Murder of the Bride
Review: Rex Graves and his fiancée Helen d'Arcy travel to Aston-on-Trent to attend the wedding of one of Helen's former students, only to discover there is little harmony to be found among the bride and groom's families in Murder of the Bride, the fifth mystery in this series by C. S. Challinor.
Rex isn't terribly keen on going. Not so much because of the wedding or the reception that follows, though it's been decades since he last attended a wedding, but because Helen's old boyfriend Clive will be there. "Still, it might be interesting to finally meet the mathematics teacher and see if he was as boring as Rex imagined him to be." The reception is being held at the bride's mother's residence, Newcombe Court, several miles outside the village, the "white elephant on the hill" as she describes it. It isn't long into the festivities before the guests come down with food poisoning from eating the wedding cake and the bride's aunt, Gwendolyn Jones, is found dead on the grounds from an accidental fall. Rex, however, is coming to a different conclusion, that the cake may have intentionally been laced with arsenic and that Gwen "had been forced over the battlements with malice aforethought."
Fans of manor house mysteries will not be disappointed with Murder of the Bride. The supporting cast includes the usual assortment of colorful, if slightly eccentric characters — a helpful list is provided at the start of the book — and the backdrop is well drawn, the perfect setting for a murder (or two) and the solution thereof. Typical as well of these types of mysteries, there is a lot of often witty and entertaining dialog to liven things up. Where the present mystery seems to be lacking is in its plotting. Some readers may find comfort in its familiarity, a sense of having been here before, knowing what's going to happen next and how it will all play out, if not specifically whodunit, as it were. As such, it's rather charming. Other readers may be slightly disappointed that the plot isn't more than it pretends to be, a serviceable murder mystery storyline that safely stays well within the boundaries set for it.
Acknowledgment: Midnight Ink provided an eARC of Murder of the Bride for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Christmas Is Murder
Midnight Ink (Trade Paperback), September 2008
ISBN-13: 9780738713595; ISBN-10: 0738713597
Location(s) referenced in Murder of the Bride: Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire, England
— ♦ —
Murder of the Bride by C. S. Challinor — A Rex Graves Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $14.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites