Dressed for Death
by Julianna Deering
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Released: March 1, 2016
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description from Goodreads:
Drew and Madeline Farthering celebrate their six-month anniversary by attending a fancy Regency era costume party. Drew is glad to see Talbot Cummins, an Oxford classmate, and his fiancée, Alice Henley, though Alice seems upset about something. At the concluding grand ball, Alice suddenly dies of an overdose of cocaine. Tal refuses to believe she took the stuff intentionally.
Drew is shocked when the police arrest Tal's father and charge him with smuggling drugs into the country for the past twenty years. Reeling from the death of his fiancée and the revelation about his father, Tal begs Drew to find out what's going on. Drew, now questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, does so reluctantly and brings danger to everyone he holds dear.
Dressed for Death is a historical mystery set in 1933 in England. It's the fourth book in a series. You don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and this novel didn't spoil the previous books. The first third of the book was spent at a Regency era costume party, and the characters quoted Jane Austen throughout the story.
The characters were engaging, had depth, and reacted realistically to events. Most mysteries kill off the unlikable or unknown characters, but it's the young, innocent people who die in this story. It's a sorrow-filled story. Due to their grief, the main characters weren't clear-headed about solving the mystery.
It was a clue-based puzzle. By two-thirds of the way in, I had a good idea of how the smuggling was done and had my whodunit suspects narrowed down to two people. In contrast, Drew and friends were still getting nowhere. They'd stumble upon clues yet wouldn't follow up on odd happenings. This worked okay because of how it was written, but it meant that most of their tracking down the answers happened in the last third of the book.
The characters were Christian, and this was shown in how they treated people. Drew debated whether God really had called him to solve crimes or if that was his own ego talking. There were no sex scenes. There was no bad language. I'd recommend this interesting mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.