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Death by the Book

(Drew Farthering Mystery #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  709 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession poin
Paperback, 317 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers (first published March 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  709 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Christian Fiction Addiction
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If I may dare say so, I loved "Death by the Book" even more than the first book in the series! Deering has written a smashingly good murder mystery, with witty and clever dialogue, and a plot that kept me guessing from beginning to end, I greatly enjoyed the continuation of the relationship between Drew Fathering and the lovely Madeline, making for many moments of hilarity and providing for a touching ending. The addition of Aunt Ruth to the mix had me laughing out loud as she blustered her way ...more
Really 4.5 stars, but I rounded up.
Excellent. Simply excellent. This book was an improvement over the last one, and that's saying something, because the last book was solid. A solid mystery, excellent characters, and a beautiful setting all fit together to make a wonderful book. I absolutely love Drew, Madeline, and Nick, all are extremely well-thought out characters who have intricate backgrounds. The mystery in this book was complex and weaving. I absolutely did not guess who the killer was un
Drew Farthering Mystery Series - no qualms about it - absolutely fabulous!!! This second installment was even better than Rules of Murder. And that's saying something, because I was gobsmacked by it

Cleanly written, witty, humorously cheeky in the best of ways, captivating characters, intriguing setting and era, cleverly plotted mystery.... I could rave on and on with accolades. It's so refreshingly awesome to read a good old fashioned whodunit with contemporary appeal of high caliber qualit
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad this is part of a series. I will whole heartedly look forward to reading more of these cozy mysteries placed in an old fashioned time period with such charming characters. May I add, too, that I love the covers:)
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death by the Book by Julianna Deering
Year: 1932
Location: Farthering St. John/Hampshire, England
Main Characters:
Drew Farthering: Not a detective, but is apparently known for solving mysteries
Madeline Parker: American woman Drew wants to marry
Aunt Ruth: Madeline's aunt, came to take her back to America
Nick Dennison: The butler's son and Drew's best friend
Chief Inspector Birdsong: In charge of murder investigations Drew can't seem to avoid

This is my second Julianna Deering book, and I've loved both.

Synopsis and spoiler (This is greatly for my benefit so/>Chief/>Nick/>Aunt/>Madeline/>Drew/>Main/>:/>:
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Drew Farthering Mysteries: #2)
Written by Julianna Deering
(aka: DeAnna Julie Dodson)
2014, 316 Pages
Genre: mystery, historical, fiction, romance

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)


Drew Farthering, amateur detective, is hoping that Madeline will say yes to his marriage proposal. He is hoping she will stay on at Farthering Place where they can read and solve mysteries. As he tries t
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Downton Abbey meets Miss Marple in this tantalizing mystery. This is the second book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series and it's just as much fun as the first. No worries if you haven't read book one -- the only over arcing plot line is Drew's pursuit of his lady love and can I just say that he portrays the besotted suitor to gentlemanly perfection. But a series of murders draws Drew into the middle of a perplexing puzzle that kept me guessing until the gobsmacking conclusion! Endless banter, ...more
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Just a few short months have passed since murder and mayhem ripped through Drew Farthering's life, earning him a certain measure of local notoriety and allowing him to put into practice his aptitude for investigation and analysis. But when murder leaps from the pages of one's beloved mystery novels to leave its indelible thumbprint on one's life, the murderous and macabre lose their fictional allure -- and now Drew craves nothing more than a quiet life, and an affirmative answer to his proposal ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Advice to Jack".

A rather cryptic note; embedded into the chest of a well respected solicitor, who was found murdered in his hotel room before he could keep an appointment with Drew Farthering about an adaptation to Drew's will. And thus begins a string of unsolved murders, seemingly unconnected except for the mysterious notes embedded into the heart of each victim with . . . . . beautiful antique hat pins?

Accepted into the inner circle of the local Chief Inspector's investigations,
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took me an unusually long time to ultimately read the second book in fabulous and talented mystery novelist Julianna Deering’s latest series – luckily, it worked out as I essentially will be able to read books two and three back-to-back. Once I finally did continue on with this follow up (to last year’s Rules of Murder), the pages seemed to fly by. Death by the Book happens to be the sometimes-dreaded middle novel in the terrific 1930’s period trilogy about a certain trio of amateur detective ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Death by the Book is the second book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series by Julianna Deering. While you could probably read this book as a stand alone, I think your reading experience would be greatly enhanced by having read the first book of the series, Rules of Murder.

