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Dressed for Death (A Drew Farthering…
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Dressed for Death (A Drew Farthering Mystery)

by Julianna Deering

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The fourth book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series by Julianna Deering, Dressed for Death, finds Drew and Madeline attending a week-long party at the Cummins family country home. The theme is Regency England, and all the guests are required to dress and act the part. Yachting trips, picnics, and a ball are on the agenda, but so is murder. While the bodies continue to pile up, the crimes hit a little too close to home for Drew. Faced with his own inadequacies, Drew perseveres to find out just whodunit.

Deering’s mystery series takes place in 1930s England, and she does a wonderful job of bringing the era to life. Dressed for Death adds another layer with the Regency party. Both Drew’s time with its cultural references and the Regency era are wonderfully integrated — kudos on the meticulous historical research! Jane Austen fans will love the numerous references to the author’s works. The mystery itself is puzzling up to the end. I had my suspicions, but was surprised as Drew solved the case. Drew is an interesting character. Part of the wealthy class of England, he certainly doesn’t have to work for a living, but his calling as an amateur detective presents challenges. In Dressed for Death, Drew grapples with discouragement and doubt as he examines what it really means to be called by God. The local vicar advises: “Don’t let anyone despise the gifts you’ve been given, and don’t you do so, either. They may not fit anyone else’s idea of a calling, but the world has all sorts of needs, and God has provided for each of them to be filled, if we all do our part. It would be a shame if your part were left undone.” (p. 303) A great message no matter the task God provides.

Dressed for Death comes in the middle of the series, with book 5 now available and book 6 due out in November 2017. It can be read as a standalone, but I think the series is too good to miss any of the fun. If you haven’t read any of the books, start now with Rules of Murder and then progress through the rest. You’ll be all caught up just in time for Drew’s latest adventure!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jul 6, 2017 |
When Alice Henley dies during a week long Regency-Era party that Drew Farthering and his wife are attending, Drew is hesitant to accept the accused. Alice was to be married to Drew's longtime friend Talbot Cummins, son to the hosters of the extravaganza. With Drew's hunch that the inspectors have accused the wrong man of Alice's murder, he is determined to pursue his own investigation. Alice had been acting peculiarly at the party, and was eager to talk to Talbot, but engrossed as he was in the festivities he kept putting her off. What was she trying to tell him? As the days pass by and Drew puts his sleuthing skills to work, murder becomes more than an isolated incident, and Drew realizes that the culprit might possibly be someone he'd least expect.

Dressed for Death is the fourth book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series, and my first to read. Although it can be read and enjoyed alone, I am interested in learning more about Drew Farthering from the first book in the series, Rules of Murder. I liked the references to Jane Austen's novels, and the setting was highly appealing. There was a quirky cat that I always love to see in mysteries, and a cast of characters that kept me guessing. Overall I enjoyed Dressed for Death and would recommend it to those looking for a good clean mystery with an intriguing plot.
Thank you Bethany House Publishers for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review which I have given. ( )
  Lauigl | Apr 26, 2016 |
This was for me another great book by Julianna Deering. I love when Drew, Madeline, Nick and Carrie get together and solve some crimes. This story starts out when the four main characters and Carries younger brother are invited to a house party. Carries younger brother wants to help solve a crime so they hide some jewels for them to find but soon there is a dead body for Drew to get involved in. There are many twists and turns and some sad parts. I received this book from Bethany house for a fair and honest opinion. ( )
  Virginia51 | Apr 14, 2016 |
Dressed for Death
Julianna Deering
Book Summary: This Traditional British Cozy Mystery gets a Regency Twist: Drew and Madeline Farthering celebrate their six-month anniversary by attending a fancy Regency era costume party. Drew is glad to see Talbot Cummins, an Oxford classmate, and his fiancée, Alice Henley, though many present seem worried about the couple. Everyone's concerns are realized when, at the concluding grand ball, Alice dies of an overdose of cocaine. Tal refuses to believe she took the stuff intentionally, and Drew is determined to find out if her death was an accident or murder. Drew is shocked and disillusioned when the police arrest Tal's father and reveal that the man has been smuggling drugs into the country for the past twenty years. Reeling from the death of his fiancée and the revelation about his father, Tal begs Drew to find out what's going on. Drew, now questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, does so reluctantly, not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover--or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.

