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C. S. Challinor

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   Recent articles by
C. S. Challinor

Who is Rex Graves?
Press Release: Midnight Ink Books/Walkers Shortbread
Press Release from Midnight Ink Books
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Creating the Amateur Sleuth by C.S. Challinor
By C. S. Challinor   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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C. S. Challinor is the author of the acclaimed Rex Graves Mystery series:

Christmas is Murder (2008),
Murder in the Raw (2009),
Phi Beta Murder (2010),
Murder on the Moor (2011),
Murder of the Bride (2012)

Article adapted from Mt. Dora, Fl, Workshop, March 2012

Creating the Amateur Sleuth

by C.S. Challinor


Rex Graves, Scottish Barrister: Ms. Challinor has crafted a world class detective, a charming sleuth who uses his prosecutorial expertise to work his way through method and motive.  Novels are often compared Agatha Christie.”

“... At times, it seems we are playing Clue or perhaps enjoying a contemporary retelling of a classic Agatha Christie tale with a charming new sleuth. A must for cozy fans." - Booklist (American Library Association)




I’m assuming most, if not all, of you reading this are writing or thinking about writing a mystery. If that’s the case, many of you will already know the basic rules of writing  mysteries and I’ll cover that to a certain extent, but what I’d like to focus on, and what I feel might be most helpful, is to discuss writing the whodunit in the context of the amateur sleuth. Much of how you write your mystery will depend on your protagonist—your main character around whom the story unfolds. I shall refer to the amateur sleuth as the AS. The amateur sleuth or AS  is typically the solver of cases in cozy mysteries, an exception being M. C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth, a village policeman, or bobby, as we would say in the UK.


Cozy mysteries are most often set in villages or remote areas—an English country house or rural Kansas, for example.  The professional private detective or PI belongs to the grittier, hard-boiled mystery genre, more likely to take place in an urban setting, such as New York or Boston: John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee and Robert B. Parker’s Police Chief Jesse Stone, for example. My talk will concentrate on the amateur sleuth, though there will inevitably be some cross-over. I’ll discuss Required Attributes, choice of Profession, pointers on Appearance, whether to have a Love Interest, and basics on Background.

(See attachment for rest of article)


Web Site: Rex Graves

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Books by
C. S. Challinor

Murder at Midnight

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SAY MURDER WITH FLOWERS: A Rex Graves Mini-Mystery

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Murder at the Dolphin Inn

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SAY GOODBYE TO ARCHIE: A Rex Graves Mini-Mystery

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Murder of the Bride

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Murder on the Moor

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Phi Beta Murder

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The Holiday by Peter Mulraney

The Holiday is the second book in the Inspector West series of crime/romance novels, which explore the lives of people who commit crimes, mess up relationships and fall in love - n..  
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Murder in a Teacup by Nancy Curteman

Lysi Weston, leaves liberal San Francisco to present a sexual harassment seminar in Big Sky country. She isn’t surprised at resistance from Montana “Marlboro Men,” but the murder o..  
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