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About the Book
Book: Murder on the MOOR, A Drew Farthering Mystery
Author: Julianna Deering
Genre: Historical Mystery
Release Date: February 2017
At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills–property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.
Few in the town of Bunting’s Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can’t keep his suspicions from falling on his friend’s new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband’s money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what’s really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.
About the Author
Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas. For more information visit www.juliannadeering.com.
Guest Post from Julianna Deering
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE MOOR?
There has always been something especially intriguing to me about the English moors, something about the dense, rolling fog, the miles and miles of uninhabited land, the wild unexplored-ness of them that make them the ideal backdrop for a murder mystery.
I love the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his steadfast Dr. Watson. Their venture onto the moor in The Hound of the Baskervilles was always one of my favorite tales. The story of ponies — and people — wandering into the Grimpen Mire and never coming out always made me shudder. And stories of a great black hound haunting the English moors are far older than Doyle’s telling.
When I began planning Drew’s adventures, I wanted each book to have some kind of literary inspiration. For Murder on the Moor, I had in mind the stories of Cathy and Heathcliff and Jane Eyre and all the gothic romances with brooding heroes, glowering butlers and dour housekeepers, mad women in the attic and the ghostly rattle of chains from the unused wing of an old manor house on the edge of the wild moor. And a hound . . .
I learned several very interesting things while researching Murder on the Moor:
I found out that, because of their threat to livestock and humans, wolves were hunted almost out of existence by the beginning of the 1500s, though “wolf bounties” remained in effect until the early 19th century. So, since my story is set in 1934, I couldn’t very well blame wolves for some of the mischief Drew investigates.
I found out a lot about the moor itself. One of my readers who lives in Yorkshire was kind enough to send me photos of the area. I was amazed at how endless the moor is and how far you can see. Something I hadn’t heard of before but which plays a major part in the book was that there are abandoned lime kilns on the moor. Some of them are huge! They were the ideal places for Drew and Nick to investigate and added a lot to the story in many different ways.
And I was particularly fascinated by what I found out about spectral black hounds. The folklores of the British Isles feature several tales of black dogs that appear at night, often regarded as a portent of death. Far larger than normal dogs, and possessing large, glowing eyes, they are often associated with crossroads, ancient pathways, and places of execution. Although they go by many names, in Yorkshire they’re known as Barghests, one of the most malevolent of the legends. There is uncertainty about the origin of the word barghest. In the north of England, “ghost” was once pronounced “guest,” and the name is thought to be “burh-ghest” or “town-ghost.” Some say it is German: “Berg-geist” (mountain spirit), or “Bär-geist” (bear spirit) since it is sometimes said to appear as a bear. Some say the word comes from “Bier-Geist,” the “ghost of the funeral bier.” To see the monstrous dog is said to be a warning of impending doom, and to find it lying across the threshold means there will be a death in the house.
So, how did I make a story out of spectral hounds, lime kilns and no wolves? You’ll have to read Murder on the Moor and find out.
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