C. S. Challinor

Christmas Is Murder

**STARRED** Review from Booklist:

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, this 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.


Rex Graves #8
It’s a dark day for Scottish barrister Rex Graves when he learns that Lord Gordon Murgatroyd, AKA Judge Murder, has died—supposedly of natural causes. His daughter Phoebe thinks otherwise and enlists Rex's help. With a target on his back and a child abduction case gripping the region, Rex fears that the judge’s death won’t be an isolated incident.
Rex Graves #7
When a spate of murders takes place in a quiet riverfront community in south-central England, Rex Graves is called upon to lend his investigatory expertise. For the first time in his sleuthing career, Rex finds he has good reason to fear for his life.
Rex Graves #6
Ringing in the New Year turns deadly at Rex's Hogmanay celebration in the Scottish Highlands. As the clock strikes midnight and the power goes out, the inheritors of Gleneagle Castle are found dead. Rex must use his skills of intellect and detection to catch the culprit in this traditional locked-room mystery.
Rex Graves #5
Poison is served up with the wedding cake and champagne at Newcombe Court in the English countryside, where Rex Graves has been invited as Helen's reluctant guest.
Rex Graves #4
Rex Graves holds a housewarming party at his newly converted hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands and discovers there's a serial killer on the loose.
Rex Graves #3
Rex Graves investigates an apparent suicide at his son's college in Florida and opens up a can of worms.
Rex Graves #2
Scottish barrister-sleuth Rex Graves unwittingly travels to an exclusive nudist resort in the French West Indies to solve the mystery of a missing actress.
Rex Graves #1
Not even a blizzard on the Sussex coast can keep Rex Graves away from Swanmere Manor, but instead of Christmas cheer, the Scottish barrister finds a dead guest.