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The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery Hardcover – Apr 6 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (April 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021604
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #366,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review



About the Author

Martha Grimes is the bestselling author of eighteen Richard Jury mysteries and also the acclaimed fiction Foul Matter, Cold Flat Junction, Hotel Paradise, The End of the Pier, and The Train Now Departing.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allan Martel on July 19 2010
Format: Hardcover
Other reviewers have already touched on some of the serious flaws in this latest in the series of Richard Jury novels. First among the absurdities are the chapters - yes, more than one - where the dialogue is among dogs and cats and which do nothing to advance the story at all. Second, the plot base is stolen from a Hitchcock movie based on a Patricia Highsmith novel. Raymond Chandler wrote the first draft of the sceenplay even though he thought the plot was wildly improbable - he was right.

Third the novel is rife with pointless vignettes and subplots inserted simply to keep certain characters "active" and ready to turn on in future works. There are other plot premises such as an aunt failing even to recognise her dead niece which stretch credibility beyond reasonable limits.

If you want to be able to namedrop famous and expensive shoe designers, or read scant references to other Hitchcock films which permeate this work, then good on you and tally ho. If however, you are looking for the tightly woven intricate material so characteristic of Martha Grimes' earlier work in this series, then, like me, you might be quite disappointed.

Another reviewer alludes to the death of Ms. Grimes cat; still another to a decline in her writing quality. It remains to be seen, but I too will wait for a library version of her next novel as this one isn't worth the price of admission, even on discounted theatre Tuesdays.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Gonzalez-Prado on May 1 2010
Format: Hardcover
I found this book disappointing. Had the feeling Grimes is tiring. The chapters done from the perspective of a dog and cat were neither interesting nor clever. They also made progress of the plot dubious. And the involvement of the baddie from the two previous Jury books was pointless except to keep the character going. I certainly won't buy the next one in hardbound and may not bother with the eventual paperback.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 2 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm late to Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series; this is the first one I've read. I love British crime novels, and this one is a rather nice combination of police procedural and "cozy". Jury, a superintendent with the London Metropolitan police, is called in to help out with a murder committed in a small village outside London. A woman's body is found with no identification, murdered in the parking lot of a local pub called, "The Black Cat". But the pub is not the only "black cat" in the story. Three others pop up during the story, as well as a couple of dogs. Grimes writes some of the story in the animals' voices, which I liked but other reviewers seem not to.

Three women, all beautiful "escorts" and favoring really, really expensive shoes, turn up dead in the story. Jury eventually figures out the murderer but not without help from old friends, and one "enemy", Harry Johnson. Evidently, Johnson has figured in to previous Jury stories, as have the old friends. With any on-going series, jumping-in in the middle is slightly daunting to the new reader, but Grimes has a good way of identifying who's who.

It's a good read and I'll look for other, earlier Jury novels.
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By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 30 2010
Format: Hardcover
In his 22nd appearance of this wonderful series, New Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury is trying to deal with the awful consequences of the auto accident in which the other driver was killed and which left his lover, "the incomparable, commanding, relentless" D.I. Lu Aguilar, hospitalized with devastating injuries as the book opens. [Actually, the accident took place a few weeks prior in time, at the end of the last book in the series, "Dust."] But he has little time to grieve over her fragile condition as he has been called in to assist in the investigation of the murder of a young woman, whose appearance is most notable for her beauty and the obvious costliness of her attire: Yves St. Laurent gown and Jimmy Choo shoes. The murder took place in the village of Chesham, on the grounds of a pub, the eponymous Black Cat. And in fact a plethora of black cats populate the novel. [Well, if three can be called a plethora.] For that matter, the book is filled with various animals bearing whimsical names: a horse named Aggrieved, a goat named Aghast, and a dog named Aggro, among others, and all those black cats.

Jury, who pines for a cigarette frequently through these pages as he has "for the thousandth heartbreaking time in three years," and is described as a "high-ranking detective with the Metropolitan police, but without much feeling for rank, and who'd climbed the ladder without much feeling for the rungs," remains thoroughly endearing, as do his mates, among them the debonair Melrose Plant, Lord Ardrey, if you please; Harry Johnson, nominally his nemesis but with whom he shares a decidedly ambivalent relationship; and Dr. Phyllis Nancy, his good friend-cum-paramour.
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