Murder on the Moor is a story that has all the elements of a baffling mystery one would expect of its genre. Set in 1930's England, it is complete with old stone mansions fully staffed with servants, expensive cars and jewel clad ladies who dress for dinner.
Drew Farthering and his lovely wife Madeline have built a reputation of solving unsolvable crimes. He is not only wealthy and handsome but as clever as he is compassionate. She is beautiful and charming but also the perfect confidant. Julianna Deering expertly captured the essence of the wealthy sleuthing couple. I could almost imagine Nick and Nora Charles staying at Bloodworth Park Lodge, but Drew and Madeline are the guests of Beaky and Sabrina Bloodworth.
The story began in earnest when a quiet evening at Farthering Place was interrupted by one Hubert (Beaky) Bloodworth, Drew's chum back in his Eton days. He had just driven 200 miles to entreat Drew and Madeline to see who is behind dreadful mischief on the moor. Topping off all the mysterious goings on, someone committed the unthinkable by murdering the vicar.
The moor is lonely and desolate, generally not a place to wander about and adding fog to the mix spells danger. Remnants of an old church tower, an abandoned kiln and an oversized dog had this reader breathing rapidly as I turned the pages for more. As one murder leads to another one has to wonder how this second murder could possibly be linked to each other in such a quiet village as Bunting's Nest.
Reading about the moor I was reminded of Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. With a cast of savory characters such as Rhys Delwin, the gamekeeper, I could only imagine his bearing a resemblance to the likes of Heathcliff. The author also prominently placed the Bronte books within the homes of the characters as if to spark even more interest of the moors.
Several red herrings cleverly add to the mix of clues to throw the reader off of the trail of the killer. Everything is tied up in a neat bundle in the end though, to everyone's satisfaction.
Also reminiscent of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane I was pleased to see a reference to The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers in this book. Wealthy couples who love to play detectives in their leisurely lives have proven a successful formula for mystery writers. I recommend Murder on the Moor if you enjoy this genre. It will not disappoint you. Simply put the kettle on and settle down for a good read.