I recently read Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering for review. I hadn't read any of her books before so this was a treat. Reading a new author for me is like taking a trip on a newly traveled road. I didn't know what to expect but I did enjoy the journey.
Dressed for Death is set in the 1930's on an English estate. Our hero, recently wed Drew Farthering, is traveling with his wife Madeline to Winteroak House for a Regency-era house party. The party is hosted by Drew's old family friends the Cummins' family and he is very excited to see his old friend Tal once more. He will also have the opportunity to introduce Madeline to everyone and meet Tal's fiancee Alice Henley.
All guests, upon arrival are taken to the house in an opulent barouche carriage typical from the era and at the insistence of the host leave their cars behind. The party is authentic with period clothing, food, dancing and the chance to hear Jane Austen quoted throughout. The estate, which is one of the stars of the book is the perfect setting for the party and sets the tone for the expensive taste of Mr. Cummins. As the week draws to a close, Alice dies mysteriously and Tal's father is taken to Scotland Yard. As a known amateur sleuth, Tal asks Drew to look into the matter and discover the truth to these unsettling mysteries.
With the elements of a good old fashioned whodunit, the author captures the spirit of many books written during that period. That era, with its big estates and the parties held inside are often the subject of many books and movies. Often we find society parties a bit trying at these affairs and look for their flaws. When you meet Drew and Madeline, you will be pleasantly surprised by their kind and generous spirits. The party ended unhappily with Alice's death but it is what follows that keeps the reader engaged. More mystery and mayhem with cleverly designed red herrings to keep you guessing until the end. I laud the author for her character development. I didn't like all of the characters, nor should I but there are a couple who will surprise you by who they are and what they do. I will not reveal any spoilers in hopes you will pick up your own copy to read on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I am looking forward to discovering more books by Julianna Deering.