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Customer Reviews for Bethany House Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3

Bethany House Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3

Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect.

Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiance, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet.

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Customer Reviews for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Review 1 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Gilbert and Sullivan Strike Again

Date:July 21, 2014
Customer Avatar
Floyd Johnson
Location:Upstate NY
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murder goes part and parcel with the theater, but one does not usually expect it to be the actors actresses to be the ones dying. However, that is what Andrew Farthering, Madeline Parker, and Nick Dennison find when Brent and Fleur Landis individually approach them for help in discovering the person responsible for killing members of the local theater troupe. With a bit more support of the local constabulary than in the past, the three friends (at least for now) tackle the difficult problem at hand.
The challenge is made more difficult by relationships long past, but not easily forgotten. Yet part of solution comes in the development of trust and forgiveness – trust and forgiveness will also, as the reader discovers, serve as the foundation of the upcoming wedding.
As in the two previous books, the mid-20th century setting of the story is believable and enjoyable. The lack of modern technology and the growing number of murders makes for a gripping plot that held this reader's attention to the end. Weaving in threads and lines from various Gilbert and Sullivan musicals makes the reading fun as well. Add to that the various bit parts of Ruth, Madeline's aunt, Chief Inspector Birdsong, and one or two others introduced or re-introduced in the current volume, and we have a fun trip through a mystery of rural mid-20th century England.
One can only hope that Julianna Deering, pen name for DeAnna Julie Dodson, will bringing us more from the life of these three amateur sleuths and their friends even a they begin the next stage of their lives.
One final note – this reader loved the image that the author gives for marriage in the final two or three chapters. Marriage is never easy, but given the hard work involved, it is worth it. I would not be surprised to find the picture painted in these chapters in a future sermon.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 2 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great 1930s English mystery

Date:July 21, 2014
Customer Avatar
bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you grew up on Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers you'll like this series. If you like historical English mysteries you'll like this one.
In this third novel of the series, Drew and Madeline are preparing for their wedding mere weeks away when a flame from Drew's past rears her beautiful head. Drew had been captured by Fleur's beauty during his Oxford days. Now she asks for his help in a murder, one she fears she'll be accused of doing. Drew loves a mystery but his potential sleuthing is a problem for Madeline. Seeing Fleur's beauty and sensing her deceptive feminine ways, Madeline becomes insecure and demands Drew make a choice – the mystery or the marriage.
This is a great period mystery. I love the way the 1930s England comes alive through Deering's writing. The dialog and action are well crafted. The mystery is well done. We are introduced to the world of a theater group in that era. There is much deception afoot and only Drew and Madeline, combining their efforts, have a chance of uncovering the murderer.
The best part of this novel for me was the interaction between Madeline and Drew. Drew is such a nice English gentlemen and when Madeline becomes jealous of his old and forgotten flame, it really throws him for a loop. He is torn. He loves Madeline so much but solving the murder is so tempting, especially when it seems he will be able to learn something of his unknown birth mother.
Great characters, great mystery, great dialog, great setting – it all makes for a great novel in a favorite series of mine.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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Review 3 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Are Wedding Bells Ringing?

