Murder at the Mikado
About This Book
When a celebrated actor is found murdered in his dressing room, all signs point to Drew’s old flame. But behind the curtains nothing is what it seems and this quickly becomes his most puzzling case yet.
Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has calmed down some, Fleur Landis, a former girlfriend, reappears, in dire need of his help. She’s married now, no longer an actress—but the lead actor in her former troupe’s production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police’s number one suspect.
Drew would rather focus on his fiancée, Madeline Parker, and their upcoming wedding, but he can’t leave Fleur and her family in the lurch—even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline begin investigating, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. It seems nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between.
Both the murder case and the presence of the beautiful, exotic Fleur put a heavy strain on Drew and Madeline’s relationship. Will their still-young romance survive the pressure?
I was never a fan of cozy mysteries before I started reading Julianna Deering’s series, but now I’m hooked! As I’ve said before, if Bertie Wooster and Jessica Fletcher had a love child, he would be Drew Farthering. Inside these stylish, Art Deco cover designs are wonderfully entertaining stories full of original characters, sparkling prose, and vivid detail of upper-class England in the 1930s.
Murder at the Mikado delivers exactly what you’d expect from a third installment in a series: it delves deeper into the hero and heroine’s back stories while still focusing on the dazzling story world, and once again, the mystery definitely kept me guessing!
Drew and Madeline’s past histories are explored in greater detail as their nuptials approach, and the other supporting characters are equally well-written and perfectly round out the story, although spunky Aunt Ruth and long-suffering Chief Inspector Birdsong are more subdued than in previous stories. But the focus of this book is undoubtedly vixen Fleur Landis, the sumptuous murder suspect who once stole Drew’s heart, and her appearance makes this the most romantically tense story yet in this series. After two lighter-hearted, more whimsical books, this story takes a surprising emotional turn as Drew and Madeline must confront their past demons, and there were several moments when I teared up. This story boldly tackles the question of whether one can be free from the consequences of their past actions, and offers a powerful spiritual message of forgiveness and trust, especially when we can’t see the road ahead.
The sophisticated world of aristocratic England in the 1930s is a character in and of itself in these books, and you read with a sense of escaping to another time and place. But this is a murder mystery and there is a body count, although nothing is violently or graphically described, nor included for mere shock value. As customary in that day and age, there are characters who smoke and drink alcohol, and some infidelity and premarital relations are hinted at but never overtly discussed. This book will appeal to adults, teens and young adults who enjoy a good, clean mystery with emotionally deep characters and a valuable underlying spiritual message. I would have no qualms recommending this book to my non-Christian family and friends.
The only thing that I sort of didn’t like about this story is that, like its cover, Murder at the Mikado is darker and deeper overall and doesn’t strike quite the same whimsical tone as its predecessors.
In the third installment of this refreshingly original mystery series, author Julianna Deering probes the depths of her hero’s history and spins a surprisingly emotional tale of forgiveness, trust, and facing the consequences of one’s past decisions. With as much style and flair as ever, Murder at the Mikado provides an escape into the glitz and glamor of aristocratic England in the 1930s, while serving up plenty of smiles and an intriguing whodunit that will once more keep you guessing to the very end.
Available July 1, 2014 from Bethany House Publishers