Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: Murder at the Mikado

So dear reader, Julianna Deering is back again with another installment in the "Drew Farthering Mysteries"! reviewed it last summer. Finally getting to sit down and read this book was something of a monumental effort but once I was settled and dug into the book it fairly rolled along and I quite enjoyed it over the course of an afternoon!

This book "Murder at the Mikado" is the third volume in this series and quite lives up to all the hype I gave the first book when I reviewed it last summer. Finally getting to sit down and read this book was something of a monumental effort but once I was settled and dug into the book it fairly rolled along and I quite enjoyed it over the course of an afternoon! 

Drew and Madeline are now engaged and are fast approaching their wedding date when in whirls a past flame of Drew's. Actress Fleur Landis may be married with a child now but that's no damper to her personal dramatics as she is accused of murdering the lead actor- and her former lover- from her old troupe! When Fleur and her husband Landis, Drew's new business manager comes begging for help Drew- who never wished to see Fleur again- relents and takes on the case.
The case progresses though not all is what it seems. Not all is okay at home either as Madeline begins to feel the pressures of their impending marriage set under the specter of charming bombshell Fleur. Soon enough the chase quickens and as more bodies start dropping the hunt for the killer is in full force! But what goes on behind the scenes and behind the public eye is the most important- for both the case and for Drew and Madeline!

So as I said at the beginning I really enjoyed this book! I grew up on mystery novels but as I got older that genre really dropped from my rotation, partially because I thought I'd grown too old for them and partially because I wasn't finding that genre written in Christian fiction. I am ever so glad that that is changing now with Deering's "Drew Fathering Mysteries"!
     In particular I appreciated that the book is well paced and written, and also that the mystery is well concealed until the end- I may have had my suspicions as to who the guilty party was but right up until the end Deering held all her cards tightly! Also, I really liked how this read as straight up clean cut mystery. The mentions of God or spiritual themes are hard to come by in this book but I didn't feel like that detracted from the character or story being told. It has been previously well established where Drew and Madeline are with God and I didn't think it needed to be re-addressed with club-like agility. (But that's just me!) If you are looking for something super-spiritually laced look elsewhere because this is nearly pure mystery/adventure! Additionally, I appreciated that some of the elements present in the first book, like social drinking, were dropped from this installment. While they may be period appropriate, and may be useful tools in characterizing the baddie, fiend, and rogue in a novel I don't find them appropriate for the hero of a Christian novel and I was glad to see them gone!

Something that I loved to see in this book was the full attention that Deering gave to working in references to Gilbert and Sullivan's works. The title of the book comes from Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" as this is one of the two plays that the theater troupe is preforming when the murder takes place. Personally, though I have not listened to all of their works I have a great fondness for The Pirates of Penzance and was charmed to find bits of it scattered throughout the book!

All in all I have no complaints about this lovely period mystery novel that Julianna Deering has produced and I am happy to recommend it to all of you!

Final rating: 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"I Am Designed"

So at the moment I seem to be on semi-hiatus from my lovely blog but I'm working on getting back to blogging like I used to- and in the mean time I seem to have it a milestone of 4000 views to my page! Thank you for reading and supporting me!

In leiu of a real thoughtful article here are some rambly thoughts of mine that I wrote out the other week... Perhaps they will encourage you today...?

I Am Designed

I am designed for prayer- not despair,
I am designed to give praise all my days- not be dragged down by my ingratitudes,
I am designed for freedom- not fear,
I am designed for contentment- not grief,
I am designed for a life of love- not a blanket of indifference,
I am designed for giving mercy and receiving grace- not for a like of slavery,
I am designed for sola deo gloria- not for self aggrandizement,
I am designed for my weaknesses being made perfect in him- not for self-implosion,
I am designed for my Savior- not my self.