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I am a big fan of the Richard Jury mysteries--haven't read her other series/stand alones though. There are many books in the series, the first one I believe is The Anodyne Necklace. It's a British police procedural series, and Jury is in Scotland Yard. He has a regular cast of sidekicks, too--Sgt Wiggins, Jury's assistant, who is a hypochondriac of the first order, albeit a lovable one, his neighbor Mrs. Wassermann, and Melrose Plant, a nobleman who gave up his titles much to the chagrin of his aunt (by marriage) Agatha. Also featured are several of Plant's friends in the village of Long Piddleton where he lives--Jury and Plant meet in this first book. Some books in the series are stronger than others, but I always advise people starting a series to begin at the beginning. Keep in mind that these first ones were written years ago so the series starts out set in the 80's.
Last Edited on: 3/11/08 9:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
I love Martha Grimes too. I've just collected the Richard Jury series to re-read. I think the first one is "The Man With a Load of Mischief", then "The Old Fox Deceiv'd" and THEN "The Anodyne Necklace." She has 21 books in the series total. Nobody does children and dogs quite like Martha!
Now, having said that...I'll be posting mine as I read them! ;)
Here is a complete list in order: http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/G_Authors/Grimes_Martha.html.
I've enjoyed her Richard Jury series quite a bit. I think they should be read in order; there are some in-jokes you won't get if you don't read them in order. I think the earlier books are by far the strongest ones, but then, I think that of every series, so it may just be me. I confess that I have not read the last 5 or 6 of them because, for me, the characters stopped growing and became stereotypes and I began to find Jury more infuriating than fascinating as the books went on.
The books are dark in spots, but not depressingly dark. There's a reasonable amount of comic relief. Some of the mysteries themselves - the whodunit part - are quite inventive, or were at the time they were written. As Cheryl points out, the series started in 1981. There are ongoing themes of loss, inability to connect emotionally with others, and lost or abandoned or overlooked children that some people find compelling and some find annoying.
I've read most of her non-Jury books, and I was disappointed in them, but I know others disagree and found them intriguing.
I'd recommend that you start at the beginning of the Jury series and read a few in order, and then decide from there.