Tag Archives: Suspense

Death at Thorburn Hall – Top Ten List


A Drew Farthering Mystery, #6

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

Scroll down for the giveaway!

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

Top Ten
Top Ten Influences on the Creation of The Drew Farthering Mysteries Guest Post by Julianna Deering

I have been in love with the Golden Age of Crime Fiction for decades. I’ve also been a big fan of the great movies of the 1930s for about as long. Add to that my enjoyment of humorous wordplay, mix it all together, and you get The Drew Farthering Mysteries. I once had a review that said, “If Bertie Wooster and Jessica Fletcher had a love child, it would be Drew Farthering.” I love that quote. It’s hysterical and it’s absolutely true! So, if you’d like to trace Drew back to his entertainment roots, here are the most influential ones.

1.  First and foremost and without a close second would be the works of Dame Agatha Christie. And first and foremost of these would be the delightful cases of Hercules Poirot. The books are wonderful, thought-provoking reads, and the inestimable David Suchet portrays him on television with humor, warmth, intelligence, and absolute perfection.

2.  A huge influence on the relationship between Drew and his beloved Madeline was the Thin Man series of movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (beginning in 1934). They are a loving married couple who obviously enjoy each other’s company along with solving mysteries. The snappy banter between them is always a delight.

3.  P. G. Wodehouse’s hysterical Jeeves and Wooster, impeccably portrayed by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, had a definite impact on Drew’s sense of humor (and mine). The books and the television series are both well worth checking out.

4.  Albert Campion, the mild-mannered sleuth created by Margery Allingham, was a delightful surprise to me when I discovered him several years ago. I had never heard of this series (shame on me!), but I absolutely devoured it once it came to my attention. Allingham’s plots fit together like fine watchworks, and the television adaptation starring Peter Davison is brilliant. Brian Glover as his hardboiled valet (he was a cat burglar until he lost his figure) alone is worth the price of admission.

5.  Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None might be the most perfectly plotted mystery ever written. Unfortunately, I saw the 1945 film version before I read the book, so I didn’t get the joy of reading the story without already knowing the solution. It would certainly take a cleverer person than I am to read that book, having no knowledge of it beforehand, and be able to solve the mystery.

6.  I can never decide if And Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express is my favorite of Christie’s works. Again, if I hadn’t seen the 1974 film version of this story, I would have loved to try to solve the case as presented in the book. As with ATTWN, the plot is meticulously crafted. I’m not sure why the script writer for the 2017 film version found it necessary to make so many changes to the story and to the characters.

7.  Drew and Madeline’s relationship owes much to the romantic comedies of the 1930s. One of the greatest of these is My Man Godfrey, also starring the dapper William Powell as a blueblood who’s dropped out of society and who, quite by accident, becomes a butler in a rich but troubled home. It’s a screwball comedy with a warm heart, and it definitely inspired a character or two in Drew’s most recent adventure.

8.  Another of the great romantic comedies of the ‘30s is Bringing Up Baby. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are hilarious as a mild-mannered archeologist and the ditzy society girl who is determined to make him see they’re perfect for each other.

9.  One of Alfred Hitchcock’s early movies is the 1939 version of The 39 Steps. It features Robert Donat as an innocent man on the run from a ring of spies and, being one of Hitchcock’s, the film has plenty of suspense as well as romance and ironic humor.

10.  Last but certainly not least is Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey. Lord Peter’s adventures, besides being fabulously entertaining, provide an excellent and intelligent look into the life of a British aristocrat and the mysteries are always a challenge to solve. I’m sorry the television series with Edward Petherbridge covered only three of Sayers’ novels.

So there you have it, the ten things that most influenced the creation of Drew Farthering and his adventures. I have to commend the BBC for making such lushly beautiful television series for so many classic mysteries. More than just reading the books that inspired them, these series let me see and hear England of the 1930s. Similarly, movies made in America during the 30s let me see and hear what that time was like. They and the books of that time period have all inspired my series as well as British Drew and American Madeline.

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)
“One Winner Will Receive the Full Drew Farthering Mystery Series!”
Giveaway Image Death at Thorburn Hall


Character Interview
Author Interview
Top Ten List
Series Sneak Peek
   blog tour services provided by

