Rules of Murder Book CoverDrew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew’s stepfather’s company come to light and it’s clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this game.

I love mysteries – especially a good murder! I grew up on Nancy Drew and could not get enough of Miss Marple books and then the TV movies when Geraldine McEwan was the star. I find great pleasure in figuring out “who dun it” before an author reveals it, and have stopped reading some mysteries, flipping to the end to discover that the clues left by the author were much too simple and I had solved the mystery too early on to keep reading. What’s the point if it’s not complex and there is at least one cleverly disguised red herring thrown in to keep me on my toes?

I say all of that to say that I was almost ready to flip to the back of the book by the end of chapter three of Rules of Murder. It seemed that this was going to be another one of the mysteries that was too simple and the focus was more on characters than being clever. I was disappointed, but kept reading because I had requested the book for review. I am so glad I didn’t flip to the back of the book!

Rules of Murder is a smart, clever and delightfully enticing read. Just when I thought I was back on the right track, Deering would place another clue at just the right moment to throw my deductions into doubt. I was frustrated and thrilled – finally I had found a murder that kept me on my toes! The characters were delightful, the setting provided a wonderful escape and the pace was such that I was up until two in the morning because I couldn’t put it down.

There is a quote on the front cover: “An enthralling mystery that will satisfy the most ardent Agatha Christie fan.” At the end of chapter three I was scoffing. At the end of the book I was saying AMEN! Rules of Murder is a must read for any murder mystery fan –  especially those who fancy themselves armchair detectives.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.