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The Stargazey (A Richard Jury novel) Paperback – 5 Aug 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New edition edition (5 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747256969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747256960
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Martha Grimes is the author of twenty novels, eighteen of them Richard Jury mysteries. She lives in Washington DC and Santa Fe.

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Saturday night. It was not a night to be spending alone, riding a bus. Read the first page
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Faith Donovan on 28 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Detective Inspector Richard Jury is off duty and riding one of London's double decker buses, eavesdropping on two American women behind him, when a beautiful blonde wearing a sable coat boards the bus, then leaves, then re-boards and gets off at Fulham Palace Road. He is so fascinated with her that he gets off too and follows her to the gates of Fulham Palace. Then he leaves when she goes inside.

The next morning, a woman in a sable coat with no identification is found dead in the palace's herb garden.

Jury volunteers the information about the woman on the bus, but when he looks at the body in the morgue and declares it's not the same person, no one at New Scotland Yard believes him. He sets out on his own to investigate the sable coat, which leads him to an astrologer, artists, art dealers, an art critic, actors, children, travelers, a barmaid, a family of thieves, and aging members of aristocratic friend Melrose Plant's London club in his quest for answers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms. Grimes' prose is outstanding, her colorful characters and plot twists are intriguing and the pub that gives this book its odd title made me want to stop by for a pint or two.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Yes, it is a bleak November. Isn't London always bleak in November? And, yes, Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard hops on one of the red doubled deckers and rides Bus No. 14 down the Fulham Road toward Fulham Palace. (Bus No. 14 is easy to find--you can pick it up in front of Harrods!) Indeed, in this book, you are in for a ride! Martha Grimes once again evokes the landscape and atmosphere of London in yet another of her intriguing mysteries named after an actual pub in England. Once again she compels her readers (in this the 15th in the series) to stay to the very end with prose that is finely diced and clearly applied--and delightful to read. Grimes has a particular knack in evoking a profusion of literary allusions and of creating characters that hold one's attention, fully. In "Stargazey," Grimes indeed continues to lead us with her array of memorable characters as she tweaks and twitches the very nub of British life--or at least the life of the well-to-do. And she manages this coup, customary that it is with Grimes, with a sense of humor that borders on the unexpected. This American author spends time, obviously, in the UK for her research and she knows the country (and countryside) well; she espouses the vernacular like a native! Remember--she always names her Jury novels after an actual pub! One important issue, however, is that if you are a new reader of Grimes, keeping the characters straight and not being able to understand references to earlier escapades/cases must be confusing. It is essential that readers begin with earlier Grimes books for the full impact of this one; however, it is still worth the read! (Lastly, don't look for the Stargazey pub anymore.Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Francis Mitchell VINE VOICE on 4 April 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
But for some reason I kept reading it. Perhaps because I was on a succession of bumpy bus rides in Guatemala and I didn't care if it bumped out of my hand and out the window, perhaps because it is a page turner in the sense that it is so shallow you can dip in anywhere and not need to know what has gone on before (it's like Eastenders without the grasp of human motives or humanity). I think the real reason I read it all the way through was that each page confirmed that old saw about the British and the USA being two cultures separated by a common language. The extent to which Ms. Grimes misunderstands England is breathtaking, her picture of London is based on a London that is no more and probably never was. The words she puts in the mouths of her characters sound like the worst of daytime TV whodunnit mixed with what I can only assume is her involvement with a particularly malelovlent pub crowd who have misinformed her about the meaning and idiom of elements of conversation (I do not think they were saying 'swank', dear, try leaving a letter off). I was going to be charitable to her until she introduced the concept of the British paying to borrow books (and a child called Bub!), when you have a free public library system also with library vans visiting practically every rural village why would you have not one, but two, pay per book establishments in a Northamptonshire village. Maybe she is going for the Science Fantasy market? By the way, Stargazey Pie is a particularly well known Cornish recipe for a dish of pilchards covered with pastry crust through which the heads and tails of the fish poke. The eyes are still in the fish heads, they could gaze at the stars if still alive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 44 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not One of the Best 24 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm in love with Grimes' cast of characters, but maybe not as in love with them as Grimes is. An appearance by every one of them in this latest Jury novel was gratuitous at best. Carol-Anne, Mrs. Wasserman, Racer, Fiona, Agatha, and most especially the cameo appearance of Vivian ("Melrose, what have they done to you!" exit left) seemed contrived. Also, we all know by now that Melrose has relinquished his many titles, so do we need to be told in every chapter? Especially since he doesn't seem averse to using them in this story. Ah, the story. Just a little far out, isn't it? Sounds like a twist on a real old story...Will Jury come out of his funk and find true love? Will Vivian recover from the Italian disease and come back to be the proper Britisher she really is? Maybe Grimes knows what she's doing after all, 'cause the answers to those questions will compel me to read the next book!