Remember when I read Dressed for Death for the INSPYs and loved it? And I said I intended to read the previous books in the series? Well, I've now read the first book, and I am definitely a fan!
Rules of Murder introduces Drew Farthering, a wealthy British man of marriageable age with a fondness for mystery books. He and his best friend Nick return to Farthering Place, which is home to both of them -- Drew inherited it from his father, and Nick's father is the butler, but the boys grew up together and are great pals. Drew's mother and stepfather are throwing a big party, during which Drew meets his stepfather's American niece, Madeline Parker. And also during this party, someone gets shot. In the face. Rather reminiscent of Vera Caspary's Laura in that way.
More people die. Drew and Nick decide to try to follow a list of advice from their favorite mystery author and figure out who the murderer is. They are both an aid and an impediment to the official police investigator, one Inspector Birdsong, who is alternately amused and annoyed by them.
Also, Drew and Madeline find themselves mutually attracted to each other. Drew thinks it's love, Madeline thinks it's too soon to tell, and I was very pleased by how well the author avoided the usual "insta-love" traps and pitfalls.
Then there's the fact that Madeline is a practicing Christian. Drew kind of is for most of the book -- he believes more than he doesn't believe, sort-of. So the story also involves him beginning to wonder if faith in God should involve more than just going to church now and then, if you should be living your life in a way that reflects your faith.
All in all, a fun first book in what promises to be an enjoyable series!
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: a soft PG-13 for violence, dangerous situations, innuendo about a married woman being unfaithful, and some mild kissing. No bad language. On my #RebelliousWriting reading list it goes!