Dressed for Death
Review: Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline agree to celebrate their six-month anniversary attending a lavish, week-long Regency-era party given at the estate home of Talbot "Tal" Cummins, an Oxford classmate of Drew. But it's hardly much of a party when death makes a presence, in Dressed for Death, the fourth mystery in this series by Julianna Deering.
All guests were required to wear costumes of the period, 1811-1820, a time during which George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Regent for his father, King George III. One of the high points of the event was to introduce Alice Henley, Tal's fiancée. Mrs. Cummins, Tal's mother, had made plans for the whole week, including Regency-style dancing lessons for everyone each morning. Dinner and games from the 1800s were scheduled for most evenings. On Tuesday evening there would be charades and pantomime. On Wednesday she planned for a yacht cruise on the river. Thursday was set aside for riding and a picnic, and on Friday a group of actors had been invited to come perform. Saturday they would end the gala festivities with a grand ball. Only, the grand ball did not turn out to be so grand. Alice Henley collapsed while dancing and died from what appeared to be an overdose of cocaine. The police came and before they left the estate Tal's father was arrested for smuggling drugs into the country for the past twenty years. His mind numb from the death of Alice — Tal was sure she had never used cocaine before — and the arrest of his father, Tal pleaded with Drew to find out what was going on. But Drew seemed unable to grasp the clues when he came upon them. Drew's perception was off and he began to question his ability to do as Tal asked. He began to wonder, too, if being a detective was actually his calling or was it his egotism that led him down this path.
Dressed for Death is a most interesting mystery. The period details are spot on, and the cast of characters, and it is a large cast indeed, is well-drawn, the principals particularly so. Readers who look forward to clean reads, those with no gruesome scenes and no coarse language, will appreciate the care in which the plot is developed and unfolds absent these. A very solid entry in this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Dressed for Death.
Acknowledgment: Bethany House provided a copy of Dressed for Death for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Dressed for Death: England
— ♦ —
Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering — A Drew Farthering Mystery
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2016
List Price: $14.99
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites