Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.
Soon, financial irregularities at Drew’s stepfather’s company come to light and it’s clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this game.
Let me start with what I loved about this book. I loved the era. It’s rare that you read books that take place in the early 1900s. I loved that it was in England on an estate. It was almost like regency England got a makeover. Same country, same titles, different times. In fact it was reminiscent of Downton Abbey, though I know this story is supposed to take place years later than the time of the show.
What I didn’t quite appreciate: this is a straight-up mystery, Agatha Christie style. If you loved Agatha Christie, you will love this novel. It is very much detective work. I, though, generally like romantic suspense aka, would-you-like-some-mystery-with-that-romance genre. In this novel, there is romance, but its put together so nicely before you even get half-way through the novel. It is clearly not the focus of the novel. That said, the mystery is well thought out, and I was guessing who done it for most of the novel, I will say that the body count got quite high.
I did appreciate Drew. He was humorous, and very British and a character I enjoyed turning the pages for. Madeleine came across as a perfect foil for him. Usually, in detective novels you can either have a good detective or an annoying one. Drew is a good detective and a character you can have faith will make the right decisions.
Spiritually, I thought Ms. Deering handled the subject of faith very well. You could see Drew beginning to open up to the fact that God is still alive today and you could see how Madeleine’s strong faith persevered in troubling times.
I would not rate this novel that high only because when I put it down, I had no real desire to pick it back up and yet, every time I did, I enjoyed it. Confusing? Yeah, to me too. If you like die-hard mysteries you will enjoy this book, and I kind of want to see what happens on Drew’s next adventure myself.
Romantic scale: 7
*I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**