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Christmas is murder : a Rex Graves mystery /

Christmas is murder-- when you're stranded in East Sussex with a killer. When guests at a secluded Victorian hotel start dying, all hopes for a jolly holiday are dashed. Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Midnight Ink, 2008
Edition: First edition.
Series: Challinor, C. S. (Caroline S.). Rex Graves mystery.
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SUMMARY

Christmas is murder... when you're stranded with a killer

Not even a blizzard can keep Rex Graves away from Swanmere Manor, a secluded Victorian hotel in the English countryside owned by the eccentric Dahlia Smithings. But instead of Christmas cheer, the Scottish barrister finds a dead guest. Was it a stroke that killed old Mr. Lawdry? Or an almond tart laced with poison?

When more guests die, all hopes for a jolly holiday are dashed. Snowbound and terrified, no one can escape the cold-blooded killer. Rex takes it upon himself to unravel the mystery. A biography of President George W. Bush found charred in the fireplace might offer a few clues. Could the killer be the sherry-swilling handyman? The gay antiques dealer with the biting wit? The quarreling newlyweds? Surely it's not Helen D'Arcy, the lovely lass Rex seems to be falling for...



Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The first installment in this new mystery series is a winner. The amateur detective is Rex Graves, a Scottish barrister, fond of Sudoku puzzles and Latin quotations. In an old-fashioned conceit, Challinor begins with a cast of characters, along with hints of possible motives for each. Although set firmly in the present, with numerous references to the Iraq War, his tale reads like a classic country-house mystery. Rex and the others are snowed in at the Swanmere Manor hotel in East Sussex, England. Being the last to arrive (on two tennis rackets lashed to his feet à la snowshoes), Rex immediately hears of the unexpected demise of one of the other guests. Even though they are in touch with the outside world, the authorities instruct the hotel staff to keep the body in a cool room with the windows open. By the time the police arrive days later, additional bodies have piled up and motives are rampant, but Rex has identified the murderer. At times, it seems we are playing Clue or perhaps enjoying a contemporary retelling of a classic Agatha Christie tale (And Then There Were None, or At Bertram's Hotel) with a charming new sleuth. A must for cozy fans.--Coon, Judy Copyright 2008 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
AUTHOR NOTES

C.S. Challinor (Florida) was educated in England and Scotland, and has traveled extensively. Her short stories have been published in women's magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.


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