Author: Julianna Deering
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1097-6

Darling! Whether or not I might agree with you, he loves her and very much wants her cleared of suspicion. We ought to at least want the truth to be known, eh?” Drew tries to convince Madeline in Julianna Deering’s novel, Murder at the Mikado.

Third in “A Drew Farthering Mystery” series, this three hundred and thirty-six page paperback targets those who enjoy mysteries solved by a pair of witty protagonists in the early twentieth century. With no profanity, topics of murder, adultery, and drinking may not be apropos for immature readers. With the book promoting Christian morals and beliefs, this reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this tome involving an English theater producing the comic opera, The Mikado, by Gilbert and Sullivan in the 1930s, wealthy twenty-four year old Drew Farthering is approached by the beautiful retired actress, Fleur Landis, begging him to help clear her name in the murder of the owner of the Trivoli Theater.

Now engaged to Madeline Parker, who he has known only six months, Drew is somewhat torn on his decision to help the engaging woman, especially due to dalliances with her six years ago while at Oxford. Since Fleur is now married to one of his acquaintances, Drew feels obligated to help the couple with a four year old son prove her innocence.

Although Madeline objects to any relationship with the flamboyant woman, she has her own past insecurities but is willing to help Drew play amateur sleuth by helping Chief Inspector Birdsong solve more than one murder related to the theater troupe.

Written with cheeky dry humor, Drew and Madeline try to put the pieces together to determine who is behind the deaths. With weeks until their wedding date, Madeline wants Drew to stop working on the case as she gets cold feet deciding if he is the right choice for her.

While the fiancé’s Aunt Ruth reminds her to trust God in her decisions, the volatilely emotional  couple tries to uncover Fleur’s secrets related to the case as well as their past fears.

Although the story’s focus is sometimes more on the two detectives’ bantering relationship than the killings, some may enjoy this mystery set in the early twentieth century in England that has quick romance intermingled between its two main characters. Meandering off subject more than its prior book, the yarn leaves future options in the series.

Thanks to Bethany House for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

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