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Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

About the Book:
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery, book 3
Genre: Fiction; Mystery, Series
Rating: 5 out of 5
Trouble always seems to find the dashing hero of this series and lest you think otherwise (there wouldn’t be a story if he wasn’t followed by mayhem) there is more in store for Drew Farthering. Again. Drew has finally gotten the answer he wanted from American beauty, Madeline Parker and he isn’t about to let anything stand in the way of their busy wedding preparations and more importantly those “I dos,” which is why he’s dismayed when his former flame sashays back into his life with suspicion hanging over her head – one that involves murder, a death that creates headlines. A popular actor was found murdered in his dressing room and despite Fluer now being married with a small child, no one believes her reformed from the girl she was. It’s going to take Drew, Nick and Madeline to solve this case… and get to the church on time.

Drew is back for his third and presumably last jaunt in this delightful Bethany House series. As usual, this novel is absolutely sensational and if ever there was truth to the adage of saving the “best for last,” it applies to this book. I’m not sure the “what” of why I was so swept up, but good golly, I was. Perhaps it was the sense of “completion” and finally having Madeline decide what it is she wants (or very nearly – ugh, silly girl) or maybe it was the familiar charm of Rules of Murder (book one) returning to a familiarity of the trio being back to their investigating, whatever this third novel is definitely a charmer. Before getting too far into this review, one thing to address is the arrival of a rival in the romance department. Anyone concerned with the possible “love triangle” needn’t worry, there is nothing worth mentioning with this minor subplot especially since (did you think otherwise?), Drew is completely besotted with Madeline and as such, the character development grew all the stronger in this final book – even with its setbacks.

As an aside to the mystery (which is really the primary in this entire series), one of the elements to most admire is the story’s sense of honesty. I adored how truthful and honest its leading characters were with one another. Too many times characters fall into the predictable, silly mold of hiding things from each other, which then later becomes a convenient catalyst for breaking the pair apart in a dash to create last minute conflict. Here, Deering took a more clever approach by eliminating dishonesty from the equation and I cannot stress what a refreshing entity this was. Sure there are still stressors that pop up and much as I adored her, I wanted to shake some sense into Madeline on more than one occasions, but since the biggest frustration is eliminated… I’m not miffed in the least. Plus, things end perfectly snazzy, which wipes away any minor feelings of disappointment.

Drew & Company returned for this third adventure – a fitting conclusion for Deering’s popular series, in yet another atmospheric 1930’s Agatha Christie styled whodunit with plenty of puzzle pieces, cracking dialogue and lighthearted moments that will leave you with a happy grin. Or it did me.

Synopsis: 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. - Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the publisher, Bethany House for providing a complimentary copy of this novel for the purpose of honestly reviewing it.
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  1. You and I are on the exact same page with this novel! I loved it the most and I also wanted to shake Madeline too :) But it was soooo lovely! I do hope for more!

    1. So glad you liked it. Poor Madeline, she WAS in a quandary there for a while, wasn't she?

      But, as you can see below, this is not quite the end.

      Thanks so much for reading. :)

      Julianna Deering (DeAnna Dodson)

    2. Hooray for similar thoughts, Jamie! I'm glad I wasn't the only one - although to be honest, I still like Madeline - and her decision in the end made me forgive her. ;)

      Sounds like we'll be getting more... how happy are we!?

      Deanna, I just have to say, despite a brief annoyance with Madeline, she made the right decision. :D

    3. Well, I can't blame her for having a "too good to be true" fit. I mean, come on. If Drew was madly in love with me, I'd be waiting for the other shoe to drop, too. ;)

    4. LOL, well... maybe with me, the accent would erase common sense. Or it wouldn't hurt anything. ;)

      So glad you are visiting here, DeAnna! Always happy to chat with authors.

  2. Awww, thank you, Rissi! I'm so glad you liked that book.

    And, though I can't QUITE make it official news since I haven't yet signed on the dotted line, but a little birdie tells me there will be more of Drew's adventures coming up. Stay tuned!

    Julianna Deering (DeAnna Dodson)

    1. Thank YOU for writing these stories, Deanna. I've enjoyed these characters and series so very much. They're just lovely.

      Ahhh! I'm beyond excited to read this news... even if it isn't official yet. Cannot wait. :)

      Thank you for visiting.

  3. Great review as always. ;D Glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did, Rissi!

    Is it true then? Is this the last Drew & Crew mystery? I hope not. :(

    1. Hi, Rosie!

      Not to worry! The Drew Crew is alive and well. Can't make an official announcement quite yet, but when all the dotted lines have been signed on, I'll let everyone know.

      Stay tuned! :D

      Julianna Deering (DeAnna Dodson)

    2. Rosie, thanks, me too! I was so swept away by this story and its series... just... so good. :)

      ...well thanks to the lovely Julianna, I'd say there's an excellent chance this WON'T be our last adventure with Drew & Company. *cue party music* ;)

      Glad, as always to have you visit, girl.

      Deanna, when you do get to officially announce future plans, we'll be crazy happy. :)

  4. Fantastic review, Rissi. I'm so glad you loved the book! Like you, I loved this novel the most. Drew was just charming as always, and the mystery had so many twists and turns.

    And I'm SO glad to hear that this may not be the last book in the series!! I thought it was, and I was awfully sad when I finished reading. It's always bittersweet to read the last book in a series.

    1. Well said, coming to the end of a favorite series is full of bittersweet thoughts, Jillian. Fortunately, it sounds like we'll get more from this gang and oh, my! How exciting is this?? Julianna certainly left us some fantastic teases.

      Thanks for reading - glad this book is getting rave reviews. It deserves it. :)

  5. Glad there isn't a love triangle :) Now I wonder why you wanted to shake some sense into Madeline...ah, I will have to read it to find out :) Hope there will be more of Drew to come, can't wait for an announcement!

    1. Me, too, Lis. It could have been given the set up but since Drew has ZERO interest in his old flame... it's all happiness and smiles. Ah, yes! Madeline... I was somewhat annoyed with her, but in the end, everything works out. :)

      I agree! And if Julianna's comments are any indication, we've got more adventure to come. :)

  6. Great review! Your post has reminded me that I added this series on my wishlist pile, hehehe :)

    By the way, love the new layout here on your blog! It's gorgeous :D

    1. Hi, Lianne! Always great to see you over here - reminds me it's been too long since I've visited your awesome blog! :) Hope you enjoy these by Julianna - they're such fun.

      ...and thanks! As always, I'm probably not done tweaking the template here and there, but it's operating and for now, that's what counts. :)

  7. So glad you loved this one! I have both the second book and this one to read and I'm really looking forward to it. I need to remember to add it to my series challenge for September. I'll go do that now before I forget...

    1. Good idea - that way, hopefully you'll get the rest of this series reading for that reading challenge. It's certainly worth finishing, Tressa. Happy reading! :)


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