Review: Death at Thorburn Hall

Along the Way @

Gentle Reader,

I tried. I really did.

But I could not get into this book.

When I was 13, I began reading Agatha Christie mysteries. Murder on the Orient Express will always be one of my favorite novels. I loved the challenge of attempting to figure out who had committed the crime before the author revealed the answer. I loved the setting and the descriptions. The Britain of the 1930s will forever belong to Hercule Poirot.

Death at Thorburn Hall, volume six in the Drew Farthering Mysteries, has been marketed as a must-read for Christie devotees. The novel takes place in the Scottish countryside among the upper crust. The crime happens at a golf tournament. Julianna Deering writes for a Christian publisher, so nothing too gruesome would appear on the pages. On the whole, I was expecting a genteel yet challenging story.

Instead, it was boring.

The plot moves far too slowly. I’m all for letting things unfold at a leisurely pace, but if an author chooses that route than the characters need to be engaging. Drew Farthering and his companions simply aren’t. Further, the way they speak doesn’t feel authentic to that time and place. No anachronisms, but rather too much of the “pip, pip” and “tally ho” sort of speech. This would be easier to overlook if the characters had personality, but they all just sort of glide across the pages without making any lasting impact.

Perhaps I would have a different opinion if I had read the five preceding novels. (From now on, when choosing books to review, I won’t choose titles that are part of a series). I may see if I can find the first entry at my local library, because I would like to give Julianna Deering a fair shot. I’m not at all sure that my introduction to Drew Farthering, deep as the series is into his story at this point, is how she intended our meeting to go.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.


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