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C. S. Challinor

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PHI BETA MURDER Review from Librarything.com
Friday, December 17, 2010  9:18:00 AM

by C. S. Challinor



Mystery/Suspense
'Phi Beta Murder' is a fine page-turner given a sense of urgency by predetermined time-constraints and the cloistered and claustrophobic atmosphere of a second-rate college. Add to that a list of dramatis personae and a taster for a sequel and you have a hugely enjoyable piece of bedtime fiction.

C S Challinor's sojourns in Scotland and England and residency in Florida, her academic background, ear for language and love of the classic age of whodunits all contribute greatly to the authority of this novel. She writes sympathetically about individuals from one culture adapting to another, about the struggles and stresses of students coping away from home and the bemusement of their elders trying to get to grips with modern mores. And, for the mystery aficionado, she sprinkles the text with clues and red herrings in equal measure in best whodunit tradition. 'Phi Beta Murder' is a fine page-turner given a sense of urgency by predetermined time-constraints and the cloistered and claustrophobic atmosphere of a second-rate college. Add to that a list of dramatis personae and a taster for a sequel and you have a hugely enjoyable piece of bedtime fiction.

A confession: I'm not a great fan of mysteries, even well-crafted ones of the greats like Agatha Christie. In common with many critics I often find characterisation mechanical and the individuals mere pawns in the plot-led story; in this sense their weakness is their strength, exactly as candy-floss, while not providing proper nutrition, nevertheless gives you the pleasure that comes with a sugar-hit. What gives Challinor's tale its real meat, however, is the back story of Rex Graves, Scottish QC and amateur sleuth, and his all-too-human attempts to cope with family and relationships and what fate throws at him. Unlike the mystery plot there are no simple solution to life's conundrums, and one really warms to this well-observed middle-aged male adrift in a sea of emotion.
( )
Posted by kind permission of Chris Lovegrove, Reviewer,
Librarything

 More News about C. S. Challinor
Mystery Scene Reviews MURDER AT MIDNIGHT - 10/31/2014 9:58:00 AM

MURDER AT MIDNIGHT: Booklist Review - 7/3/2014 6:26:00 AM

FREE FOR TWO MORE DAYS - 8/19/2013 9:12:00 AM

SAY GOODBYE TO ARCHIE: A Rex Graves Mini-Mystery by C.S. Challinor - 8/13/2013 8:30:00 AM

SAY MURDER WITH FLOWERS: A Rex Graves Mini-Mystery by C.S. Challinor - 8/3/2013 11:47:00 AM

MURDER AT THE DOLPHIN INN Now on Nook - 9/27/2012 7:24:00 AM

MURDER AT THE DOLPHIN INN, New Release by C. S. Challinor - 9/17/2012 10:26:00 AM

MURDER OF THE BRIDE $1.99 Kindle Special - 8/22/2012 8:54:00 AM

If you wish to cozy up with a good cozy mystery, Murder of the Bride will h - 3/26/2012 8:06:00 AM

FREE Flash Fiction Story at OMDB! - 3/14/2012 10:54:00 AM

March Festival of Reading in Central Florida - 3/8/2012 10:24:00 AM

Why wouldn’t your wedding day be one of the happiest of your life? - 3/2/2012 9:07:00 AM

Buried Under Books Reviews MURDER OF THE BRIDE - 2/17/2012 10:11:00 AM

Undiscovered Scotland Review: MURDER ON THE MOOR - 1/26/2012 8:10:00 AM

Top Five Books of 2011 - 1/12/2012 9:51:00 AM

Number 1 in Kindle Sales - 12/13/2011 12:27:00 PM

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN by C.S. Challinor - 9/2/2011 9:23:00 AM

ALIBI FOR MURDER by C. S. Challinor - 6/12/2011 1:56:00 PM

MURDER ON THE MOOR: Reviewing The Evidence - 3/29/2011 10:49:00 AM

The Washington Post Reviews MURDER ON THE MOOR by C.S. Challinor - 3/23/2011 11:44:00 AM

Review from ROMANTIC TIMES - 3/17/2011 9:48:00 AM

Crimespree Review - 3/11/2011 12:06:00 PM

MURDER ON THE MOOR Paperback $8.60 at Amz - 2/12/2011 8:55:00 AM

ForeWord Magazine Interview with Mystery Author - 6/23/2010 7:15:00 AM

Review in The Rue Morgue - 6/7/2010 8:23:00 AM

Malice Domestic Panel with C.S. Challinor (Rex Graves Mysteries) - 4/28/2010 9:32:00 AM

Review in ForeWord Magazine: Phi Beta Murder by C.S. Challinor - 4/18/2010 8:36:00 AM

Jacksonville Magazine Reviews Phi Beta Murder by C.S. Challinor - 4/6/2010 9:07:00 AM

Mystery Scene Magazine Reviews PHI BETA MURDER by C.S. Challinor - 3/3/2010 3:58:00 PM

Murder Mystery at Nudist Resort - 2/26/2010 7:22:00 PM

Sun, surf, secrets—spring break can be murder... - 2/8/2010 11:54:00 AM

Mystery Book Signing in Fort Myers Beach, Florida - 11/25/2009 9:02:00 AM

Latest in the Rex Graves Mystery Series - 10/15/2009 11:26:00 AM

MURDER IN THE RAW Nominated for Agatha Award - 10/7/2009 10:18:00 AM

2 Chicks Review - 9/23/2009 7:38:00 AM

MURDER IN THE RAW Reviewed in Kansas - 8/14/2009 8:43:00 AM

Kindle Editions - 7/28/2009 12:27:00 PM

Suspense Magazine's Recommended Reading List - 6/6/2009 9:37:00 AM

MURDER IN THE RAW Review - 6/6/2009 9:21:00 AM

MURDER IN THE RAW Review from Mystery Scene Magazine - 4/27/2009 11:48:00 AM

New Contract in the Rex Graves Mystery Series - 3/27/2009 7:50:00 AM

Review from The Friendly Book Nook - 12/17/2008 12:32:00 PM

Christmas Is Murder in Large Print Hardcover - 12/17/2008 12:22:00 PM

Review from Cozy Library - 11/21/2008 11:29:00 AM

Review from Once Upon A Romance: Look Out, Hercule Poirot - 11/19/2008 11:01:00 AM

Review in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine - 11/18/2008 7:10:00 AM

4-Star Review (Recommended) from The Mystery Reader - 11/4/2008 8:53:00 AM

Review from Mysterical-E Magazine - 10/11/2008 7:56:00 AM

Starred Review from Booklist - 10/9/2008 3:03:00 PM

Review from Mysterious Reviews - 9/11/2008 7:03:00 AM


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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