Once again, we follow Drew Farthering, amateur sleuth, as he and his friends try to solve a string of murders. And I just have to say that the first page of this book was one of the best I have read all year! It mad
Barbara Early
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Drew Farthering is a hero well suited to his time. Suave. Sophisticated. And godly? (It is an inspirational, after all!) He lives in a lavish estate with a full serving staff, and has a unexpected penchant for murder, although he prefers it between the covers of one of his books in his extensive library.

I adore the banter between him and Madeline (they met in Rules of Murder), as throughout the book he sets to convince her to marry him. The quick repartee--bright, crisp, and funny--r
Virginia Winfield
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a fun mystery with a little romance. Drew Farthering, Nick and Madeline make a fun team of amateur sleuths. Read these stories if you like a little mystery with very little blood and guts. I had a good time reading this and had a hard time putting it down. Quite a few twists and turns. I received this from book for a fair and honest opinion.
Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
Our Miss Deering sure knows how to write a murderer! She keeps you in the dark the entire time.
I can normally pick up on clues with relative ease...but for both books I’ve read by her I’ve been shocked by who the murderer was.

I seriously cannot explain enough how much I ADORE the relationship between Drew and Nick. They are both charming by themselves, but put them in a room together and you’ve got trouble for days.
They are probably my new favorite duo!

And thank God Madeline final
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this mystery by a Christian author, which is surprising because she's American writing about England. I don't find that generally works well. I tend not to like "Christian" fiction, even though I am a Christian, because they tend to be preachy and/or badly written. Or maybe I need to start reading more of that genre because they've upped their game.

I'm always willing to be surprised.
It is 1932 and only a few months have passed since the events that turned Drew Farthering's peaceful existence on its head. All he wants now is to convince Madeline, the love of his life, to marry him. Unfortunately for Drew, life throws another wrench in his plans, both by dropping off Madeline's aged, incredibly stubborn aunt on his doorstep as well as a new string of murders that connect to people Drew either knows personally, or knows of through a friend. Drew struggles with Aunt Ruth's disd ...more
Galadriel Grace
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
When I started reading this I knew nothing of the author or any of her books and found it to be a delightful, pleasant, and well-written mystery. As I was reading through I noticed that it was clean and contained some Christian content, which I found refreshing. It was only when I was finished that I found the author to be a Christian herself and it was nice that the content was there without being terribly overt. I'll definitely be reading more of Julianna Deering's books because it's nice to h ...more
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful book. It reminded me of Dorothy Sayers and P.G. Wodehouse books. While not as comical or crazy as Wooster and Jeeves, it had some fine moments. It even referred to a favorite scene in “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

1. This book has some awesome characters. One of my favorites was Aunt Ruth. Aunt Ruth reminded me of Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey with her acerbic wit. Nick says of her, “I believe the only thing she didn’t accuse me of was sacrificing Christian maidens to
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I love this series! The first book was excellent, and the second does not disappoint. Written in a style reminiscent of Poirot and Lord Peter, the series delivers a classic mystery feel along with a good puzzle. Intelligent readers will catch on to some of the literary clues and enjoy attempts to decipher them. The ending was unexpected but not unbelievable - a classic "why didn't I see that before?!" solution.

Top notch - recommended for those who appreciate Agatha Christie, Dorothy
An absolute reading treat for mystery lovers !

Series: Drew Farthering Mystery #2
Pages: pb 317, ebook 336, hb 500
Published: March 4.2014
Publisher: Bethany House

My Thoughts?

Having been won over by our hero in British mystery,
I awaited book 2 with MUCH anticipation.
[beside the gorgeous vintage cover art]
solidified my reading relationship with the suavely sophisticated sleuth, adding author Julianna Deering's writing as a definite
mystery 'go to' for this reader.

Characterizations are uniquely interesting -
beside the delish Drew! His girlfriend, an American
we met in Rules of Murder, holds her cards close
Lisa Johnson
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Title: Death by the Book (A Drew Farthering Mystery #2)
Author: Julianna Deering
Pages: 316
Year: 2014
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
The setting is early 1930s in the little village of Farthering St. John, Great Britain. Drew has asked Madeline Parker, his American girlfriend, to marry him, but she has asked for some time to be sure that marriage to him is the right thing for her. Drew has decided that he needs to make some changes to his will to benefit Madeline,
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As seen on my blog: Hey, Folks!
I just finished reading "Death By the Book," which is the second title in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. These tales are set in England during the 1930s, and written by Juliana Deering, who is better known by her real name, which is Deanna Julie Dodson. The opportunity for a free sneak peek came to me via Bethany House, through their partnership with All that was requested of me was a fair and honest review, so you get to enjoy this post.
Death by the Book is the second in Julianna Deering's Drew Farthering series of cozy mysteries set in the 1930s. It is just a few months after the events in Rules of Murder--when Drew helps Chief Inspector Birdsong get to the bottom of a series of murders committed at his country house--and Drew wants nothing more than to spend his time convincing his lady love to accept his proposal of marriage. But his plans are interrupted by the arrival of Madeleine's disapproving aunt and another series of ...more
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Drew Farthering is living in 1930′s England and is handsome, rich and the sole heir of the Farthering Place estate. He is also in love with an American girl, Madeline, who is taking her time declaring her love in return. Madeline’s Aunt Ruth has arrived from America. She is verbally overflowing with distrust for Drew, his intentions toward her niece, and all things British. It appears that if she has her way, Aunt Ruth will break the couple up.

