My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I admit it, I’m the type who flips to the author info before reading and this time it made me wince a bit when a big deal was made of her Faith. Please, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Christianity or any kind of faith for that matter. I read mysteries with monks, priests, nuns, rabbis etc. as the protagonist. I don’t, however, like getting clubbed over the head by religion and that’s usually what I get when I see side notes like that. Luckily, that isn’t the case. There are only three places that God is discussed and while it’s laid on a bit thick, it’s not bad.
I do love historical mysteries and this is set in the 30s. Drew Farthering, a young man has come back home with his friend, Nick, the son of his stepfather’s butler and who’s been raised with Drew. To his horror, his mother, Constance has put Lincoln in his room. Drew hates him. Not only is the man a cad and takes advantage of women, Lincoln is supposedly having an affair with Drew’s mother. Mason Parker, his step father assures him this isn’t the case but the rumor stands on its own.
The next day, Madeline, Mason’s niece, arrives with some friends from America and after a brief run in with Lincoln, she and Drew fall into insta-love. Sigh. Yes, I know it really can exist but it makes for dull reading when zero effort it put forth into bringing the characters together and the character development is sacrificed in favor of putting forth the romance. While Drew and Madeline are canoodling for what’s basically one of their first meetings during the fireworks at Constance’s party, Lincoln is killed. No surprise there. He’s such an ass in the first few pages you expect him to die. The second death was a surprise though.
The one thing Madeline, Drew and Nick have in common is a love of mystery books and Nick has Reverend Knox’s rules for a murder mystery memorized. (These are real and the whole book is sort of an homage to them by bending/breaking them all). With Madeline’s uncle in the picture for the murders, Drew is determined to help prove who killed Lincoln.
The story has tendrils everywhere, England where Mason and Drew’s company is, Canada (where part of their company is as well), with other members of the board etc. I did pull them all together and came up with the murderer and I did like the mystery. (I know this review has been more on the negatives). It was a fun read but I really did wish for more character development. Madeline is at least a fairly strong woman and I liked that. I would have liked more of Nick.
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