In “The Stargazey,” the 15th of the Richard Jury mystery series, author Martha Grimes has once again displayed her command of the genre with a compelling storyline,
cast of characters, and a knack for landscape and atmosphere. (Remember, the Jury novels are all titled after actual pubs, most of them in England.)
The Stargazey is a pub on Fulham Road in London, where one can easily access it by taking Bus No. 14. Supt. Jury of Scotland Yard, on a whim, boards it and eyes one of
the passenger as being noteworthy. But he thinks nothing about it, other than to try to visualize the “character” of the person. A day or so later, a body is discovered murdered at Bishop's Palace and there is something alarmingly familiar about the person. Supt. Jury
feels it is the same person he had seen on the bus. He is intrigued and thus begins the investigation, of finding out the who and the why of this particular murder. The resolution of this crime is not without its surprises and it is not without the keen intellect of Jury,
a complex but fascinating protagonist in his own right.
Grimes once again shows how she is one of the best in modern crime fiction. She has amazing abilities to create memorable characters: Melrose Plant, Sgt. Wiggins, Marshall Trueblood, Aunt Agatha, to name a few (readers who have followed the Jury series have come to recognize that they are all integral parts of Grimes' novels). For good
English “detecting” this series is at once charming yet fascinating. Grimes' ability to tell a police procedural is top notch, not to be missed.
This report prepared by Bill Hobbs