In the frigid Canadian north, Madoc and Janet try to keep warm and stay alive
Though he may not look the part, Madoc Rhys is a Mountie—and his keen sense of detection tells him it’s time to ask Janet Wadman to marry him. They have just gotten engaged when Christmas rolls around, and Janet’s boss invites them to his family estate for a last holiday fling before Janet leaves her job. After a long helicopter ride, they are at Graylings, ancestral home of the Condryckes, a family so strange that Canada’s shortest Mountie fits right in.
There is a psychic old woman, an erudite butler, and a family patriarch who is the spitting image of an English country squire. And when the elderly Mrs. Condrycke is found murdered, Janet will be glad she brought Madoc along. Though civilization is far away, when there is a Mountie in the house, justice is close at hand.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A quick, fun read that a Canadian Mountie from a rich family and his fiancé, who spend Christmas at an out-of-the-way estate where the fun and laughs are a bit brittle and murder is on the menu.
I've read some of Charlotte McLeod's Peter Shandy series, set at the fictional Balaclava Agricultural College, and have always found them light, fun reads. This is the first of the Madoc Rhys books I've read (and the second in the five-book series) and while light and with some fun moments, I don't think that its quite as successful here.
Because its hard to see Madoc and his girlfriend Janet -- two fairly straight-laced young people -- tolerating, first, his mother setting them up with the Condryckes for the holidays, and second, her falling so quickly over Janet at first meeting as to hand over a family heirloom.
Then at Graylings, this family is a little too silly and crazy. After Granny falls dead, the family continues as if nothing has happened...
The five star rating does not indicate that I think this is equal to the best of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ellery Queen or even Charlotte MacLeod. It does mean that it is first rate in what it tries to be, a very light-hearted, slightly romantic, vehicle which achieves the author's and the reader's desire for it: to be a bit of fluff, with an appealing hero and heroine about to marry, who spend the Christmas holidays with a quite eccentric family, during which period, a murder occurs. Not by chance, the hero is a member of the Mounties and upon him falls the responsibility to do something to see that justice is done. MacLeod can be serious and competitive with the best when that is her goal, as witness some in the Bittersohn series, but that is not the goal in her Grub-and-Stakers or most of the Peter Shandy books (nor, of course, in these Madoc Rhys of the RCMP books). If, as is true of some of the reviewers here, you are not pleased with the eccentricities of dress...
A feel good book that's perfect for that vacation summer beach read -- or since it's really set in the wilds of northern Canada -- more a snowy day in January. A little too "fluffy" for my taste at times, but the characters have more than enough charm to compensate. In the end, it's simple, "fun" read that doesn't pretend to be anything but that.
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