Monday, March 21, 2016

Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering - REVIEWED

About the Book:
A Regency-Era Costume Party Should Have Been an Amusing Diversion, but it Seems Wherever Drew Farthering Goes, Mystery--and Murder--Are on the Guest List

Drew and Madeline Farthering arrive at a Regency-era house party at Winteroak House, excited to be reunited with old friends, including Drew's former Oxford classmate Talbot Cummins. Tal is there with his fiancée, Alice Henley, and though many present seem worried about the couple, nobody is prepared when Alice dies from an apparent overdose. Tal refuses to believe she'd taken the drugs intentionally, and a dark question arises of whether the death is an accident or murder.

The police have their own information though, and Drew is shocked when they arrest someone he's trusted and admired since his childhood--someone who's been smuggling drugs into the country for years. Stunned by what has happened, Tal begs Drew to get to the bottom of everything, but Drew has never felt more unsettled. Questioning his own ability to see people as they really are, Drew doesn't know whom to trust, and he's not ready for the secrets he's about to uncover--or the danger he'll bring down on everyone he holds dear.
My Thoughts:
"It was a sad and broken world, God help them all, and there was little Drew could do about it." (p.305)
Julianna Deering knows how to explore the human condition within the context of story in high fashion! I’d have never dreamed up a Regency weekend dress-up/mystery party among the elite as a setting for a truly dark and somewhat sad turn of events based upon greed and power.  But she did this and more! 

Deering creates a host of endearing characters whose hearts are transparent (for the most part) and their friendships deep and constant.  This group gathers for a unique type of party, and as they come away from the “real” world, it seems the reality of greed and murder find them despite their best efforts to get away.  There are newly-weds, and in-love-want-to be-married couples, as well as siblings thrown into the mix for good measure. Drew and Madeline Farthering are the central characters, and despite Drew’s reputation as one who can find the truth at the bottom of mysterious events, even he fails to see the truth right in front of him – too late for some, and almost too late for those dearest to him!

I think what I loved most about this story is the genuine relationships that become apparent among the characters in the novel.  I dare say there are readers who will come to the pages of this novel that would love to find such genuine and loyal friendships!  It is true that they are forced to deal with greed and murder in an up close and personal way, but they survive and thrive because they have each other to depend upon!
This is an enchanting tale that will captivate readers from beginning to end!  I am happy to recommend this to anyone who enjoys a true cozy mystery!

About the Author:
Julianna Deering has always loved British history and literature and is particularly a fan of the classic mysteries written by Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and now works for an attorney specializing in wills and estate planning. She lives outside Dallas, Texas, where she loves to quilt, cross-stitch, and watch hockey. Learn more at

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