Book Write-Up: Death at Thorburn Hall

Julianna Deering.  Death at Thorburn Hall.  Bethany House, 2017.  See here to buy the book.

This is Book 6 of the Drew Farthering Mysteries.  It is also the first Drew Farthering book that I have read.  There were details of the book that I probably would have appreciated more had I read the previous five books.  Still, the book had a warm, comfortable feel to it.  A large part of that was due to the friendships among the main characters.  The characters are British and speak rather formally, yet they are honest about their struggles and emotions.

Drew Farthering is a British detective, and his wife is Madeline.  His friend is Nick, and their friendship goes back to when they were two.  Drew sometimes calls Nick names (I thought “Yikes!”), but the brotherly-like friendship is still there.  Nick is infatuated with Carrie, but both of them are dealing with insecurities that make one wonder if their relationship will survive.  Drew is dealing with his own issues, as he is curious about his real mother, whom he has not seen since he was a child.

Drew and company go to Scotland for the 1935 British open.  Their host is Lord Rainsby at Thorburn Hall.  Lord Rainsby confides to Drew that he has suspicions about his business partner, MacArthur, who has expressed sympathies for the Nazis.  Lord Rainsby then has a riding accident, which looks like it was not really an accident.  Who caused it?  Was it MacArthur, who looks like he may be part of an espionage ring supporting the Nazis?  Is it Lady Rainsby, who was reportedly cut out of her husband’s will?  Is it the playboy Russian count (or so he seems), whom Lord Rainsby wanted out of his mansion?  All of these are explored as possibilities.  The author made an attempt to provide a surprising ending, but the culprit was not too great of a surprise.  Not to give away the ending, but a key question is, “Who controls the narrative?”

There was a sweet surprise near the end: a character is unexpectedly looking out for Drew and contains the key to the answers that Drew is seeking.  That is actually a significant element of this story: people are not entirely as they seem.

The book is not heavy in its religious emphasis, but there are words of wisdom.  Madeline offers Carrie helpful advice on taking a leap of faith.  Drew and company resolve to help someone who may not have too many helpers once the fanfare has passed.  Unconditional love also appears in the story.

I cannot say that the book overwhelmingly impressed me, but it had a comfortable feel to it.  I am open to reading other books in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  My review is honest.

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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