In the past, Drew solved a mystery that
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Death by the Book
Julianna Deering

Book Summary: With Farlinford Processing and the family's good name safe again following the events in Rules of Murder, Drew Farthering wants nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker. Instead, he finds himself involved in another mysterious case. The family lawyer has been found dead in a Winchester hotel room, skewered through the heart by an antique hat pin with a cryptic message at
Shalini Ayre
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Drew Farthering seems to be involved in another case of intrigue and murder. A trip to his solicitors office find's the affable young man face to face with the body of the legal aide.

Detective Birdsong none too pleased to have the amateur detective on board, also appreciates that Drew may actually be useful. Ensuring that he is informed of all ideas and thoughts the young man may have, the investigation begins.

Useful (to have on board) especially as the murder made a stat
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! As soon as I started reading it, I knew it would be hard to put down. I enjoyed everything about it: the time period--1930's, the location--London (Farthering St. John), a compelling mystery (hatpin murderer), an obstinate aunt, humor, polite society and a light, clean romance.

Drew Farthering wants to marry Madeline Parker, an American. Madeline's Aunt Ruth has come to visit and to hopefully take Madeline back home with her. Drew has his hands full trying to win over Aunt Rut
Renn Shearin
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local go
Beckie Burnham
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love a good mystery, especially one that is reminiscent of the great British offerings of the 1930s. Julianna Deering has created a series that will leave fans of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers satisfied. Death by The Book is #2 in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. The endearing Drew Farthering, young lord of the manor, is back on the case, assisting the local Detective Inspector with a series of puzzling and seemingly unrelated murders. The only clues are cryptic messages affixed to ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Death by the Book by Julianna Deering is the second book in the Drew Farthering series. This was another great mystery done in the style of Agatha Christie and just as hard to unravel. I love the protagonist done in the style of The Thin Man movies. He's the perfect balance of gentility, humor, and smarts, and his girlfriend is the perfect match for him. I can't wait for another mystery from this author!

Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker have settled down from their traumatic experi
Angie S
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Death by the Book takes place in the summer of 1932 when Drew Farthing wants nothing more than to announce his engagement. When his solicitor shows up dead at their scheduled appointment, Drew is called on the scene to help investigate - again. When the physician turns up dead too, Drew is baffled. Murders continue to happen with each one of them growing closer to Drew's own home and the people he cares most about. When the police make an arrest in connection with the murder that Drew isn't cert ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Death by the Book
A Drew Farthering Mystery
By Julianna Deering

When Drew Farthering walks into a murder scene he is drawn into a mystery that is drawing closer to the Village of Farthering St. John. What game is the killer playing? And what do the cryptic messages pinned to the victims mean?

With no discernible link between the victims, Drew is putting all his sleuthing skills to work. All the while he is trying convince Madeline to accept his proposal of marriag
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2014
Death by the Book
By Julianna Deering

I enjoyed this book the moment I started reading. I loved the characters and the storyline. this book kept me on my toes. I would think I had the mystery solved and than another fun twist would happen and I would be wrong. It was an easy fun read.

Drew was the character that held the plot together but I loved Aunt Ruth. She was a character. Always disapproving but yet you could tell she wanted the best for her niece and than at the very end h
Ranee Clark
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Historical, Inspirational
Length: 320 pgs

Rating: *****+ (A FANTASTIC book I loved and would recommend!)

