book, Book Review

Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

Book - Murder-at-the-Mikado

About the Book:
Author: Julianna Deering
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery, book 3
Genre: Fiction; Mystery, Series
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: Trouble always seems to find the dashing hero of this series and lest you think otherwise (there wouldn’t be a story if he wasn’t followed by mayhem) there is more in store for Drew Farthering. Again. Drew has finally gotten the answer he wanted from American beauty, Madeline Parker and he isn’t about to let anything stand in the way of their busy wedding preparations and more importantly those “I dos,” which is why he’s dismayed when his former flame sashays back into his life with suspicion hanging over her head – one that involves murder, a death that creates headlines. A popular actor was found murdered in his dressing room and despite Fluer now being married with a small child, no one believes her reformed from the girl she was. It’s going to take Drew, Nick and Madeline to solve this case… and get to the church on time.

Drew is back for his third and presumably last jaunt in this delightful Bethany House series. As usual, this novel is absolutely sensational and if ever there was truth to the adage of saving the “best for last,” it applies to this book. I’m not sure the “what” of why I was so swept up, but good golly, I was. Perhaps it was the sense of “completion” and finally having Madeline decide what it is she wants (or very nearly – ugh, silly girl) or maybe it was the familiar charm of Rules of Murder (book one) returning a familiarity of the trio being back to their investigating, whatever this third novel is definitely a charmer. Before getting too far into this review, one thing to address is the arrival of a possible rival in the romance department. Anyone concerned with the possible “love triangle” needn’t worry, there is nothing worth mentioning with this minor subplot especially since (did you think otherwise?), Drew is completely devoted to Madeline and as such, the character development grew all the stronger in this final book – even with its setbacks.

As an aside to the mystery (which is really the primary in this entire series), one of the elements to most admire is the story’s sense of honesty. I adored how truthful and honest its leading characters were with one another. Too many times characters fall into the predictable, silly mold of hiding things from each other which then later, becomes a convenient catalyst for breaking the pair apart in a dash to create last minute conflict. Here, Deering took a more clever approach by eliminating dishonesty from the equation and I cannot stress what a refreshing entity this was. Sure there are still stressors that pop up and much as I adored her, I wanted to shake some sense into Madeline on more than one occasions, but since the biggest frustration is eliminated… I’m not miffed in the least. Plus, things end perfectly snazzy, which wipes away any minor feelings of disappointment.

Drew & Company returned for this third adventure – a fitting conclusion for Deering’s popular series, in yet another atmospheric 1930’s Agatha Christie styled whodunit with plenty of puzzle pieces, cracking dialogue and lighthearted moments that will leave you with a happy grin. Or it did me.

Synopsis: Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She’s married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she’ll soon disappear–until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe’s production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police’s number one suspect.
Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiance, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can’t leave Fleur in the lurch–even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It’s Drew’s most complicated case yet. – Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher, Bethany House for providing a complimentary copy of this novel for the purpose of honestly reviewing it.

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