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting 1 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is one of my favorite Grimes mysteries. And I must give all the kudos to Melrose Plant in this one. He practically solves everything single-handedly while Jury wanders around in a fog of loneliness, depression and pain. If he falls for another wrong woman, I am going to scream!!! His personal problems so overwhelm him in this one, he can't even figure out why the dead woman and his mystery woman look alike. This, to me, was quite obvious and I usually never solve any part of mysteries before the author decides to explain. Of course, I didn't have it ALL figured out, but the mysterious look-a-likes, yes. Anyway, this book is Melrose's chance to really shine as a detective which is fine with me as I like him almost better than Jury. The mystery kept me turning the pages and I like the way Martha Grimes ties it all together. As always her characters are finely drawn and interesting. Not only is there the regular mystery, but there remains the mystery of the all the protagonists' personal lives that captivated me. In the last few books and especially in Stargazey, Jury seems to be building up to some big explosion or implosion. He seems to be so isolated and lonely, especially in Stargazey. This book really leaves him in a fog. I can't wait for the next one because I really hope that Jury and his blond temptress finally get together. And I really need to know what's up with Viv-Viv, as Trueblood irritatingly calls her. Does she or doesn't she care for Melrose? And if that didn't complicate things, Melrose seems to have something going with Beatrice, a wonderful, zany character, who compliments his fun side well. Maybe it IS time for Vivian to marry Count Dracula and disappear to Italy once and for all. Ms. Grimes, I await on pins and needles.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Reader from Australia 24 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book - can't understand a couple of reviewers who didn't. Maybe the coincidence with the identical looking women was a bit far-fetched, but what of it? I think Martha Grimes has a great sense of humour - she had me chuckling my way through the book! And I absolutely adore Melrose Plant - except I wish he still had his titles, especially when most of the people around him still use them! I just wish Jury would stop falling for women who end up dead a chapter later. Also, what's the go with Vivian? Is she secretly in love with Melrose or Jury or am I reading too much into it? Anyway, I hope Martha Grimes keeps writing this series - I absolutely loved this book and I'll be waiting anxiously for further ones.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Can't tell the players without a program 4 Jan. 2004
By Fred Camfield - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is another novel in the Richard Jury series. The title is the name of a pub that plays a small role in the story. The novel starts out well, but then the author makes a side trip to Long Piddleton and introduces material that is unconnected to the main plot. A couple of the characters from Long Piddleton eventually have roles in the main plot. The author has a fixation on piddling, and the characters include Flash, who exposes himself in public loos, and a child who piddles here, there, and everywhere, none of which is relevant to the main plot, although the people are related to one of the characters. Various odd characters wander in and out of the story, some related to the plot, and some just extra baggage along for the ride.
The main plot is interesting as New Scotland Yard tries to get to the truth of the matter. This is not an easy task as there is a tendency to not believe people telling the truth, and to believe people who are not. There is collateral damage, and a few bodies are left lying about. There is grand larceny and murder, and connections to crimes in other countries.
If you expect the villain (a cold blooded psychopath) to be brought to justice, you will be disappointed. Who is real and who is not? People can fade into the night or, in the words of Shakespeare, "...are melted into air, into thin air..."
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Who are all these characters? 12 Jan. 2001
By Carole Barkley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Martha Grimes has come up with a complicated plot that involves art theft and murder. The story begins in St, Petersburg, Russia, and the reader starts out knowing more than the detectives, who take an awfully long time to figure out that is where all the threads lead. Of course, the various guesses, leads, and red herrings all make for entertaining do the various comments on the art world. However, the book suffers from an overabundance of characters.
Grimes has brought forward a great many characters from the previous 14 books which "star" Superintendent Richard Jury. There are also many references to previous cases and incidents, many of which readers may not be able to recall clearly, if--like me-they have read the books over the span of many years. One wishes for more memory joggers-maybe even footnotes!
This seems to be a hazard in mystery series, and some authors are better than others at capturing readers who enter the series somewhere other than at the beginning. I think anyone who picks up this book without having read the ones that came before may feel like he or she is just "not in the club."
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