Review: Death by the Book2:38 PM
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Bethany House
I did not go into this book expecting to like it. Let me explain...Usually, Christian fiction is churned out one after the other. Very similar plots, very similar characters, and very similar romances. But I loved this book because it wasn't like any other Christian fiction I've ever read! I liked it so much that I'm actually considering buying the first book since this is the second book in a series.
Death by the Book is a historical mystery. That said, it totally rocked the mystery. I didn't guess the villain/murderer. Not even close. I had my doubts about every single person except the right one. The author did an amazing job of pulling my suspicion one way and then pulling it another way. I also felt like the author was being too obvious about the suspects, but it turns out she was weaving a complicated web of "suspects" on purpose that I was oblivious too. The clues weren't obvious or stupid. I was kept guessing the entire book. And the ending. Agh. The ending.
Drew Farthering is the main character and throughout the book he's trying to solve murders. I wasn't too crazy about him for a small part of the book's first half. I thought that the way he reacted to the murder was callous and cold. And it was. He was thinking about getting a new mystery novel right after seeing a dead body.
So I was sort of thinking...
But as I read more, I found out that in the previous book (which I didn't read) *spoilers* His dad and mom had been murdered so he had a reason to shut out the murders and not get involved. After that, I liked the story more and more as I read on. Drew is drily sarcastic and confident. He was also very good at persuasive conversation which helped him in his investigations ;) His friend Nick made me snicker so many times. Nick added humor and animation to Drew's sophisticated suave. Some other people like Drew's fiance and her aunt were also nice additions to the cast. That said, I didn't extremely love the characters so much that I wanted to stuff chocolate in their faces and hug them for eternity. They were nice characters, even interesting or funny. But I didn't have an instant connection with them.
The setting is fairly interesting too. It's set in the 1930s which is a decade or so before my grandmother was born so I have perspective. ;) One of the interesting things I liked (unique to the era) was learning more about etiquette as related to women. How women were supposed to be treated, how a bachelor had to have a hostess for parties (Yeah. I didn't know that either.). I don't know why it was necessary but it was interesting. :)
I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries, historical fiction, the 1930s, and irritable aunts.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.