Brought to you by guest reviewer Alina
Beware of Spoilers
Ringing in the New Year turns deadly at Rex’s Hogmanay celebration.
When barrister Rex Graves and his fiancee Helen d’Arcy host a New Year’s Eve party at Gleneagle Lodge in the Scottish Highlands, an oncoming storm threatens to ruin the festivities. Despite the unlucky number of guests and an argument over the lost Jacobite gold, friends and colleagues alike are enjoying the evening with drinks flowing freely. But as the clock strikes midnight and the power goes out, Ken and Catriona Fraser — the inheritors of Gleneagle Castle — are found dead.
Suspecting the Frasers were murdered for monetary gain or revenge, Rex investigates who and what killed the couple. He must use his skills of intellect and detection to catch the culprit in this traditional locked-room mystery. (Goodreads)
I couldn’t find any info on Murder at Midnight, so I guess it is the 7th in the Rex Graves series (if my calculations are correct).
Rex Graves, our main character and amateur sleuth, sounds very much like any middle class, successful middle aged man: has had a good life, satisfying career, a previous marriage that resulted in a kid, who is now grown, a new house in a valley where he can relax, away from pestering neighbors (or so he thought), and above all, a younger future wife. Well, he is nice, quiet, seems to respect women, even makes and serves coffee (wow!), but I just couldn’t relate to him. I think that what actually put me off, was the fact that he is too eager to get his woman out of the way, so he can solve the murder. I had the weird feeling that he was somehow the madman orchestrating the whole thing, so he could get another thrill out of solving the murder. As his fiancee says:
“You want them to spend time on a wild goose chase while you solve the crime on your own”.
She was talking about the almost nonexistent police, represented here by Chief Inspector Dalgerry from Fort William Police Station. The Chief Inspector seems a very sensible man. Just let the master of the mansion do the work and I’ll still get all the credit:
“Och, just wait and see who crawls oot of the woodwork once news of their death gets oot”.
That’s about all he contributes to the investigation, apart, of course, from keeping Rex informed of all the police moves, acting like a DS for ‘Chief Inspector’ Rex.
I think I would have liked the Chief Inspector to be a little more active, and Rex to stop behaving like he owns the Police. Fans of mystery cozies, it will definitely relax you after a busy day.