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Murder in the Raw (A Rex Graves Mystery) Paperback – May 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: A Rex Graves Mystery (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (May 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738714399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738714394
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Scottish barrister Rex Graves is back in the case of the missing actress. He is summoned to the Caribbean island of St. Martin by the Winslows, whom he had met in Christmas Is Murder (2008). They are hoping Rex can find out what happened to the lovely, flirtatious actress Sabine Durand, as the police don’t seem terribly interested. Sabine went for a walk along the ocean and never returned, but part of her clothing and a gold ankle bracelet were found on the beach. As in Challinor’s debut, there is a relatively closed cast of characters as suspects, including the seven couples who have been coordinating their St. Martin vacations for years and a mysterious nightclub owner. Complicating matters is what the Winslows forgot to tell Rex: the resort where they are staying is for nudists. He develops some slightly different interrogatory techniques so as not to get distracted by gazing at anyone below the neck. This novel is not quite as smooth and entertaining as its predecessor, although the plot twists are worthy of Erle Stanley Gardner. --Judy Coon

About the Author

C.S. Challinor (Florida) was educated in England and Scotland, and has traveled extensively.  Her short stories have been published in women’s magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.


More About the Author

C.S. Challinor was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and was educated in Scotland (St. George's School for Girls, Edinburgh) and England (Lewes Priory, Sussex; University of Kent, Canterbury: Joint Hons Latin & French). She now resides in Southwest Florida. Her short stories have been published in women's magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom. Challinor is a member of the Authors Guild, New York, and is the author of the Rex Graves cozy mystery series featuring Rex Graves, Scottish barrister-sleuth.

Rex Graves titles are available in trade paperback and Kindle, Nook, etc. CHRISTMAS IS MURDER, the first in the series, is also available in LP hardcover (Thorndike Reviewer's Choice). CHRISTMAS IS MURDER reached #1 on the Kindle Bestseller List. The fifth in the series, MURDER OF THE BRIDE, was a Mystery Guild Book Club pick (hardcover). MURDER COMES CALLING, the newest full-length Rex Graves title from Midnight Ink Books, is due out in August 2015 and is available for pre-order.

For more information, please visit the author at www.rexgraves.com. Thank you for reading!

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Chow on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
When Scottish advocate Rex Graves arrives in St Martin at an all-expense paid invitation to investigate the disappearance of actress Sabine Durand, he receives two bits of disturbing news. First, his luggage has not arrived. Second, though, this shouldn't be a problem since the resort is "clothing optional." Not only does Rex have to interrogate the guests of the hotel - the men who all mourn Susanne's loss and the women who seem indifferent - he has to do so while avoiding looking down at the many bits and pieces.
The island police are content to write off Sabine's disappearance to sharks at the behest of the wealthy developer, a man who owns both the police and much of the island and who also has suspicious ties to Amsterdam sex clubs and their prostitutes who had a habit of getting murdered. Rex himself has his own distractions, namely the disappearance of his girlfriend in Iraq and whose humanitarian aid takes priority in her life.
At less than 200 pages, Murder in the Raw moves swiftly along and speeds to an ending with Challinor tossing in a few surprises. What is so enjoyable about this mystery are the diverse characters, from the Texas oilman and his inflated wife who hides an Ivy League education to Rex's roommate, a rich, dashing, adventurous millionaire. The one disappointment is that we aren't able to learn more about the guests who are all entertaining and likable but many in their number. Rex Graves himself is a stellar lead character who in the style of the traditional mystery questions each suspect yet unexpectedly has a daring confrontation with the killer. This is a highly entertaining, humorous, completely engaging mystery
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl A. Reynolds VINE VOICE on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
#2 Rex Graves mystery. Rex, a Scottish lawyer, is off to the Caribbean at the behest of the Winslows, owners of the inn where he stayed the Christmas before and solved a murder. It seems one of their guests, a famous French actress, has disappeared into thin air and they'd like Rex to look into things since the gendarmerie on the island don't seem very interested. Rex agrees, and then they mention, "Oh, by the way--this resort is a naturalist resort." (i.e., a nudist colony!)

Rex arrives and before long adjusts somewhat to the nudity, and begins questioning the other resort-goers, most of whom are long-time friends of the Winslows who vacation together each year. Sabine Durand left behind a small fragment of blood-soaked fabric hooked on a rock on the beach, the fragment believed to be from a gauzy cover-up she was seen wearing awhile before she disappeared. The gendarmes think a shark got her, but Rex discovers that Sabine wasn't terribly well-liked, and was known to have flings with men--is her much-older husband the culprit as some believe?

This was a quick, light read and despite being relatively cozy, I liked it. The writing is sort of stoic and staid, and the characters a bit clichéd, the mystery itself terribly easy to figure out and predict the outcome, but with the occasional wry humor tucked in to make things interesting, it's very readable. The series reminds me somewhat of the tone and writing style of the Miss Zukas series, which is another series I was kind of surprised that I liked. At any rate, I'm planning to read on to the next one. Not a spectacular read but still quite good, nice to read as my 'bedtime' book before drifting off to la-la land.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert V Righter, Jr. on July 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Murder in the Raw is a fun read that winds you through the worlds of posh Caribbean resorts, nudism and murder. This is one book I could not put down. I had to know who dunnit.

Creative writing and a meandering path to the finale makes for a great story. Challinor has a unique writing style that makes you feel your surroundings.

I look forward to Rex Graves next investigation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By For What It's Worth... on December 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This time Rex is at a nudist colony in St. Martin to uncover the disappearance of popular Sabine. He's not use to detecting "in the buff." What really happened that night when most of the resort's guests were at Paul's birthday party? Sabine's ankle bracelet and part of her pareo was found on the beach. Perhaps she was eaten by sharks as the local authorities suggest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maryann Kowalczyk on March 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ladies and gents, no need to worry about how you will look in that bathing suit. Even Rex Graves will surrender to the sun and surf in service to the community, tracking down a missing guest at the nudist colony in the islands. Great fun, clothing not required.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Blythe on December 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although thrust into an uncomfortable situation, Rex actually carries this off with dignity and grace AND solves the case! Interesting case in a beautiful caribbean setting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Big Boss Man on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
No good deed goes unpunished and Rex, having solved the murders in the first book, earns himself an invitation for a working vacation to investigate another mysterious event. Less traditional in setting and form than the first installment, this adventure finds Rex in a strange place, at a linguistic disadvantage at times, and having to deal with a larger cast of characters. In most respects, Rex, and the reader trying to match wits with him, have a tougher challenge this time around. Even so, Rex manages to mix a bit of fun in the sun and romance into his working vacation, although you won't confuse him with another sun-drenched, romancing sleuth, Thomas Magnum. Getting the story out of the "locked room" allows the setting to be much more action-filled, diverse, and complex than, for instance, an English manor. Lacking Magnum's red Ferarri, gun, and combat skills, Rex instead brandishes an intellect honed by his legal career back in Scotland. I enjoyed the book, and confess that Rex outsmarted me again.
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