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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. ...
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.
“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
Rex's fifth case (Murder on the Moor, 2011, etc.) is a derivative but pleasant classic English mystery.
Posted August 21, 2012
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.
Posted May 10, 2012
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
Posted April 10, 2012
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 NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2013
No text was provided for this review.