Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Death at Thorburn Hall - Julianna Deering

What was meant to be a pleasant holiday in the Scotland, enjoying the British Open of 1935, suddenly turns into something quite murderous.

Drew Fathering accepts the invitation to stay at his cousins house - Lord and Lady Rainsby and takes with him his wife Madeline and friend Nick Dennison, and their friend Carrie Holland joins them. Also arriving are dear friends of Lady Louisa - Mr. and Mrs. Pike, and in tow with them is one Count Kuznetsov.

When Lord Gerald takes Drew into his confidence one evening, the last thing the reluctant investigator expects is for his host to be killed in a riding accident soon after. It's only considered suspicious when the Rainsby's daughter, Joan, returns home and insists that her father was an excellent rider and would have checked the saddle before embarking on a ride.

With the help of his beloved wife, the duo embark on an investigation without support of the local police force. But Drew, ever affable, finds friends amongst the force who are willing to assist him and discuss the case.

As they delve deeper in to what may have happened, so the horrid truth that someone amongst them may be sharing secrets with Hitler's Germany. Is this case one of collaboration with the enemy or something more 'mundane' and that of money, status and possibly forbidden love?

Deering's novel and her main character, Drew (as well as era), are reminiscent of Campion or Marple. The amateur sleuth who understands the human psyche and therefore can solve the case a lot quicker than the police. The author's characters are well developed, interesting and likeable. The subplot of whether Nick and Carrie will cement their relationship with marriage, is a good distraction. Filled with red herrings, this mystery is a puzzler and whilst the perpetrator may become obvious towards the end, the why is the main selling point for this story. A highly recommended read for all fans of mysteries, British based stories and good writing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House as part of their blogging program. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique. 

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