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Rules of Murder

Title:  Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery)
Author:  Julianna Deering
Pages:  328
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany House
                Fans of mysteries set in the 1930s or so will enjoy this new offering in the field of murder mysteries.  Julianna Deering has set her story in England at the manor of the protagonist, Drew Farthering.  As the reader soon finds out, some things are not as they appear to be.
                Drew and his best friend Nick have returned home from a trip to the seaside.  Upon returning home, Drew finds Mr. Lincoln ensconced in his bedroom as a guest of his mother’s.  Drew orders his immediate removal and lets his angry feelings be known.  Afterall, rumor has it that his mother and Mr. Lincoln had an affair in the past.  Is the affair starting up again?  All is not as it seems as Drew soon discovers as two suspicious deaths take place on the same night at his home.
                Madeline Parker has come from the United States for a visit with her uncle, Mason Parker.  Mason is also Drew’s stepfather.  Madeline and Drew are both in their 20s, with Drew leading the life of a rich aristocrat.  Madeline is a strong Christian and questions Drew on his lack of faith.  Drew responds that he believes in God, but that God isn’t really interested in Drew’s day-to-day life and wouldn’t want to be bothered with him.  Madeline disagrees.  Despite their differences in their faith maturity, both rapidly begin to fall in love with each other.  Madeline wants to help Drew solve the murders, but Drew tries to keep her protected from the unpleasantness.  Madeline draws strength from her faith.  Can Drew ever learn to do the same?
                The story started off great, but after the two murders, it drug along tediously.  I’m a big fan of mysteries, especially British mysteries, but the plot didn’t move along at a quick enough pace and too much time was spent on the relationship between Drew and Madeline.  The acceptance of the police of Drew’s “help” in their investigation was not believable.  With those negatives out of the way, I will say the last three or four chapters came back with a roar of action.  There were many twists and turns in the plot.  I thought I had figured out who the guilty person was only to change my mind and think it was someone else.  Then, I’d change my mind back again to my original theory.  I ended up being wrong, but enjoyed and was entertained on the way to my erroneous conclusion!
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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