Hidden Sea – My Review


  Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Suspense
Date of Publication: November 2017
Number of Pages: 384
Scroll down for giveaway!
Charlie Sweetwater saw Mexico—especially the Mexican Gulf Coast—as a spiritual second home. He’d worked, played and lived there for much of his life, and thought the country suited him better than anywhere this side of his home on the Texas Coast.
But now a worrisome and potentially dangerous development has shown up on Charlie’s radar. Young Augustus Sweetwater, affectionately known as Augie, hasn’t reported in after completing a south-of-the-border sales trip for Sweetwater Marine. Raul, Augie’s father and Charlie’s nephew, is worried sick. Drug cartel violence in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions and Augie’s path took him through the heart of the narcotraficantes’ territory.
Charlie figures Augie just went off the grid to do some well-deserved fishing, surfing and beer-drinking at the end of his trip. He’d done the same in his time. But as Augie’s unexplained absence grows, Charlie and Raul become increasingly alarmed and set off for Mexico to bring their boy home.
What they unearth is far more than the sum of their fears. The familiar and friendly Gulf of Mexico has turned into a hidden sea plagued by smugglers, human traffickers, crooked politicians and even pirates. And Augie is lost somewhere in the middle of it all.
Charlie and Raul must summon an unlikely cast of characters to aid them, including a hilariously dissolute ex-pat musician, a priest whose faith struggles against the rising tide of refugee migration, a Mexican tycoon who may have secrets of his own and a beautiful maritime “repo man”. At the end of their quest, as the deepest secret of all is revealed, Charlie Sweetwater learns that neither Raul and Augie, nor the Gulf of Mexico, nor even himself, will ever be the same again.

Praise for Hidden Sea:

“A riveting story from Texas that wanders down the cartel-invested Gulf Coast of Mexico and drifts across to lawless Cuba. The characters are as salty as the sea and the plot pulls you along as powerfully as the loop current.
W.F. Strong, Stories from Texas, Texas Standard Radio Network
“Hidden Sea is a total blast: smart, funny, and riveting, with unforgettably colorful characters and a world so alive that you’ll swear you’re really there.”
Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone
“In Hidden Sea, Miles Arceneaux tosses us in the drink of a timely contemporary adventure tale with the Sweetwater clan, complete with pirates, slave ships, family secrets, and the mother of all plot twists, in his patented Gulf Coast noir style.”

Michelle Newby Lancaster, Contributing Editor, Lone Star Literary Life, NBCC Literary Critic

Purchase Links


                       Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Sea-Miles-Arceneaux/dp/0996879749/

Barnes & Noble (Pre-order): 





Hidden Sea – My Review 

“Nothing prepares one for the shock of crossing the Rio Grande into a busy Mexican border town. Nowhere in the world is the transition so palpable, abrupt, or extreme. On one side of the river you’re idling in your lane, waiting for the light to change, daydreaming about nothing in particular, and then, a quarter mile later, you’re careening down a potholed avenue jockeying for space with smoke-belching trucks, cars, taxis, and buses. Lanes don’t matter, traffic lights are discretionary, and aggressive, balls-out driving is the norm.”

This was one of the most fast paced books I’ve read in a long while. From the first chapter the story captivated me to finding out what happened to Augie. It led me on journey where Augie’s dad and uncle take it upon themselves to find him no matter what it cost them – even if its friendships or their own lives. The Hidden Sea takes readers on a journey of finding Augie from going to friends who are rich and famous, to a former country star.

The book’s main premise deals with the fictional story of the fishing slavery issue on ships. While the authors disclose at the beginning that the use of sea-slaves on fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico does not exist, it does in the South China Sea. Even bringing this to light gives me the realization to ask more often where potential seafood came from before I order it.

After traveling to Mexico a few years ago the above quote I pulled out of the Hidden Sea gives a near perfect description of what’s it like driving in that country. Taxi’s running red lights, honking for passage, people at intersections selling goods – the list could go on. The one good thing I remember is that during one trip our taxi driver stayed with us the entire time and even escorted me to the bathroom more than once. The Miles Acreneaux writers’ descriptions of Mexico are very real giving readers a sense of true place for the regions they describe.

A lot of Spanish is interspersed throughout the book, which lends to the authenticity of the story being told. Thankfully, the authors realize that not everyone can understand that language and creatively tell the readers what was said. On another note – if the plight of refugees wanting to enter the US as the authors describes in the encounter with the Mexico priest– if its 5 percent true then its horrific what people will endure for a better life for them or their children.

The authors bring the story together in unexpected surprise endings by showing that to true to life the world is small indeed.


“Miles Arceneaux” is the pen name of three long-time Texas friends. James R. Dennis is a former attorney turned Dominican friar who lives in San Antonio. Brent Douglass is an international businessman from Austin. John T. Davis, also of Austin, is a journalist and author. Together, as “Miles,” they have been featured authors at the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Lubbock Book Festival.
Grand Prize: Autographed copies of all five Gulf Coast series books by Miles Arceneaux + a copy of Geoff Winningham’s Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea — The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico
Two Runners-Up: Each win an autographed copy of Hidden Sea

October 11-October 20, 2017
U.S. Only
Excerpt 1
Author Interview
Guest Post
Excerpt 2
   blog tour services provided by