Tag Archives: romance

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering


I have enjoyed reading mysteries since I was a child. I remember checking out all the Nancy Drew books during middle school, and then I discovered Agatha Christie’s classics during high school. Once I married, my in-laws introduced me to contemporary mystery writers, but I was still drawn to my mother-in-law’s leather-bound Agatha Christie collection. The murders in Christie’s books are ingenious and usually involve some element of deception. No matter how many of her stories I have read, I do not believe I have ever solved the crime before her main character. However, I had become accustomed to the faster pace, heightened suspense, and romantic element in the contemporary novels, so it was with great delight that I requested Rules of Murder from Bethany House to read and review, and I was not disappointed.

This first book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series is set in England in the 1930’s among a family of the upperclass with a few Americans involved as well. Drew Farthering is the charming main character, who enjoys reading mysteries and decides to try his own hand at detective work when a murder is discovered on his property. His friend Nick assists in solving the crimes but continually reminds Drew that this mystery is not following the “rules of murder” set forth by Father Knox in his ten commandments for mystery writers.

One of the interesting aspects of this book is the relatively young ages of the main characters. In most contemporary mystery novels, the main characters seem to be in their mid- to late thirties. In Christie’s novels, Miss Marple was in her seventies as I recall, and Hercule Poirot was at least middle aged. Most of the main characters in Rules of Murder are in their twenties, but Drew and Madeline seem rather mature. The introduction of Madeline Parker and her friends provides comedic and romantic elements, as well as a spiritual component. The religious aspect is not overdone, but we are reminded that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Rules of Murder contains an ingenious plot, and Julianna Deering breaks all the rules with her characters and their deceptions. I would highly recommend this book for any fan of the mystery genre.


Stealing the Preacher (book review)


This is a delightful story set in a small Texas community in the late 1800’s. A reformed outlaw surprises his daughter with a preacher for her birthday, which sets in motion an interesting chain of events that offers several surprises along the way. I enjoyed the touching way the author portrayed the relationship between a father and his daughter and the way she had the characters deal with the deaths of family members. The characters wrestle with doubt, uncertainty, insecurity, stubbornness, and pride, but we are reminded that God is more powerful than any of these.

This was the first time I had read anything by Karen Witemeyer, but I plan to check out some of her other books, especially Short-Straw Bride, which is the first book in this series. This book packed plenty of humor, romance, and suspense. I look forward to reading others by Witemeyer.

I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. This review is my personal opinion.