Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday Salon: Christmas Is Murder and Holiday Challenges
by C.S. Challinor
Midnight Ink, Copyright 2008
200 pages, ISBN 9780738713595
Overall Rating: 2/5
Holiday Appeal: 2/5
Christmastime in the south of England. A Victorian hotel. Snowbound guests and a murderer on the loose. For an Anglophile like me, Christmas Is Murder, sounded like my cup of tea.
The first clue something was terribly wrong, however, should have been the cover. I know, never pick a book this way, but for a holiday mystery I think it adds to the spirit and enjoyment.
My first problem is that I didn't like any of the characters. They seemed one dimensional until halfway through the book. We meet them all at one time which I disliked. The author listed a "cast of characters" at the beginning which I kept referring back to. I had a hard time remembering everyone.
The second problem I had is that the book seriously lacked a holiday feel. Every so often there was mention of Christmas. It never seemed to be important to the atmosphere of the book.
Rex Graves, a Scottish barrister, is the lead character. He solves the mystery involving three deaths among the hotel guests. The motive revealed at the end seemed far fetched. Nothing added up.
Why was Rex invited to this mess of a mystery? I would have passed and gone elsewhere. You should too.
Moving on, let's talk about the holidays for book bloggers.
I'm joining two reading challenges. The Christmas Spirit beginning November 26, and hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict. Her page gets me in the holiday mood every time I stop by.
Next is the Holiday Reading Challenge hosted by Nely at All About (n). It starts November 15. Anyone joining me?
The books I'm considering are Comfort and Joy by Jim Grimsley, Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle, and You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs. On my wish list is Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop.
I'm also participating in Book Blogger Holiday Swap for the first time and considering A Broke and Bookish Secret Santa (which is what I'll be), and Book Lovers Secret Santa hosted by The Nevending Shelf.