Murder of the Bride

( 4 )

Overview

Scottish Barrister Rex Graves and his fiancée Helen have traveled to Aston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England to attend the wedding ceremony of one of Helen’s former students. The dreary gray skies and bickering families underscore Rex’s private reservations about the unlikely couple’s long-term prospects. But when people connected to the ill-fated wedding start falling faster than the gloomy May rain, Rex must determine who among the sniping wedding guests is the killer in this traditional locked-room mystery. ...

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Murder of the Bride

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Overview

Scottish Barrister Rex Graves and his fiancée Helen have traveled to Aston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England to attend the wedding ceremony of one of Helen’s former students. The dreary gray skies and bickering families underscore Rex’s private reservations about the unlikely couple’s long-term prospects. But when people connected to the ill-fated wedding start falling faster than the gloomy May rain, Rex must determine who among the sniping wedding guests is the killer in this traditional locked-room mystery. Murder of the Bride is book 5 in the Rex Graves Mystery series.

Praise:
“A winner . . . A must for cozy fans.”—BOOKLIST, starred review

“A welcome diversion from today’s style of writing . . . The writing is crisp and the story fast-paced.”—BELLAONLINE

“Skillfully choreographed.”—WASHINGTON POST

“Contemporary in setting but classic in style and voice, it’ll have you guessing to the very end. Four stars.”—RT BOOK REVIEWS

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Challinor’s disappointing fifth Rex Graves mystery (after 2011’s Murder on the Moor) takes the Scottish barrister and his fiancée, Helen d’Arcy, to Aston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, for the wedding of Timmy Thorpe and the pregnant Polly Newcombe, Helen’s former student. Arsenic in the cake soon fells the bride and some of her guests, a valuable snuffbox collection is stolen, and Polly’s flirtatious aunt takes a dive off a parapet. With the blessing of the police, Rex investigates individuals who stand to benefit from deaths in the bride and groom’s families and who might have held grudges. Questions include the paternity of Polly’s baby, the dubious activities of Timmy’s brother, and the mysterious disappearance of Polly’s father years before. An awkward beginning with clunky conversations, situations that challenge the willing suspension of disbelief, and a late-breaking, unconvincing twist without proper foreshadowing will leave some readers feeling cheated. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This May wedding brings showers and corpses. Luckily, guests Rex Graves and his fiancée, Helen, are there to trap the killer in the Scottish barrister's fifth entry (after Murder on the Moor).
Kirkus Reviews
Why wouldn't your wedding day be one of the happiest of your life? Because it's your last. Amateur sleuth and Scottish barrister Rex Graves and his fiancée Helen are attending the nuptials of her former student in Derbyshire. The weather is miserable, the bride is heavily pregnant and the family members are bickering. Polly Newcombe is a wild child. Her groom, accountant Timmy Thorpe, is a sickly momma's boy whose fraternal twin is a womanizer who neglects his wife and children. The reception is at the family home of Newcombe Court, a showcase for an amazing combination of architectural styles, where Polly and her mother still live after the disappearance of her father years before. When the bride, her mother and the vicar all suffer what appears to be a bad case of food poisoning, leaving Polly's baby the only survivor, Rex is suspicious. Having prosecuted a case of arsenic poisoning once before, he recognizes the symptoms. The police are glad to have help from Rex, especially when a valuable collection of snuff boxes is stolen and Polly's paternal aunt is found dead, pushed off the tower. Identifying still another corpse found at the train station as the missing Mr. Newcombe strongly suggests that someone has a grudge against the family. Rex must work through a large number of suspects in a limited time if he and Helen are to get on with their planned hiking trip.

