Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

As a fan of Agatha Christie, I wondered what Julianna Deering would deliver in her debut novel Rules of Murder.  This mystery begins with the usual murder to set the story and amateur detective in action. The story takes place on an English estate and the detective is the privileged son of the first murder victim.

Drew Farthering, and his longtime friend Nick, decide to investigate the strange happenings that seem to entangle people who Drew trusts. With the help of his stepfather’s American niece, Madeline, Drew find clues, annoy the constable, and tries desperately to figure out who would want to destroy the family company.

As the plot thickens, author Deering mixes mischief with wry humor to engage her readers in helping to figure out the motive for the murders. While it seemed that Deering moved rather slowly to develop her characters and story at the beginning of the story, she did an impeccable job revealing clues and making connections that I could follow as a reader. Sometimes I feel mysteries exclude us readers from all the details because it will ruin the surprises in the plot. Deering keeps her surprises while adroitly dropping the hints that draw us into her story and keep us trying to figure out the mystery. Drew’s final explanation of the mystery was the best wrap up for a mystery that I’ve read in a long time.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Rules of Murder, and I’ll be watching for more Drew Farthering mysteries. Bethany House Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering to review.