Review: Back when I reviewed RULES OF MURDER, the first Drew Farthering mystery, I could not wait for DEATH BY THE BOOK to come out. I wasn't disappointed. It was the same fun characters with some awesome new additions. A surprise at the end! (Surprisingly not predicable in the mystery!) I think that Ms. Deering
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this second in the series by Julianna Deering. It seemed rather like an Agatha Christie novel where it is not so much what is happening that makes the book interesting, as it is the banter between characters that is so fun. Also lots of twists & turns in trying to figure "who done it." Drew Farthering is a gentleman of shining character and seems to be able to figure out things before the actual detectives. Aunt Ruth was a delightful addition to the characters that are now missing ...more
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder in general is not the most pleasant of topics. For me, what I enjoy about this sort of story is how the characters solve the mystery behind it. It also helps a lot to have fun characters that I enjoy. This book meets all my requirements for a good murder mystery. The murders are puzzling and seemingly unrelated, except for the messages pinned to the bodies. I loved the British setting, although it took me awhile to figure out the time period, not having read the first book. I really enjoy ...more
Kathleen Friesen
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Once I figured out the era for this story, I quite enjoyed it. I hadn’t read the first book of this series, and that would have helped. Perhaps print copies will include the date nearer the beginning of the book, but it appeared only on the last page of the digital book. So the first few pages left me floundering as to the time and place of the story. Nevertheless, Death By The Book pulled me into the ever-twisting mystery of the hatpin murders. Drew Farthering is a bit of a mystery himself, but ...more
Christina Banks
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
It all started with a note, written in a fancy hand, giving connections to Shakespeare, and stuck to a body by a hairpin. I was hooked and couldn't wait to read what was going to happen next. I pieced together the mystery along with Drew and tried to figure out the connection between the victims. I loved the twists and turns that the story brought and triumphed as I thought I solved the case, only to find out I'd been fooled again. In my mind, this book was going to receive a solid five star rat ...more
JoJo Sutis
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh how I love this series….let me count the ways!!!!
Julianna Deering has done it again!!! Spectacular!!!
I love love love this series and I hope it never ends!!!
Drew is absolutely one of my fave all time amateur sleuths- right up there with Hercule Poirot (not an amateur, I know) and Miss Marple.
Who wouldn’t fall for a man who smelled of fresh linen, new books, tea and honey?!?
Even though Drew isn’t out to solve the crime…(he’d rather catch up on the latest mystery n
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I typically enjoy books set in modern times, but I am really enjoying this series. It is set in the early 1930's, and revolves around a wealthy young man with a penchant for becoming involved in solving crimes. It is rare to find books on the Christian market, especially written by women, that have a male for the main character, but these books do, and maybe that is one reason I enjoy them so.

In the first book, there was more character development as we learned what kind of man Dre
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love a good ol fashion mystery. Putting together the clues, interpreting actions of characters and trying to catch the mastermind behind the crimes – it’s all so fun and fascinating. Then toss in a twist and shocking end? Mind blown.

Two books into Julianna Deering’s Drew Farthering Mysteries series and I must say, Deering continues to make her name known in the mystery genre. Not only is it fabulous writing, but her mysteries and endings are never what I suspect. Guess I won’t be a
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable book that brought Agatha Christie to my mind. Drew is spending the summer wanting madly to get engaged to Madeline. Then the family solicitor is murdered and secrets begin to be brought to light. This book was a fun read, the characters were entertaining and the plot kept me involved. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the works of Agatha Christie.
I was given this book by for my honest review.
Diane Higgins
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book! This book had mystery as well as humor and romance in it. Drew Farthering is helping the local police solve a series of murders in the town. They seem to think all the murders are related. This book definitely had a twist to it. I never saw suspected the murderer! This is the first book I've read by Julianna Deering. I will definitely read more books by her.
I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I grew up on Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and the like. Deering's novels fit right in there. I love the witty dialog, the repartee between Drew and Madeline. I love how Deering develops the plot. I love how Drew manages to solve the mystery, through no fault of his own. If you like a British mystery set in the 1930s, clever writing, a little romance, you'll like this book. See my full review at
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this book quite a bit. It was a nice clean mystery with some romance. the main character and hobby detective Drew is a wealthy man in a small town in England wooing his American girlfriend Madeline and wondering when she will consent to marry him! He stumbles upon a set of murders and assists the police with the investigation. I enjoy books like this, no worries about overly gruesome murder scenes or sexual encounters, but still entertaining and well written books. I liked the main chara ...more
Overall, this was a genuinely pleasant mystery to read. It didn't quite have that genius Agatha Christie touch... but it was enjoyable all the same.
As I am a Christian myself, I loved the constant reference to Drew Farthering's conviction in his faith- a rare theme among the crime genre.
Plus, the whole 'whodunnit' element is just buckets of fun in any mystery novel.

I shall vigorously pursue this series.
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JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, ...more

Other books in the series

Drew Farthering Mystery (6 books)
  • Rules of Murder (Drew Farthering Mystery #1)
  • Murder at the Mikado (Drew Farthering Mystery, #3)
  • Dressed for Death (Drew Farthering Mystery #4)
  • Murder on the Moor (Drew Farthering Mystery #5)
  • Death at Thorburn Hall (Drew Farthering Mystery #6)