Date:July 19, 2014
Customer Avatar
tickmenot
Location:Kansas City
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Once again, the author brings us back to the classic English Mystery of the 1930′s, writing in a style similar to Agatha Christie. Drew Farthing is a rich young man, and the owner of a sprawling estate in the English countryside. In the past, he has enjoyed mystery solving as an interesting past-time. However, Drew has come to the conclusion that uncovering the truth is a special gift he has been given–and plans to devote himself to that occupation. While sleuthing, Drew gets help from his American fiancée Madeline, and long-time friend, Nick.
This time, the mystery revolves around characters in a theater troupe. Before the story ends, three mysterious deaths take place, plus one very close call. After the first death, that of the owner of a theater and lead actor, Fleur Landis is accused. The former actress, and very beautiful Fleur, has a connection to Drew. It turns out that she and Drew had a rather torrid, although brief, love affair six years earlier.
Drew confesses all to his fiancée, saying his relationship with Fleur was over and done with six years earlier. Unfortunately, Madeline is being eaten alive with jealousy about it. She doesn’t want Drew to help with the case, or finish it, once he starts. However, Drew feels obliged to look into it, not for the sake of Fleur, but for that of her little boy and husband–who incidentally works for Drew.
Although solving the mystery is the main point in the book, updates of Madeline and Drew’s relationship, and wedding plans, are woven throughout. The character of Madeline was frustrating in this story. A side of her is shown that is never pretty in anyone: jealousy and insecurity, along with the sometimes irrational decisions based on those feelings. Ultimately, everything comes to a satisfactory end.
Murder at the Mikado is the third installment in this series. There are references to some things in earlier books, but this book could be read as a stand-alone story. I always love a good mystery, especially one that is not easy to figure out. Happily, this tale does not disappoint, and Ms. Deering keeps the reader guessing right up to the end. Hopefully there will be more books from this series in the future. The characters are likeable, and the setting is fun. I recommend this 5-star book, as well as, the entire series to anyone who likes fascinating mysteries that are clean, and written from a Christian point-of-view.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
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Review 4 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What a delightful romp through clues and mysteries

Date:July 14, 2014
Customer Avatar
jeris real reviews
Location:Delaware, OH
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murder at the Mikado is the third Drew Farthering mystery and is set in England around the main character's estate in the country, sometime in the 1930-40's. It has the feel of a classic black and white murder mystery movie and I felt like I was watching it unfold on the screen as I was reading. It was great fun! Drew Farthering is drawn into the investigation of a murder when a former girlfriend is suspected and subsequently arrested for the crime. She fetchingly coaxes him to investigate the crime to hopefully clear her name. But, there is more here than meets the eye. Is he still attracted to her? That would make him easy prey for her to make use of his detective skills to her benefit. Further complicating things, Drew is engaged to be married to Madeline, the girl of his dreams, who also shares his amateur sleuthing adventures. His best friend gets into the act also, as he jumps in to help solve this multi-layered puzzle. Will Drew's devotion to the case risk his fiance's eagerness to tie the knot and threaten his upcoming wedding? Does he risk losing her to solve the crime? With each character having various side plots weaving into this story to complete the picture, I could not help but keep reading until I reached the last page. This is my first Julianna Deering novel, but it will not be my last. It is so well written that it flows easily through each seeming catastrophe and it kept me reading in the hopes that all would turn out o.k. for Drew and Madeline. Each time I thought I knew who the guilty party was, some new wrinkle showed up and I was back at square one! Ms. Deering writes this very well and that makes it easy to read and hard to put down. It was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in quite a while. I give Murder at the Mikado five stars!
I received a complementary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. These words are my opinion.
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Review 5 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another Riveting Novel from Julianne Deering!

Date:July 8, 2014
Customer Avatar
JesusFreak2007
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murder at the Mikado is the third book in the Drew Farthering Mystery Series written by Julianna Deering. I have read the second book in the series - Death by the Book - and let me tell you, even though that one was good, this one is ten times better! I usually set end-dates for myself when reading a book that I'm going to review, but this one was finished in four days! It was that good!
The case itself was riveting! An actor is found dead inside his dressing room at the Tivoli - all fingers point to Fleur Landis, Drew's old flame. Fleur comes to Drew for help, but Drew is planning his wedding and doesn't really want to focus on anything but that, and his fiancee Madeline-but he just can't let this mystery go unsolved and leave the poor girl in a fix. When a sort-of-script-girl is found strangled and stuffed into a wardrobe holding tightly to a tassel off of a cloak just like Fleur's, Fleur is then arrested. How could Lew Zuraw call Drew and tell him to come down to the theater immediately so he could disclose some important information, but then be found dead, strangled, with a tassle under his body, when Drew arrives? How could this be if the suspected murderess is in jail? Who is doing away with these people at the Tivoli? I have to tell you to read this enthralling, page-turner book for yourself to find out! It will leave you wanting to turn every page, read every word, so you can just know who-done-it! I'm giving this book 5-out-of-5 stars, simply because it's that good! Love mysteries? Then you might not want to pass up Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to give an honest review on it. I was not asked to write a positive review.
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Review 6 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Murder at the Mikado was Full of Suspense

