Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Salon: Christmas Is Murder and Holiday Challenges

Christmas Is Murder
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.


  1. Oh, how disappointing about Christmas is Murder. I hate books where they have a cast of characters at the beginning—the first sign that there are many confusing characters to meet along the way.

    The Augusten Burroughs book sounds good. I haven't read that one.

    Hope you enjoy your reading and your challenges.

    My Salon:

    (Click my name for the URL)

  2. Hi Rob, just stopping by to welcome you to my Christmas Spirit reading challenge and to thank you for following both of my blogs. I'm now following you back. I hope you have fun doing the challenge and get a lot of fun holiday reading done!

  3. Oh, I do believe you enjoy Christmas as much as I do :)

    I actually used a Border's coupon and purchased Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop as an early gift to me. I hope to read a chapter a night during the month of December.

  4. Thanks for joining the challenge Rob. I hope you enjoy your holiday books. I look forward to your reviews.

  5. I love the Book Blogger Holiday Swap! I'm not much of a holiday themed book reader though, so I haven't joined any of the holiday challenges.

  6. Oh that's so disappointing about Christmas is Murder as I love the title! Like you say, though, the cover is not very festive or mysterious.

    I am joining in the Christmas spirit challenge too and Holiday Grind is on my list.

    happy reading!

  7. Thank you for visiting my blog - have almost finished Christmas is Murder - so far is a sweet - but average read :)

    My daughter and her partner have just returned from 2 weeks in Hawaii - they loved it and want to return. My grandson (8 months) just wanted to eat the flowers!!!


Aloha! Thanks for taking time to talk story. Your comment will be posted soon.

Ho'ola'i na manu i ke aheahe

"The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze."
Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.