~ About the Book ~
At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents out on the moor–property destroyed, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered–and worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church.
Drew’s friend is obviously smitten with his bride of eight months, though it’s hard to imagine what she sees in the awkward man. Drew can’t help wondering if her affections lie more with the man’s money and estate, while her romantic interests focus on their fiery Welsh gamekeeper. As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what is really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.
~ Excerpt ~
Drew was silent until after Denny came to show Beaky upstairs. Then he sat on the sofa and settled Madeline at his side.
“So what do you think?”
There was a glint in her periwinkle eyes. “You want to go.”
He chuckled. “You know me far too well.”
“It’s been rather quiet since we were in Beaulieu. Actually, I didn’t think it would be this long before you stumbled onto another case.”
“I did no such thing.”
She pursed her lips. “What such thing?”
“Stumble. I did not stumble onto this case. It has been thrust upon me.”
He squeezed her hand. “I never could leave poor Beaky in whatever muddle he’d gotten into at school. He was always good-natured about it, I must say, though he was bullied most abominably. I hate to let him be taken advantage of now. I’d at least like to know what’s going on.”
Her eyes were warm as she smoothed the hair back at his temple. “And what do you think is going on?”
He shook his head. “Hard to say at this point. I know what I’m afraid of.”
“It’s his wife, isn’t it?” she asked, her expression suddenly bleak.
“Sabrina. You never met her, but she and Bunny were an item for a short while. He was smitten of course, but even he could see she wasn’t serious. She enjoyed the attention, no doubt, and the parties and the clubs, and he was quite extravagant with the gifts, but eventually she moved on. Bunny dodged a rather costly bullet in that one, I’d say.”
“And now she’s married to Beaky.” She glanced toward the stairs. “After he’d come into the family money.”
“Precisely. Old Beaky’s a good fellow, kindhearted, reliable. I daresay he’d stick by a friend, or a wife, through the worst of times, but, well, you’ve seen him. He hasn’t got much personal appeal. Not for a woman like that.”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s hard to say what makes someone attracted to someone else. It’s not always what you’d think.”
“True,” he admitted. “I haven’t seen her more than three or four times, and that was before we went to Beaulieu. It’s not fair to make assumptions with no facts, is it?”
She tapped his lips with one slender finger. “And you want to be fair.”
He kissed her finger and then gave her a questioning look.
For a moment she looked reluctant, and then she grinned. “Let’s do it.”
~ Review ~
When it comes to mysteries, it’s hard to go past the Yorkshire moors for atmosphere, and that’s exactly where Drew and Madeline head for this fifth mystery in the Drew Farthering series. Mind you, I love the atmosphere in each of the Drew Farthering novels, regardless of where they’re set—because Drew is the quintessential 1930s English gentleman, and there’s just something about him, as well as the era and setting he inhabits, that’s irresistible. If you’re forming the impression that I’m already a fan, then it’s full marks to you, Sherlock! —Er… I mean, Farthering 🙂
This novel had everything I’ve come to expect from the Drew Farthering series: an intriguing mystery, liberally sprinkled with characters who may or may not have anything to do with the crime(s); well-paced writing that perfectly captures the flavour of the setting and era; a sampling of Drew’s wit (including a fantastic set-down delivered to a worthy opponent); and even a life lesson or two about allowing previous experiences to colour your assumptions.
There are references to such classics as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Hound of the Baskervilles sprinkled throughout the story—even some eerie similarities, with whispers of a barghest prowling the moors—but there are some light-hearted moments too, thanks largely to Drew and his long-time friend, Nick Cooper, and a particularly diligent police officer! And, as always, there are those sweet private moments between Drew and Madeline where we get glimpses of their companionship, their love, and the way in which they build each other up.
If you’re a historical or cozy mystery lover, I strongly recommend you introduce yourself to Drew Farthering.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review.
Release date: 31 January 2017
Series: #5 Drew Fathering Mysteries
Publisher: Bethany House
~ Previous Books in Series ~
Read my review for Dressed for Death.
~ Giveaway ~
To celebrate her tour, Julianna is giving away a set of the Drew Farthering Mystery series (5 books)!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b0499
~ About the Author ~
Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas. For more information visit www.juliannadeering.com.
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