Date:July 7, 2014
Customer Avatar
Robin Wallace
Location:Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Murder at the Mikado
Julianna Deering
Book Summary: British High Style Meets Old-Fashioned Detective Work in This Witty Series. Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect. Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiancé, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet.
Review: I really liked the third book in the Drew Farthing series. I found Madeline more human and less standoffish. She was exactly what a heroine should be. The mystery was great and realistic. I found Drew to be the main constant who was fun to read and a strong character along with Nick. The secondary characters were realistic and brought out the solid storyline that I heard Ms. Deering wrote. I enjoyed the mystery and went back and forth in my mind as to who did it and concluded who I thought it was, although many things were thrown into the pot to keep me questioning my conclusions. This made the ending quite suspenseful. I found Fleur to be well written with her wishy-washy ways toward men and other! I am hopeful for a book four to tie up some loose ends!
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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Review 7 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Much more than a whodunit

Date:June 30, 2014
Customer Avatar
Jael Kenney
Location:Lachute,QC
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Another masterfully woven Drew Farthering Mystery. As his wedding day is fast approaching, Drew has no time for mysteries and murders…especially if they involved a former flame. But circumstances and promises tie him to resolving the issues that keep cropping up much to his fiancee displeasure.
Much more than a whodunit, this book touches on events of the past and how a child of God should respond to past hurts and present concerns. These issues spring naturally from the book, making the characters that much more knowable, vulnerable and lovable.
The mystery itself was (thankfully) less chilling than the previous book, and the foreshadowing of whodunit was clearer. But the author was good a weaving in just enough doubt to keep her readers guessing until the end just who the real murderer is. In a world full of actors and intrigue, how will Drew and his familiar friends crack the case?
Thank you to NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com/) and Bethany House for providing me with this book to read and review.
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Review 8 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A good read. A surprising finish.

Date:June 25, 2014
Customer Avatar
dlhs8954
Location:Pennsylvania
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is the third book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. I reviewed Death by the Book about six or so months ago, and I read the first book, Rules of Murder after I read Death by the Book.
What do you love in a mystery? Clues, multiple suspects, style, multiple murders, red herrings, and few obvious clues that help you solve the mystery. A classic whodunit. Ah, but this is more than that.
The subplot is the romance between Drew and his newly engaged fiancée, Madeline, who, in truth, have only known each other six months. They met in the first book, Rules of Murder, fell in love at first sight, and the rest is supposed to be history. But will it be?
A former flame of Drew’s shows up unexpectedly and pleads with him to clear her of a murder charge. Madeline is totally against Drew’s participation, even as she helps him decipher clues and move closer to a solution.
It seems that Fleur Landis is a beauty, and a master seductress. Madeline says she believes that Drew isn’t attracted to her anymore, but her heart has a hard time overcoming her own fear of losing Drew, as she lost another some years previous.
To the main plot – Drew stays on the case and little-by-little uncovers motives, suspects, more bodies, and finally figures out what happened. There’s a great scene in the vein of the classic gathering of suspects where the truth comes out. As a result, a shocking surprise occurs that has life-changing implications for a number of the characters.
I won’t summarize the murder plot for you. The romance was more fun, and got quite heated, but not in the way you might suspect.
What I will do is tell you who I liked, and who I didn’t like, as characters. I didn’t like Fleur, and I didn’t blame Madeline for not trusting her. In Fleur’s defense, however, she had apparently settled down from her femme fatale ways, having gotten married to one of Drew’s accountants at the factory, and had a child.
That’s who I liked – Peter Landis, Fleur’s little four-year boy. He was adorable. I liked him and his father very much. Peter just loved Drew’s cat, Mr. Chambers, and the cat liked him, too.
Of the three novels, I liked the second one, Death by the Book best, but that’s only because I like the main characters to be in danger, and Drew certainly was. Although I guess you could say that there was danger of a different sort for him and Madeline in this book. Did they get married, or did they break up? They certainly had one whale of an argument that hurt both of them.
I rate this four stars. I’m notorious for only giving five-star ratings to books that blow me away. This one didn’t blow me away, but I liked it. And if I say I liked it, I really do.
I liked it. I wanted to read it. It is quite satisfactory. Oh dear, am I beginning to sound a bit British?
I received an ebook version complimentary from Bethany House and Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Review 9 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Merriment and Murder with Gilbert and Sullivan

