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The Case Has Altered: A Richard Jury Novel Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1 1998

3.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; Open market ed edition (Nov. 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451408683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451408686
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I will admit that NOT ONLY have I NOT read all of Grimes' work, but that what I have read has been all out of order. In her works before 2000, that didn't seem to matter too much. There was some related themes between the books - like Viv's engagment to Count Dracula - but mostly reading her books in any order was fine.
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?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Must I give this book any stars at all?
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first of Martha Grimes' books that I have read, so I don't have much to compare it with, but I really loved it. The characters are vivid and interesting, and there is a wonderful sense of place here. I hadn't thought much about the English fens, but this book makes you want to look at pictures of them or go there. Grimes' descriptions of the light on the fens are particularly good.
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.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Serious readers are wary of abridgements, often for good reason. Not having read this book in its unabridged form, I have my suspicions of what got cut from the audio version of "The Case" -- the background of the various suspects seems a bit less developed here, although I still wondered "whodunit" until the protagonists arrived at their conclusion. There also may have been some deleting of the descriptions of the bleak Lincolnshire fens, but with little loss to the overall effect of the tale.
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!!
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