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In her latest Richard Jury novel (after The Old Contemptibles ), Grimes sends her Scotland Yard superintendent to the States to investigate a murder but assigns most of the sleuthing to his pal Melrose Plant. Jury and Inspector Wiggins take a busman's holiday in Baltimore to look into the murder of a young American, the nephew of a friend of Jury's acquaintance Lady Cray, at a cabin in Pennsylvania. Plant has come along to visit his friend Ellen Taylor, a novelist whose student at Johns Hopkins was recently murdered near the grave of Edgar Allan Poe. The intricate plot also involves the murder of a homeless man in a Baltimore alley and unfolds in oblique, unexpected turns, hinging on the partial manuscript, found by the dead student, of what might be a lost Poe short story and on the ambitions of descendants of an old Baltimore family. Jury and Wiggins talk to local police and shopkeepers; Plant tours Baltimore with Hughie the cabbie, picking up clues; and Ellen writes (while chained to her chair) the sequel to her first novel while agonizing over its near plagiarism by another writer. Notable for its themes of authorship and authenticity and for the cast of delightfully eccentric characters--who gather each day at a blue-collar bar called The Horse You Came In On--this mystery, with its feathery plot and fey, lighthearted tone, moves in quite a different direction than earlier Jury tales. Not bad, just different. 100,000 first printing; Mystery Book Club main selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Is any mystery writer more generous than Grimes in spinning out subplots and a supporting cast? In bringing Scotland Yard's superintendent Richard Jury to America to investigate the murder of young Philip Calvert, who worked in Philadelphia's Barnes Foundation, she provides not only two other murders (Baltimore street person John- Joy and ambitious Johns Hopkins Ph.D. candidate Beverly Brown) that might be connected--and just how they're connected is the best surprise here--but also a newly discovered story that Brown insisted was by Edgar Allan Poe (yes, we get to read the whole thing); a minimalist novelist, Brown's teacher, who chains herself to her writing desk; Jury sidekick Melrose Plant's swooping excursion into early Baltimore genealogy (courtesy of a riotously misinformed cabbie); and much, much more. As in Jury's recent cases (The Old Contemptibles, 1990, etc.), the high-spirited feast of episodes, settings, and allusions--from Chatterton to Barry Levinson to a secondhand store called Nouveau Pauvre--is too sumptuous for Jury or his fans to digest fully. But if some readers will complain that Grimes has left a million loose ends, nobody will rise from this table still hungry. (First printing of 100,000) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Like other reviewers, I read the reviews on the back of the book that said that this was a great book. They were so wrong. Read morePublished on April 26 2004 by ktgnewjersey
I would definitely agree with those reviewers who say that this is a much waker story than the others in Martha Grimes' wonderful Richard Jury series. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2002 by Martha E. Nelson
As others, I have read several other novels by Ms. Grimes and have enjoyed them very much. However, this one had me confused from the beginning. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2000
I've been a fan of Martha Grimes a long time and have read all of the Richard Jury series in order. I've loved every one that I've read until this one. Read morePublished on Sept. 21 2000 by "slr1"
I've put this book down so many times in the last week in frustration. A book of this length usually only takes me a day or two to read, but this one makes so little sense that... Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2000 by Katherine