Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Death by the Book with Author Julianna Deering

Death by the Book (Drew Farthering Mystery #2)

A themed review tour by Prism Book Tours...

Death by the Book

by Julianna Deering
Christian Mystery
Paperback, 320 pages
March 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

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 golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

Bethany House

Other Books in the Series:

Excerpt 1

Drew Farthering dropped to one knee to get a closer look at the note.

It was a lovely thing really, written with an old-fashioned quill pen on thick, yellowed paper, the handwriting embellished with the generous loops and flourishes of Queen Elizabeth’s day. In fact, it looked as if it could be from her time entirely. Sweet. Romantic. But it lost some of its charm when one read the terse message: Advice to Jack. The effect was further spoilt when one realized that the note was secured by means of an ornate Victorian hatpin driven into the heart of Quinton Colman Montford.

That Mr. Montford was in no position to be inconvenienced by this was largely due to the vigorous application of a marble bookend to the balding back of his head.

“Not much to go on.” Drew stood and picked up the two halves of the bookend, a bust of Shakespeare only recently separated at the neck. “You did say this had been checked for fingerprints?”

“I did not say. But yes, it has. There aren’t any.” Chief Inspector Birdsong pursed his lips under his shaggy mustache. “Weren’t any.”

“Must have hit him awfully hard to crack it into pieces this way.”

“Or it broke on the grate there when he fell.”

Drew examined the hearth and then scanned the room. The Empire Hotel in Winchester exuded respectability and quality without ostentation. Just the image that would be prized by Whyland, Montford, Clifton and Russ of London. No doubt it would be Whyland, Clifton and Russ now.

“How long ago?”

Birdsong shrugged his stooped shoulders. “I’d say an hour, more or less. We’ll have to let the coroner determine that.”

“He couldn’t have fallen this way. Not if he was clouted on the back of the head.”

“Obviously the killer turned him over, the better to attach the message.” The chief inspector peered at Drew. “And tell me again just how you happened to turn up at a fresh murder, young Farthering?”

“Appointment. Quarter past two. To discuss finalizing my, um, mother’s and stepfather’s estates and revising my own will.” Drew looked at him expectantly.

“Right. So you said at first. And you didn’t go to his office in London because . . . ?”

“He had other business to see to, as did I. I’ve been looking for someone competent to manage Farlinford Processing for me, so it was simpler for both of us just to meet here in Winchester.”

“Did he tell you what his business was?”

Drew shook his head. “No, of course not.”

“Of course not. And how long had Mr. Montford been your solicitor?”

“I believe my father put the firm on retainer about 1907 or 1908. Before I was born, at any rate, so a good twenty-five years or more now. So what’s it mean? ‘Advice to Jack.’ Who’s Jack?”

“No idea as yet,” Birdsong admitted, the expression on his craggy face as world-weary as any old bloodhound’s. “Bring anyone to your mind?”

“I’m afraid not, Chief Inspector. A client of the firm, perhaps?”

“Yes, well, we’re checking that, though I expect there would be any number of Jacks or Johns or even Jonathans utilizing a law firm of any size. I wonder what advice our Mr. Montford could have given this Jack.”

“Evidently, it wasn’t very well received.”

Drew looked down at the body. Montford was lying with his head thrown back, his mouth slackly open, one arm crumpled at an awkward angle beneath him.

“He couldn’t have felt a thing. Thank God for that, poor fellow.” Drew knelt once more, turning the head to study the wound on the back of the skull. “Looks rather like the killer was a tallish chap. My height or very nearly.”

“Quite probably.”

“I presume the pin was, ah, used after death?”

“It would seem so.” Birdsong touched one callused fingertip to the small, dark stain on the front of the man’s finely made shirt. “Stabbed through like that alive, I’d expect a good deal more blood than this. Clearly he was bludgeoned first.”

The spatters on the grate and the hearth and the sticky reddish-brown that had soaked into the carpeting were testament enough to that.

Drew took careful hold of Montford’s sleeve, lifting his hand. “Where’s his ring?”


“His wedding ring.” Drew pointed out the pale band of flesh and slight indentation on the third finger of the left hand. “I don’t suppose you chaps found it anywhere? Pocket perhaps?”

“No. All that was in his pockets were a few pound notes, some odd pence, ring of keys, nothing out of the ordinary.”

Drew shook his head. “He was a nice chap. Always a kind word when I was a boy, even when I’m sure I was a dreadful nuisance. My father liked him very much. My stepfather, as well.”

“Perhaps he wasn’t quite what he seemed.”

“I suppose there’s always that possibility, Inspector. Ah, well. Is there any way I can be of help here?”

“No, I suppose not. If you happen to think of anything that might be useful, you know where to reach me.”


“At any rate, I don’t expect that you will need to reach me.” Birdsong looked at Drew from under his heavy brows, and his meaning was clear.

“No need to warn me off.”

“True enough.” Birdsong’s scowl deepened. “Warning you off didn’t do the slightest bit of good last time, either.”

Julianna Deering
Julianna Derring 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, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014).

ALL readers, who are interested, can receive an autographed bookmark. 
You can see a picture of the bookmark here.

Just send a self-address STAMPED (7" long) envelope to:

Julianna Deering
P. O. Box 375
Aubrey, Texas 76227

From the author regarding the fabulous GIVEAWAY:

How could one possibly have a cozy mystery 
set in an old manor house in the English countryside near a quaint little village 
and not have tea? 
Drew doesn't usually take lemon or milk in his. He prefers honey, 
especially if it's fresh from the hive. 
Mrs. Devon, his housekeeper, spoils him terribly and makes sure he has it.

Print copies of The Rules of Murder and Death by the Book and a Tea Gift Basket (US ONLY)
March 10th - 28th

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