Date:June 24, 2014
Customer Avatar
An Old Fashioned Girl
Location:Minnesota
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In the third Drew Farthering Mystery, Julianna Deering sends her hero to the theatre Tivoli, where an old flame is being accused of murder. Though neither Drew nor his fiancee Madeline is thrilled with the prospect of working with the actress who broke Drew's 18-year-old heart, Drew sees it as his duty to forgive and take the case, and thus they immerse themselves in the theatrical world of Gilbert and Sullivan.
By half-way through the novel I hit on a brilliant idea and pegged the murderer. Except, then the characters picked up on those clues that I was so proud to catch first, and my suspect became a genuine suspect a little too early on, and what with one thing or another, I fell for a red herring. So I can assert that the mystery is well written, as I did not guess the proper murderer this time.
I thoroughly enjoy Deering's cheeky wit - the novel is full of references to Gilbert and Sullivan (The Mikado itself being the title of an opera by the pair). Conversations are brimming with punny plays on song titles (and I'm sure a number of them went over my head), one of the more obvious being Drew's promise to Inspector Birdsong, "I'll be the very model of a modern sleuthing amateur" ("I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" of Pirates of Penzance fame). Nick, Drew's best friend, is overloaded with wit and comedic timing as per usual.
I really appreciate that though these are largely humorous books, there is a serious side to them. Murder is not a lark, and they do treat it seriously. Drew and Madeline have a discussion of Drew's past early on in the story (which, if they had participated in today's premarital counseling, would have come up by now), and it takes a while to work through it, especially when combined with Madeline's insecurities.
My favorite Drew Farthering Mystery is still probably Death by the Book, but this one firmly settles Drew and Madeline's relationship, really digging into their pasts and challenging whether their whirlwind romance will stand the test of time. A thoroughly enjoyable read in the style of the classic mystery masters - 4.5 stars!
Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free e-copy of the novel for a review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
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Review 10 for Murder at the Mikado, Drew Farthering Mystery Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Gilbert and Sullivan Strike Again

Date:July 21, 2014
Customer Avatar
Floyd Johnson
Location:Upstate NY
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murder goes part and parcel with the theater, but one does not usually expect it to be the actors actresses to be the ones dying. However, that is what Andrew Farthering, Madeline Parker, and Nick Dennison find when Brent and Fleur Landis individually approach them for help in discovering the person responsible for killing members of the local theater troupe. With a bit more support of the local constabulary than in the past, the three friends (at least for now) tackle the difficult problem at hand.
The challenge is made more difficult by relationships long past, but not easily forgotten. Yet part of solution comes in the development of trust and forgiveness – trust and forgiveness will also, as the reader discovers, serve as the foundation of the upcoming wedding.
As in the two previous books, the mid-20th century setting of the story is believable and enjoyable. The lack of modern technology and the growing number of murders makes for a gripping plot that held this reader's attention to the end. Weaving in threads and lines from various Gilbert and Sullivan musicals makes the reading fun as well. Add to that the various bit parts of Ruth, Madeline's aunt, Chief Inspector Birdsong, and one or two others introduced or re-introduced in the current volume, and we have a fun trip through a mystery of rural mid-20th century England.
One can only hope that Julianna Deering, pen name for DeAnna Julie Dodson, will bringing us more from the life of these three amateur sleuths and their friends even a they begin the next stage of their lives.
One final note – this reader loved the image that the author gives for marriage in the final two or three chapters. Marriage is never easy, but given the hard work involved, it is worth it. I would not be surprised to find the picture painted in these chapters in a future sermon.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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