Rules of Murder – Julianna Deering

And another 99p Amazon deal…and another holiday read! I really need to be more selective about what I buy. There are brainless books that are a good read and others that are just brainless.

This one is the first, hopefully the last, Drew Farthering mystery. It is set between the two world wars with Drew Farthering being the inheritor of a large country house, currently occupied by his mother and step-father.

The main characters are Drew, his friend Nick, who happens to be the son of the butler, Mason Parker the step-father, and Mason’s niece.

Drew has been avoiding his home because his mother lives there and he doesn’t like her house parties or the man she is reputed to be having an affair with. He arrives home for a visit with Nick to find the house full and his mother’s reputed lover asleep in his bedroom.

The lover, Lincoln is later found dead, followed a little later by Drew’s mother seeming to commit suicide.

Drew, Nick and Mason’s nice start investigating, uncovering a web of lies and deceit within the family company. They eventually uncover the murderer…a lot later than I did whilst reading the book.

I found this book quite annoying. There were far too many Americanisms that stuck out like a sore thumb. I have no problem with people setting stories in other countries but I do feel they should do some proper research into that culture and into the era they are setting the story in so the context sits comfortably with people from that culture.

My other gripe is that it was just too easy to spot who the murderer was. In a good detective series I feel it should be difficult to spot whodunit until the last chapter or couple of chapters, at least in the first four or five books. Eventually, you get used to an author’s style and pick up clues much earlier. But in a first book? Really?

In short, don’t bother reading this book.

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