Amateur detective Drew Farthering and his young wife are invited to a special Regency-era house party being hosted by old friends. While a bit unusual (no vehicles allowed, only authentic Regency era resources), the fun is unabashed. Until someone dies. Was it a drug overdoes? An accident? Intentional? Was it murder? Drew sets about to help his friend (and satisfy his insatiable curiosity) by solving the puzzle. But what he finds leads to more bodies and more questions…
I think perhaps jumping straight from book 1 to book 4 has caused me some issues. I felt as though I was expected to know some of these characters (even secondary characters), their relationships and quirks before I opened the pages of this book. Truly, I think there is a way for authors to neither bore their followers nor leave new readers in the dark, so I was somewhat disappointed that I felt like the new person in the Farthering world, unaware of who the players were.
Otherwise, though, Dressed for Death, was a fun affair — if murder can be considered fun! The Regency era party sounds delightful. Who wouldn’t want to dress up and pretend to live in another era for a weekend of fun and frivolity? But the illusion comes to a crashing halt when Drew’s best friend’s fiancee is found dead.
Setting aside some of the incredibility of the plot, the adventure is charming and romantic. For an Austen fan such as myself, the references were endearing. I would recommend this book for fans of Miss Marple, Grantchester, and Foyle’s War — it has some of the same cozy mystery allure to it. So while it isn’t the most original or ingenious book, and it starts out rather slow, it is enjoyable.
Overall, I would suggest that these books be read in order (at least, I hope that would improve the reading experience), but even so, it’s a cozy mystery that’s worth a few hours’ delight.
I received a complimentary copy of Dressed for Death from Bethany House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.