Thursday, March 20, 2014
Death By the Book - Prism Book Tour
by Julianna Deering
Paperback, 320 pages
March 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers
Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.
Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.
Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?
Normally, I do not read kindle books. Mostly it is because I love the feel and smell of an actual book, which understandably sounds a little creepy or weird, but the electronic versions of them tend not to have the same personal connection for me. Having said that, I thought that this book was quite a charming mystery novel which I rather quite enjoyed.
Julianna Derring did a remarkable job of weaving a wondrous murder mystery set in England around the late 1920's. It kept me reading into the wee small hours of morning to find out if my suspicions of who the killer could be were right or not. For me, the killer was not readily revealed which I rather like. Novels that don't keep you guessing are not very good sport for an avid mystery reader such as myself. This one did not disappoint and I felt that Derring was able to stay true to the period and means of detection that were available at that time.
I also felt that the characters were exquisitely crafted. It was clear from the beginning that Derring felt comfortable writing about them and seemed to know them better than themselves. Usually an added romance would be something that would not work for me in a mystery novel, especially if it is one of the main story plots, but in this case it added to intrigue of the plot itself. It had kind of an Austen feel that I very much appreciated.
There were two main things that I had a little difficulty with overlooking, however, and they both have to deal with the editing of the Kindle version sent to me. It was strange, but for some reason all of the words that had a double 'f' in them were missing them! Words like off would be spelled "o" instead of it. If it had been intentional there should have been an apostrophe after the 'o'. The other thing that bothered me was how the book was formatted. In the version I was sent, there were not many, if any, distinctions between paragraphs. Not many indentations to signify a new paragraph and in some instances there was a space right in the middle of a sentence where the line was severed and then indented on the next line. Other than that, there were some minor editing issues with respect to missing quotations around some dialogue and some odd transitions. The main character would be chatting with someone about going to the chief inspector to relay information and in the very next sequence of sentences, the inspector was suddenly there as if no time had past.
Overall, I thought that this was a great mystery that keeps the reader invested in solving. If you enjoy mysteries that have a more classical feel to them, then you will thoroughly enjoy this book. However, if you will not be able to look past the formatting issues making it impossible to finish the book, than I would not recommend this one. However, it would be a great shame to pass it up since it was a delightful and light read.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I was given a copy by Net Gallery at the request of the Prism Book Tours for my honest review; I was not paid to give this review.
Julianna Derring has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014).