Rex's fifth case (Murder on the Moor, 2011, etc.) is a derivative but pleasant classic English mystery.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738723358
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/8/2012
  • Series: A Rex Graves Mystery Series , #5
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 162,027
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Rex Graves is back, this time visiting his fiancee, Helen d¿Arc

    Rex Graves is back, this time visiting his fiancee, Helen d’Arcy, so
    they can attend the wedding in Aston-on-Trent of one of her former
    students. Polly is very pregnant and her groom, Timmy, looks a bit
    peaked but is it just the dreary day leading Rex to think the success of
    this marriage is doubtful? Perhaps not, as the reception at the bride’s
    family country home in Derbyshire soon turns from a pleasant celebration
    to a scene of mayhem when Polly collapses, looking more than a little
    green. The vicar and Victoria, the bride’s mother soon fall just as ill
    and it becomes apparent that food poisoning may be the cause. When the
    ambulance arrives, though, Rex suggests that the hospital might want to
    test for arsenic poisoning as he has recognized the symptoms. As a
    barrister in Scotland, Rex has some knowledge of such things and he has
    begun to develop a reputation as a sleuth. Certainly there are
    indications that mischief is afoot, such as the disappearance of the
    bride and groom figures from the top of the wedding cake and the
    apparent theft of some very valuable collectibles but the news that
    Polly’s long-lost father may have returned to the area and the discovery
    of a body at the bottom of the tower solidify Rex’s misgivings. Leaving
    the reception and heading to Aston-on-Trent, Rex learns a great deal
    more about the secrets of the Newcombe and Thorpe families. Is jealousy
    behind the attacks? Greed? Infidelity? Overbearing mothers? Rex and the
    local police have an overabundance of clues and evidence and getting to
    the solution to the case will require much thought and cooperation.
    This latest case for Rex Graves is every bit as charming and
    entertaining as those in earlier books and readers will not be
    disappointed. The setting, an English country home, is as much a
    character as the people and many of those characters are a delight,
    especially Police Constable Perrin (and the cast of characters provided
    by the author is very much appreciated). It should be noted that, while
    the book is billed as a locked-room mystery, that really isn’t true.
    That slight failing does nothing to dampen enjoyment of Murder of the
    Bride and I will look forward eagerly to my favorite Scottish
    barrister’s next case.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Who-Done-It

    I loved this book!

    The butler did it in the drawing room with a candlestick! Picture the tried and true who-dun-it mystery and you have C.S. Challinor’s “Murder of the Bride.” In the fifth installment of her Rex Graves Mystery Series, Challinor offers up yet another entertaining and often humorous adventure.

    Barrister and amateur sleuth Rex Graves and his fiancée Helen are off to Derbyshire, England for the wedding of a former student. Almost immediately upon their arrival at the church, the comedy of errors begins. When the bride Polly makes her entrance to walk down the aisle she is preceded by a very prominent and very pregnant belly, obviously this is a “shot-gun” wedding. She is quite the contrast to her scrawny, sickly looking groom Timmy Thorpe leaving the guests wondering how the two ended up a couple and on their way to the altar.

    When they arrive at the afternoon reception in the bride’s childhood home, it becomes apparent the families of the newly married couple are highly dysfunctional in their own ways. Polly’s father ran off when she was a teenager and hadn’t been seen since, and Timmy’s mother Mabel is an overbearing shrew of a woman.

    The buffet over and the cake finally cut and served, the bride becomes sick and is rushed to the hospital where it is discovered she’s been poisoned at the reception. Instantly Rex Graves goes into sleuth mode to solve the murder. In the process of tracking the guilty party, bodies start piling up as Aunt Gwen takes a dive off the top of the castle and Polly’s father is found dead on the train tracks.
    One by one the guests are cleared of suspicion as Rex zeros in on the killer in a surprising twist the reader won’t see coming.

    Challinor deftly writes a classic English-style mystery in the class of Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen. With her words, you can almost see Rex in a tweed jacket with a pipe between his teeth questioning all the attendees of the reception. Devoted readers of the mystery genre will love this offering from Challinor.

    Reviewed for Suspense Magazine

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Traditional British whodunit with a limited cast of suspects set

    Traditional British whodunit with a limited cast of suspects set at a wedding reception at a remote Victorian "Folly." Have read nothing but good reviews for this #5 in the Rex Graves Mystery series (except for the PW one, and I've read glowing reviews from them on books I've loathed--??). Highly enjoyable, and a real puzzler without any boring, meandering bits of filler you find in so many modern cozies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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