A themed review tour by Prism Book Tours...
Death by the Book
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?
Even though Death by the Book, the second in my series of Drew Farthering Mysteries, is hot off the press right now, I am thrilled to tell you a little bit about Book Three, Murder at the Mikado.
After everything that happened during the past summer, Drew is happy to have some peace in his life. His company, Farlinford Processing, is doing nicely under competent, trustworthy management, and his relationship with Madeline Parker is better than ever. Everything is going well until an old flame, Fleur Hargreaves, suddenly makes an appearance at
Farthering Place begging for Drew to
prove her innocence in a murder case.
"I couldn't–," Fleur said. "Oh, Drew, I couldn't possibly tell you the awful details."
He tried to figure out how much of her fright was real and how much of it was put on to sway him, but it didn't matter. Whatever this was, it wasn't his place to help her. She had a husband, and he seemed a very good man. Surely he would stand by her whatever it was.
He rang for Denny, and in just another moment Drew had that morning's paper in hand. One bold headline caught his eye.
ACTOR RAVENSWOOD MURDERED
Drew looked up at Fleur. "Ravenswood? It was his troupe you were in back in
, wasn't it? What happened?" Oxford
"Read it." A single tear traced down her porcelain cheek, and she immediately blotted it away, forcing herself to sit up straighter. "You'll want just the facts, and that will tell you better than I would be able to."
Madeline was already reading over his shoulder, and he hurried to catch up.
Local celebrity, actor John Sutherland Ravenswood, born Henry Percival Sutherland, was found at two o'clock this morning in his dressing room at the Tivoli Theater, bludgeoned to death with an empty champagne bottle. Ravenswood's wife and leading lady, Miss Simone Cullimore, already having gone home after last night's performance, called the theater to speak to Ravenswood before he left for the evening. Conor Benton, another of the actors, and one of the workmen found the star's dressing room locked, and receiving no reply to repeated knocks and calls, forced the door open.
"He was lying there with his head bashed in, mind you, and fair wallowing in his blood," said Grady Hibbert, the
long-time stage man. "I never had nobody killed in my theater, barring on
stage of course, nor seen a dead body since I was at Tivoli Ypres
in the Great War."
"We had all been drinking champagne," Miss Cullimore said. "It was the fifth anniversary of our opening night at the
and everyone was in a jolly mood. Johnnie said he had a few things to see to
before he went home, so I went on alone. Now I'll never see him again." Tivoli
Chief Inspector James Birdsong of the Hampshire Police declined comment except to say his men were investigating the matter and that they were not prepared to name any suspects.
Again Drew looked up at Fleur, skipping the remainder of the article. "What does this have to do with you? Did you kill him?"
"Drew!" Tears sprang to her eyes, and once more she pressed the frothy bit of lace to her mouth, her body shaking. "I know what you think of me after– after
, but you can't
believe that of me. Not murder. Please tell me you don't." Oxford
"I haven't seen you in six years," he told her. "And even back then, I can't say I really knew you. How would I know what you're capable of?"
Of course, Drew is eventually drawn into the case, despite Madeline wanting him to have nothing to do with it. Or Fleur. As he investigates a series of murders in a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, how can he know who's telling him the truth and who's acting? And will wounds from his past and from Madeline's draw them closer or pull them apart?
I so much enjoyed writing this book. It was fun to put in some references from Gilbert and Sullivan, too, though you don't have to be familiar with their work to enjoy the story. And one of my favorite things about Murder at the Mikado is the fabulous cover. It's so perfect for the period and for the book. Drew in white tie? Be still my heart!
Murder at the Mikado is due out July 1, 2014. I can't wait!
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).
From the author regarding the fabulous GIVEAWAY:
How could one possibly have a cozy mystery
set in an old manor house in the English countryside near a quaint little village
and not have tea?
Drew doesn't usually take lemon or milk in his. He prefers honey,
especially if it's fresh from the hive.
Mrs. Devon, his housekeeper, spoils him terribly and makes sure he has it.
Print copies of The Rules of Murder and Death by the Book and a Tea Gift Basket (US ONLY)
March 10th - 28th
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