Drew 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.
My Review: 4/10
To be fair, I think Ms. Deering captured the breezy attitudes of the time very well. It is not her fault that they grate on me. If I had found Drew's manner charming as intended instead of cocky and shallow and slimy, the book probably would have gotten a higher rating. But unfortunately, if you can't stand the main character, it's probably not going to end well.
Despite trying to give him depth, the constant careless, insincere banter really turned me off.
I thought the romance was kind of ridiculous and unbelievable. Perhaps as a fling, nothing more. Their instant mutual attraction and declarations of love built on nothing was reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. This is not a compliment; while heralded as the greatest romance of all time, those who of us who recognize it for what it really was (a tragedy), place blame where it is due: on the immature, selfish and unstable lovers. But I digress.
The plot was built well enough, I suppose. Except the end when the villain completely broke character for the sake of explaining any and all loose ends (and there were quite a few). The reader is constantly told, in addition to or instead of being shown, and is never really left to make their own conclusions.