Review: I really love mysteries. This one starts a little slow for me. It was about 35% in when the story started rolling. So much happens that twists the beginning into a different picture. I found the beginning to be forced to me. I get the Regency part, but all the quoting of Austen was wasted on me. I like a more subtle method. I found the mystery to be interesting and was thinking about who was behind the murders and who was the least obvious. That led me to the real culprit and the how of the second murder was clever. To me the surprise was the undercover agent. That was a nice twits. It is worth reading. The characters were realistically written, this book had a more morose tone and gave a lot of pause for thinking about how fleeting life is. I always love when the truth of the Bible is talked about, although I do not recall as much about Jesus.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. ( )
  Robin661 | Apr 10, 2016 |
Title: Dressed for Death (Drew Farthering Mystery #4)
Author: Julianna Deering
Pages: 320
Year: 2016
Publisher: Bethany House
Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline have been married for six months now and have been invited to attend a Regency gathering at one of his old school mate’s house, Tal Cummins. They arrive with Drew’s best friend Nick and his love interest Carrie along with Carrie’s young brother Will to find Tal engaged to Alice. As the week progresses with all dressed in Regency style and taking part in all sorts of activities. The story moves along slowly and about one-third of the way through the first death occurs. The authorities are called in, but Tal asks Drew to investigate on his own to try to find out the answers. Drew feels the tug of friendship from the past and agrees, even though he really has no clues to pursue.
Soon another body is discovered and Drew faces guilt over this death, but Tal continues to press him to put his detective skills to use. Drew asks some questions, but seems to make no headway. However, there is an undercurrent Drew senses and knows there is something else going on. He sees some interesting things that might be related, but can’t seem to get any definitive answers. Yet another death occurs and Drew feels like giving up, but with Madeline’s encouragement he continues.
I have read the other mysteries in this series and enjoyed them, but this one left me sad and depressed. There was so much death in the same family that it sidetracked the mystery element for me. In a lot of mysteries, the criminal is discovered and justice is served and the reader is left with some satisfaction. This ending did unveil the criminal, but left me feeling unsatisfied. There was also too much time spent with the Regency party details with little action or investigation by Drew to find the culprit. I did like when Drew shared his faith with Tal as well as Madeline’s reliance on God and encouraging Drew in his God-given calling. I look forward to the next mystery in the series and hope the next one is more satisfying for this mystery lover.
My rating is 3 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Mar 28, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076421411X, Paperback)

This Traditional British Cozy Mystery
Gets a Regency Twist

Drew and Madeline Farthering celebrate their six-month anniversary by attending a fancy Regency era costume party. Drew is glad to see Talbot Cummins, an Oxford classmate, and his fiancée, Alice Henley, though many present seem worried about the couple. Everyone's concerns are realized when, at the concluding grand ball, Alice dies of an overdose of cocaine. Tal refuses to believe she took the stuff intentionally, and Drew is determined to find out if her death was an accident or murder.

Drew is shocked and disillusioned when the police arrest Tal's father and reveal that the man has been smuggling drugs into the country for the past twenty years. Reeling from the death of his fiancée and the revelation about his father, Tal begs Drew to find out what's going on. Drew, now questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, does so reluctantly, not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover--or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 01 Sep 2015 08:03:02 -0400)

While attending a Regency costume party, Drew and Madeline Farthering are immersed in a new case when the fiance of a friend dies mysteriously at the event. Drew's friend insists she was murdered. In the face of a shocking revelation and arrest, Drew begins to doubt his own abilities and finds he is unprepared for the dangerous secrets he uncovers.… (more)

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