The Case Has Altered: A Richard Jury Novel Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1 1998
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Richard Jury, the brooding Scotland Yard detective-hero of many of Martha Grimes's mysteries, is back in The Case Has Altered, but--as usual--his sidekick Melrose Plant steals the show. Set in the fens of Lincolnshire, Jury must investigate two murders in which his true love, Jenny Kennington, is a suspect. But while Jury deals with the evidence, Melrose uncovers the local color, interviewing everyone from uncommunicative pub owners to chatty cooks. Even murder seems a little less grim with Melrose Plant around. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Poor Dorcas, dead in a ditch in the fens. And she's not the only one. Vera Dunn, the manipulative ex-wife of Max Owen, master of the local estate, Fengate (where Dorcas was a servant), is also dead. Enter Grimes stalward Richard Jury, who's not officially on the case but who gets involved anyway because Lady Kenningston, a woman he cherishes, has been accused of doing in Dunn, with whom she has been seen quarreling. Jury gets pal Melrose Plant to pose as an antiques dealer so that he can snoop around Fengate, then goes off to do some investigating on his own. Naturally, there are puzzles, e.g., why was Dorcas out on the fens that night? Why didn't Lady Kenningston come clean on her relation with nasty Verna? The result is a delicious ebb and flow of tension?first, we get a trial for Lady Kennington, then more twists and turns as the real killer is finally, surprisingly revealed. In the process, there's beautifully rendered atmosphere and perhaps a bit too much of Melrose's litigious aunt. Vintage Grimes; for all collections.
-?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, recently, there seems to be much more carryover between books. To start, there's a growing list of women that Jury and/or Plant both 'love' - Vivian, Polly Praed, Ellen Taylor, Bea Slocum, and Jenny Kennington to start with. Jenny Kennington was the focus of this one, but while apparently she is Jury's true love, I felt so detached because I had never read about her before. There were many other such references that went over my head while new 'regulars' had been added that I didn't really know.
In addition to being ripped out of my comfortable old crowd at the 'Jack and Hammer,' I sometimes felt like I must have missed reading a couple of chapters in this book. Grimes keeps referring to an event where Melrose searched all over for Jenny Kennington, and somehow this caused a problem with Jury. At first I thought this referred back to another case in another book, but as the tale went on it seemed like it happened at some point in this book. I was thoroughly confused.
For those who don't know, the main focus of the book is a double murder (one following the other by 2 weeks) out on the desolate fens of England. One victim is of the minor movie star Vera Dunn, the vicious ex-wife of Max Owen, who owns the estate where Dunn was visiting when killed. The other murder is of Owen's vegetable cook. This young cook was a nosy unattractive girl whom everyone overlooked and forgot. What motive could anyone possibly have to kill two such different woman?Read more ›
I titled one of my previous reviews: "Why Bother". I know that to title another review with the same title is, probably, well, very unimaginative. However, I can't think of a better title. So, I titled this one "Why Bother II". I am not trying to be mean at all. I just feel that perhaps this is the most boring book that I have ever read in my half-century plus of living. I have been an avid reader since the third or fourth grade. I read biography, history, and fiction. Fiction tends to be more toward thriller and mystery. So, actually, I'm not a novice reader. This book is about the slowest book that I've ever read. The character development is almost non-existant, and, I must admit, I found myself lost several times.
There's not much that I can say about the pacing of this novel except to say that it is at a turtle's pace. If that. Actually, a slow turtle.
The character development is, like I said earlier, almost non-existant. In fact, I got the real feeling, that one must read the earlier Jury novels to really understand the characters. In most series that authors write one can read any book within the series and understand the characters. Not here.
Litterally, I had to force myself to finish this book. In fact, there were times that I was completely lost and had to guess what was going on. Perhaps this was because the pacing was so slow that my mind wandered (it did several times). Perhaps this was because one had to know the characters better to get a better understanding of who was who. One must understand who was who in order to follow the plot of a book. Basically, I didn't know who was who and ended up not careing thus I got lost.Read more ›
I figured out who the murderer was fairly early on here, but, as with many of the mystery writers that I like, who did it isn't as important as how you get there, and this is an excellent book from that perspective. The characterizations are wonderful, and the child character of Zell is particularly spendid.
One comment here is that this books seems to exist out of time. I know that it is supposed to be set in the present, but there is very little way to tell that as you read. Some might say that this is not a good thing--is English life that changeless in the upper classes? but I found it interesting and perhaps intentional.
And what a tale that is! Not so much due to Grimes taking the English detective mystery to any new level - she doesn't do that nor intends to. The real laurels here go to reader/actor Tim Curry. He gets all of the character nuances just right, moving with ease and flair across British class, age and gender lines. He brings out with brio the fullest comedic potential of the text, clearly relishing his fleshing out of the eccentricities and peculiarities of Grimes' range of characters and situations. This is the perfect tape set for anyone facing a long commute. You'll be well entertained and amused. For Curry's perfomrance: six stars!!
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent read. As usual, good character development and just enough twists to keep you wondering.Published 17 months ago by Pat Culham
I bought this because reviews on the back cover stated it was as good as Sayers, Christie, etc.
Indescribable boredom best describes my feeling prior to putting the book in... Read more
If you like Martha Grimes, you will enjoy this book. It has a well developed plot that keeps you guessing to the end. Read morePublished on May 6 2001 by Sarah Wilson
Martha Grimes crafts another terrific mystery novel!! Grimes' characters are clearly developed and her descriptions of the fens are almost haunting. Read morePublished on April 2 2001 by jeanne-scott
Martha Grimes paints an insightful and informatinve picture of English life. We're not reading a AAA Tour book, after all. I thoroughly enjoyed this particular novel. Read morePublished on July 3 2000
While I think this book might not be quite up to the others, it was fun getting back "with the family", so to speak.
I just wish Martha were more prolific. Read more
Maybe blood is thicker than water, but even my sister agrees with me on reviewing this book. I just finished it tonight after beginning it around Christmas! Read morePublished on Aug. 17 1999
What a book!! The best I've read since I've forgotten when. It made me realize why I love the English language so, beautifully written. Read morePublished on March 24 1999