ABOUT AUTHOR: JULIANNA DEERING 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 new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, 2014). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and four contemporary mysteries for the Annie's Attic series. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books &Such Literary Agency (

What inspired you to write Death by the Book?
I’m a longtime fan of Agatha Christie and the other writers from the Golden Age of Crime Fiction.  The mystery novels of the 1920s and ‘30s have a particular style to them that I enjoy.  The quaint English village, the old manor house, the perfectly correct staff of servants, the formal social conventions, all of it fascinates me.  So, naturally, I couldn’t resist trying to write something in this genre.  It’s been great fun!

Someone described your mystery as an “enthralling mystery that will satisfy the most ardent Agatha Christie fan.” What do you love about Agatha Christie books?

Her books have some of the most amazing plots.  And, of course, I love her recurring characters, Poirot, Marple and so on.  Sometimes I can deduce who the killer is as I’m reading, but not usually.  Of course, she once said that she just wrote a good story and then, at the end, went back at set up least likely suspect to be the guilty party.  I’ll have to try that sometime.

Why write Christian Fiction? What’s the draw for you?
Author stitched "Bloom Where your Planted"

There is something ingrained in human nature that makes people receptive to story.  Oftentimes, Jesus did not preach his message.  He told stories about a prodigal son or a rich young ruler.  Stories don't tell us what to think, at least the good ones don't, but they let us experience, they let us draw our own conclusions, and that is often more powerful than the greatest sermon.  Nathan could have reprimanded King David for his adultery and murder.  Instead he told David a story, a story of a poor man with one pet lamb.  He made David see and feel from that poor man's point of view, let him feel outraged on that wronged man's behalf, let him feel indignant towards the rich man who stole and killed that precious lamb.  Then and only then did Nathan tell him he had done as that rich man had, only worse.  Only then did he say, "You are the man."  Only then did David clearly and utterly see his wrong and repent.  Story is so powerful.  And we who write with a Christian message, even just a Christian world view, have enormous potential for speaking God's truth.

They had well known amateur detectives back then – Poirot, Marple, Wimsey, and Campion – Which are your favorites? Why?

I love all four of the ones you've mentioned.  Each in his or her way is an unlikely detective.  Poirot is a little Belgian dandy, Miss Marple is an elderly British spinster, Wimsey is the stereotypical  foppish and foolish over-bred aristocrat, and Campion seems a rather bland and forgettable nonentity. But inside each of them is a formidable sleuth, and many a killer has regretted taking them at face value.  Plus their creators, Christie, Sayers and Allingham, have given them some absolutely marvelous cases to solve and some fascinating people to suspect.  You can’t go wrong with any of them.

You feature Drew Farthering, the young heir to Hampshire county estate, who did you base him on? Why?

Drew just popped into my head one day and said, "Oh, I say, wouldn't it be smashing if you let me solve some cracking good mysteries?" I suppose he's the hero-sleuth I just wanted to read about. He's handsome and wealthy, stylish and very British. He's got just a touch of angst about his past, but not enough to keep him from being great fun.  Like all my heroes, I have a little bit of a crush on him.  Don’t tell Madeline.

Madeline Parker is a beautiful American debutante in your novels. What was your inspiration for this character?
1968 Family Photo I'm the short one

I always loved Myrna Loy as Nora Charles in the Thin Man movies from the 1930s and ‘40s.  She’s pretty and stylish, down to earth and determined to keep up with her sleuthing husband,, Nick.  In the midst of whatever mystery they’re involved in, even when the bullets are flying, she is unflappable and good natured and ready with a witty comeback.  Madeline follows firmly in her footsteps.  Besides that, though, I thought it would be interesting to match a British hero with an American heroine.  It gives me a chance to write American and British dialogue, and that’s always fun.

Can you give us a peek into the third book in this series called Murder at the Mikado?

Just when Drew thinks everything is going great and his relationship with Madeline is better than ever, an old flame of his shows up at Farthering Place.  Drew’s memories of her are not pleasant ones, and he wants to have nothing to do with her.  But she’s the chief suspect in the murder of a local actor, and she begs Drew to prove her innocence.  Madeline becomes more and more uncomfortable with Drew’s involvement in the case, and both of them are forced to deal with painful memories from past relationships, memories that will draw them closer or pull them apart.  Besides the mystery and the romantic drama and the Gilbert and Sullivan theme, this book has my very favorite cover:  Drew in white tie.  Lovely.  The book is due out July 1, 2014.


Design by Deanne

 What movie most affected you when you were young? If you didn’t watch movies what book affected you most in your youth? Why?

There are many I could name, but I think I’ll go with It’s a Wonderful Life.  I watch it every year if I can.  It’s such a powerful story, and a great reminder that we’re all precious and that we all impact those around us, for good or bad, by how we live our lives.  No matter how often I see it, it never fails to touch my heart and remind me I’m not alone.

(Deanne says, "The quilt with the writer quotes is something I designed and made. It's called "Black and Write and Read all over:) 

What is the most special thing anyone has ever done for you?
Tiny Elizabeth

Petie looking at camera


I’ve had a lot of special moments, but one I’ll never forget was when my first book, In Honor Bound, was released.  I had the publisher overnight one copy to me as soon as it came off the press because I was so eager to actually hold a real copy of the book.  I got it on a Friday.  On the following Sunday, I was sitting in church, and my pastor said he was going to do a magic trick.  He asked for a volunteer to help him, and then, even though I didn’t volunteer, he picked me.  I went up to the front and stood beside the covered table that was set up there.  To my amazement, from under the cloth there appeared a copy of my book.  Then I saw that there was a whole box of them!  My church had surprised me with my very first book signing.  I’m still so touched by their thoughtfulness.

A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for a couple of days. What would you do with it? Any events you’d like to experience? If so which ones?

I think I’d go way, way back and watch God create the earth.  How amazing that must have been!  I’d love to see Egypt at its height, when the pyramids were new.  I’d love to see a medieval castle and cathedral being built.  How in the world did they make such amazing structures without modern machinery?  More than great events, I’d love to see just how an ordinary day was for someone in medieval England, in Colonial America, in Revolutionary France, in Regency England, in the Civil War (English and American), in the Old West, and so on.  We know a lot about the important events, but I think many aspects of everyday life get glossed over.  I’d love to just observe it for myself in a lot of different times and places.

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?
Book Shelve in Authors office

I’d probably be organizing things so everybody helps out and everything gets done without a lot of wasted effort and supplies.  If there were sewing supplies, I’d probably be the one mending people’s clothes, too.

You've been given 48 hours to hang out with any two people (alive or dead). Who would you pick and what would you do?

 Hmmmm . . . I think I’d get Margery Allingham and Agatha Christie to teach me how they come up with their plots.  They've written some amazing ones.


I love to hear from my readers.  Bethany House has designed some wonderful bookmarks and bookplates for Rules of Murder and Death by the Book.  Just send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope (at least 7” long), and I’ll be happy to send them out to you, autographed if you like.  My address is P. O. Box 375, Aubrey, Texas  76227.

Thank you for letting me visit TBCN! 

Thanks for stopping by and letting get to know you and your books better. I’m thrilled about the 10 book giveaway opportunity at The Book Club Network 

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! 


  1. Thanks for letting me visit, Nora! :)

    1. It's been great fun to get to know you are your books. I'm thrilled to tell everyone at The Book Club Network too. Grin!