Boy, is it good to be reading again.
Happy Friday, everybody! Since October is only a few weeks away, I figured I’d get a head start on everything creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, and altogether ooky, by reading the work of a new mystery author: Julianna Deering.
Julianna Deering, otherwise known as DeAnna Julie Dodson, published Rules of Murder only three years ago, the first in a series of books centered around the dashingly humble gentleman named Drew Farthering, a man with no experience in crime or mysteries (save for Agatha Christie and Father Ronald Knox) yet is rich enough (and charming enough) to skirt around law enforcement and solve the mystery with his good buddy Nick and the infuriatingly attractive Madeline Parker, the niece of his step-father, Mason Parker.
Thank God this book took place in the 1930’s and not today, otherwise this story could have ended very differently.
As a respectable fan of any murder mystery novel, I will say that were many similarities to Christie’s novels as to how the story unfolded with the turn of the page. For instance, the story took place in England in the 1930’s, much like the usual setting for Hercule Poirot’s adventures. In addition, the scenes with Madeline and Drew were absolutely precious. Since women’s rights have become a global advocacy issue in the later part of the 19th century, Deering is able to pull off a female character who is the stereotypical love interest, but also a stereotypical love interest who wants to solve the mystery for personal reasons, and not for the stereotypical “adventurous” reasons.
My favorite example is when Drew and Nick are arguing as to whether to bring Madeline along at one point and Drew points out that crime’s no place for women. Nick calls Drew out by stating that he’s been constantly distracted by her and that’s why he (Drew) doesn’t want her around.
The only real problem I had with the book was that there were times where the book was just…gloomy. I really don’t know how else to put it, but some scenes (especially later on in the novel) were depressing. Granted, we are talking about a murder mystery here, and murder can be very depressing on top of the shock of it all, but sometimes the attitude was a little too dark to where at one point even the adorable Madeline/Drew scenes were just sad.
I might be spoiled, though, because I’m used to dealing with Poirot where dealing with murder is an art form to him whereas this novel featured a young man who had never seen a murder before in his life. But still. I digress.
Overall, Rules of Murder is a book I’d recommend to anyone who likes Agatha Christie. Charming, depressing, and altogether ooky, I’d like to see what kind of mischief Deering and her dear Drew get themselves into throughout the series.
Do you like murder mystery novels?