Martha Grimes (born May 2, 1931) is an American author of detective fiction.
She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to William Dermit Grimes, Pittsburgh's city solicitor, and to June Dunnington, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State University, and Montgomery College.
Grimes is best known for her series of novels featuring Richard Jury, an inspector with Scotland Yard, and his friend Melrose Plant, a British aristocrat who has given up his titles. Each of the Jury mysteries is named after a pub. Her page-turning, character-driven tales fall into the mystery subdivision of "cozies." In 1983, Grimes received the Nero Wolfe Award for best mystery of the year for The Anodyne Necklace.
The background to Hotel Paradise is drawn on the experiences she enjoyed spending summers at her mother's hotel in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland. One of the characters, Mr Britten, is drawn on Britten Leo Martin, Sr, who then ran Martin's Store which he owned with his father and brother. Martin's Store is accessible by a short walkway from the Mountain Lake Hotel, the site of the former Hotel, which was torn down in 1967.
She splits her time between homes in Washington, D.C., and Santa Fe, New Mexico.