Dressed - for - Death by Julianna Deering

In Dressed - for - Death by Julianna Deering, there is a Regency masquerade party given at the Cummins' home. At their Winteroak House, there is fun and danger during that time. The party goers are dressed in Regency period costumes. This brings up the subject of literature during their conversations. Jane Austen's novels Emma, Pride And Prejudice and Mansfield Park are discussed along with the poems of Byron. Cotillions and Quadrilles are danced and romance is in the air along with the presence of a protective mother, Mrs. Cummins, Doctor Cummins' wife. There is also the married couple, Nick and Carrie and friends, Drew and Madeleine. There is Alice and her fiance' Talcott or Tal. Tal's parents are Doctor and Mrs. Cummins. There are also inspectors from Scotland Yard and other guests.

Usually, I don't  introduce characters in the first paragraph of a book review. This time I wanted to do it. The Christian mystery is definitely character driven. There is this one home where a murder takes place and serious, criminal activity happens. I liked the setting as described above because it reminded me of an Agatha Christie murder party. An overdosed woman's manic actions took me by surprise. I didn't expect a death. I thought this woman had drank too much. Therefore, some handsome gentleman would take her up to bed and leave her.

At first, I did feel overwhelmed with all the guests at the party. Learning names and who was married to whom took a bit of concentration. I also became confused when the pearl heist from another time became talk at the party. I think this is called a "tableau." Where did the author, Julianna Deering, expect me to put this incident?  Did it happen in the present or past or was it completely a joy ride in to the world of mystery? Was it from one of Julianna Deering's earlier criminal mysteries? And was it pearls or diamonds? So much to put in place like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Thankfully, this author has never disappointed me. I knew in a few pages it would all come together. That is if I paid attention and relaxed at this party. Then, it happened. Each character stood in their respective places with the right person, I think. When two friends, Georgie and Violet, come on the scene and leave the scene I didn't think they were second cousins to Alice, Tal's fiance', or girlfriends to Nick or Tal. Again, the evening became a delight.

I thought about the way we pigeonhole people. Sometimes the finest person in a community has to become removed from their pedestal because of scandal. This is sad for every person involved. Definitely, this Christian author is not afraid to deal with the hard societal issues. I was shaken by the title once or twice. It seemed like the title was too hard-core for a Chjristian mystery. However after grappling with the title and the huge, fancy dressed man on the cover whom I expected had something to do with a murder or murders, I relaxed, and began to look forward to  I am looking  to facing the brutal facts of real life in this Christian novel.

Scripture verses don't appear immediately. That stopped bothering me after I had the chance to read the dedication. To me, it is so powerful. "To the One who is forever faithful."


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