Death at Thorburn Hall

Calling all Agatha fans!

I often wonder what it would be like to live in the era when new Hercule Poirot mysteries were coming out. I've imagined opening a catalog and discovering that a new one was available, or reading an excerpt from one in my morning newspaper. There are probably many Agatha Christie fans who can relate. That's why the Drew Farthering mysteries are so much fun. Julianna Deering has somehow managed to make me believe that we're all living pre-World War II in England, and every new release from her makes my dream of new Agatha mysteries feel a little bit more like reality.

Drew Farthering, the star of the series, is a young wealthy man who is reminiscent of Poirot in that you kind of love him, but also kind of find him to be obnoxious. Somehow that works. Nick is the Watson to his Sherlock, and for me, he is what makes the series so enjoyable. He is sweet and down to earth, patient with Drew and caring to the victims left behind in their cases. All in all, Deering has created a cast of characters that is flawed enough to be real, and fictional enough to be fun.

This particular installment in the series, "Death at Thorburn Hall" was one I found especially interesting because of its tie-in to history. It comes on the scene at the time when Hitler was rising to power and spies were gathering information in England and throughout Europe before the war broke out. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I'll just say that this historical backdrop made the story extra intriguing.

As for the mystery itself, I have to be fair and say that I guessed the murderer pretty much from the start. That was where this stopped feeling like an Agatha Christie. I wished that the culprit was more carefully veiled, that the motivations of other characters felt more believable, that in general the possibilities of whodunnit felt equally weighted. But, even though I was pretty sure I saw where the story was going, I found the journey to be incredibly entertaining. 

If you're looking for a good, old-fashioned mystery series to invest in, I would definitely recommend the Drew Farthering Mysteries. And if you've already started and are wondering about continuing, go for it. The developments in the lives of the main characters alone are worth it. As for the whodunnit, I'll leave that to you to find out.

*This book is set to release in November 2017*