The First Richard Jury Novel!,
This review is from: The Man with a Load of Mischief (Mass Market Paperback)
Lately it seems when I've started reading a mystery series I've started in the middle or at the end of things. I was quite pleased when I came across this book, helpfully labelled "The First Richard Jury Novel!", and decided to turn over two new leaves: starting a new series and beginning at the beginning for a change.
I found the first couple chapters a bit of tough sledding. Grimes, an American author intent on establishing the setting and tone of an "English Mystery" lays on the Anglicized idioms a bit thick. By about a third of the way through, though, either she laid off or I started to roll with it because I was fully into the story at that point.
If you've read her later books, you can probably eliminate quite a few of the suspects on the grounds that they show up later with no mention of being homicidal maniacs. As a first-time-reader I spent a lot of time guessing whodunit (or, rather, hoping someone hadn't done it - "Oh, don't let it be him" and "Oh, don't let it be her"). The ending relies on the knowledge of a bit of English geographic trivia (well, I suppose it's not trivial to the people who live there), but there are a few other clues that savvy sleuths can use to get the job done just as well.
While Richard Jury isn't a Poirot, Wimsey, or Dalgliesh (at least not in his first outing), he still is a first-rate literary creation. If you're looking to start a new series of detective fiction, this is a good place to begin. After the first book, I know I'm hooked.