27 November 2020


  • format: e-book on Kindle (Amazon)
  • File size : 8812 KB
  • Print length : 292 pages
  • Publisher : Scribner (26 March 2013)
    first published 1981
  • Language: : English
  • #1 in the Richard Jury & Melrose Plant series

Synopsis (Amazon)

Long Piddleton had always been wary of newcomers. But the quiet town was stunned when the first stranger was found dead, upended in a butt of ale in the cellar of the Men with a Load of Mischief. Then the second body appeared, swinging in place of the mechanical man above the door of the Jack and Hammer.

Suddenly Long Piddleton had good reason to be wary of everyone! Its cozy pubs and inns with their polished pewter and blazing hearths had become scenes of the most bizarre crimes. Who were the victims? And who was the murderer? A stranger? A maniac? Or the disarmingly friendly man next door?

My take

This isn't the first that I've read in this series, but it has been a long time, certainly before this blog was started. There is a Golden Age, almost antiquarian flavour, to the novel, and murders abound. It is the first novel in the series and introduces D.I. Richard Jury and dilettante Melrose Plant, and a range of other interesting characters. The action is set in some colourfully named pubs.

An enjoyable read particularly if you are looking for a series with a Golden Age flavour.

My rating: 4.4

About the author 

Martha Grimes b. 1931, is one of the few authors left carrying on the British detective mystery tradition, and doing it well. Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury and sidekick Melrose Plant are in the third decade of their clever, darkly humorous crime-solving careers. There are 25 books in this series, with the last written in 2019

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