Death at Thorburn Hall cover

Death at Thorburn Hall – A Drew Farthering Mystery



A Drew Farthering Mystery, #6


  Genre: Historical British Mystery / Suspense
Date of Publication: November 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 336

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Investigating a suspicious accident leads Drew on a path that points to international intrigue and ever-growing danger

Drew Farthering arrives in idyllic Scotland for the 1935 British Open at Muirfield, hoping for a relaxing holiday with his wife, Madeline, and friend Nick. But death meets him once again when Lord Rainsby, their host at Thorburn Hall, is killed in a suspicious riding accident–only days after confiding in Drew his fears that his business partner was embezzling funds.

Thorburn Hall is filled with guests, and as Drew continues to dig, he realizes that each appears to have dark motives for wanting Rainsby out of the way. Together with Madeline and Nick, he must sort through shady business dealings, international intrigue, and family tensions to find a killer who always seems to be one step ahead.


“Amateur sleuthing at its finest!”–Fresh Fiction Review

“Another great mystery headed by the charming Drew Farthering and his intelligent wife, Madeline. There is murder, mystery, intrigue and a little romance, which makes Death at Thorburn Hall a most enjoyable read . . . The plot has twists, turns and a few surprises throughout the story. Deering is at her best when penning Drew Farthering mysteries.”–RT Book Reviews
“This sixth series entry will delight Agatha Christie fans.”
Library Journal

The “ambiance” of Death at Thorburn Hall – if a story can have ambiance – is important, but hard to explain.  So, I’ll give an example.  Have you ever heard a song (think It’s a Small, Small World), and then could not get the song out of your head?  What does it say about a book when a reader starts talking to family and friends using the same accent as the dialogue in the story?  Well, it’s like that!

Drew Farthering Mystery Series

This is the sixth installment in the series, but sadly, it’s the first one I’ve read.  Now I find myself in the predicament of wanting to go back and read the first five!

It’s important to note that you do not have to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one!  It stands completely on its own.  I say that from personal experience, obviously.

About the Story – Death at Thorburn Hall

I previously mentioned the “ambiance” of this story.  I’m not sure if I ever read a story that I considered to have an ambiance.  It goes beyond setting.  I guess it’s sort of setting, dialogue, characters and storyline all rolled into one.  Yeah, that’s it!  The ambiance of this story ROCKS!

The story is set in Gullane, Scotland.  This Scottish village is home to Muirfield, the private links (“golf course” for us Americans) that hosted the 1935 Open Championship.  The story takes place during Open week and shortly thereafter.  Personally, I’m very attracted to stories that blend fact with fiction.

As a golf enthusiast, I was a little appalled when the Open players were discussed, but no mention was made of the better known players of the day, such as Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen.  However, when doing some research for this review, I discovered that a number of the better known players – including the two I mentioned – did not even enter the Open that year.

Deering certainly did her homework in that regard.  Further, I happen to know that those folks “over there” always refer to the British Open as The Open.  This author eloquently captured that pride in the dialogue.  (See what I mean about the whole ambiance thing?)

But this story wasn’t about golf – somewhat to my chagrin – except for a few scenes taking place on the links.  It was about murder!

I quickly befriended the protagonist, Drew Fathering.  If Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote) and William Powell (The Thin Man) had an offspring, it would be Drew.  He seems to take everything in stride, and his demeanor puts people at ease.  Unless, of course, if you’re a pompous police inspector.

Thorburn Hall

Drew and his wife, along with their two friends, are invited to Thorburn Hall, in Gullane, by distant cousins, Lord and Lady Rainsby.  The premise of the trip is a relaxing week at The Open, but Lord Rainsby secretly invited Drew because he suspected some foul play in his business and wanted Drew to quietly investigate.

Before Drew can get into the investigation, Lord Rainsby is killed in a freak accident.  Rainsby’s daughter feels her father was murdered, and Drew volunteers to get to the bottom of it.

The stage is now set!  What follows is a tale with more switchbacks than Lombard Street in San Francisco!  Drew learns that most of the characters involved are not who they seem to be.  As more people get murdered, Drew is in a race with the killer – or killers.

As Drew eventually discovers who did what to whom, the growing tension leads to the climax.  Like an opera singer holding a high note for a long time, Deering keeps us at the pinnacle of the climax for several pages!  What a literary feat!

With the climax over, and we regain our breath, the author treats us to probably the mother of all plot twists!  If you told me you saw it coming, I’d likely call you a liar.

I will definitely be going back to read the first book in the series.  Drew Fathering has a new fan!

I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.
JULIANNA DEERING (also writing as DeAnna Julie Dodson) has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness, and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching, and watching NHL hockey. Her series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted from Bethany House with Rules of Murder (2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (2014). Dressed for Death (2016), and Murder on the Moor and Death at Thorburn Hall (2017). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books and Such Literary Agency.


November 28-December 7, 2017
(U.S. Only)
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