Back in the summer I was the winner of a blog giveaway over at Margaret Daley's blog. The prize, a copy of Julianna Deering's new mystery Rules of Murder arrived quickly along with a nifty pen bearing the book's title. As always for me, I already had a hefty pile of books which required my attention, some of them for blog tours and others with looming library due dates. Ever so slowly Rules of Murder moved up the pile until finally, it was time for a warming fire in the pellet stove and some "feet up" reading time. The cover reminds one of a 1930s or 40s Hollywood movie with a debonair leading man who despite his great charm remains slightly aloof. The beautiful woman, the luxurious limo and the grand estate behind him all point to a story of wealth and privilege. And so it is in Deering's first Drew Farthering mystery.
It is 1930s England and Drew has just arrived home to his country estate to find his mother and step father giving yet another lavish party. When Drew finds that his own private quarters have been lent to a Mr. Lincoln, Drew is livid. How could his mother bring this scoundrel into their home? When Lincoln is found dead the next day, everyone at the party is a suspect. As the constable begins to investigate and more deaths occur, Drew, his best friend Nick, and a lovely young American Madeline Parker find their curiosity and shared love of mystery writers compels them to begin their own investigations.
Deering, I believe, has set out to create a series with the quiet tone of Agatha Christy and other classic mystery writers. Add in a similarity to the current popular Downton Abbey and other period PBS series, and I think she has a successful formula. I am looking forward to future additions to the series as Drew and Madeline pursue their mutual attraction as they, of course, get caught up in some unsolved mystery. Hopefully, Nick's character will continue to add depth, humor, and spark to the stories.