bring these types of shows to mind. Not because of the detective or the woman, but because of the time-period and the dialogue.
Book number four, Dressed for Death (available everywhere March 1, 2016), finds Drew and Madeline, his bride of six months, heading to the home of one of Drew’s former classmates for a week of Regency role playing. As a lover of all things Austen, this opening had me hooked immediately.
But a week of fun turns deadly when at the grand ball at the end of the week, Talbot’s (Drew’s friend) fiancée dies of a cocaine overdose. When Talbot’s father is arrested, Drew doubts himself. How could he have been so wrong about the man? He’d respected him all these years, never guessing what lie hidden in secret.
Despite his misgivings, Drew promises Tal that he’ll find out the truth about Alice’s death. Was it an accident or did someone want her out of the way? When another murder occurs, another loss of a loved one of someone close to Drew, he questions his calling as a detective. Surely, if this was what God intended him to do, he could have stopped a murder. With time running out and suspects thinning out, can Drew, Madeline, Nick and Carrie figure out who is behind it all before it’s too late?
Deering pulled me into Drew’s world immediately with Drew and Madeline’s arrival at the Cummins home and pushed me along through the world of English society. This cozy mystery series has quickly become one of my favorites as I’ve gotten to know the key players in Deering’s world of suspense, mystery, and intrigue.
One of the great things about Dressed for Death is the further development of Drew’s relationships. He’s married to Madeline now, so readers get to experience that with him. His best friend Nick is courting Madeline’s friend and the four of them make an enjoyable team to hang about with. Drew’s laid back, often teasing, way is a delight, making him a flawed but perfect hero for this series.
Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing more of Drew Farthering and friends in the future.
***Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.