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The Grave Maurice (Richard Jury Mysteries)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This novel reminded me of one of those Russian nesting dolls, where you keep finding another doll inside of the one you are holding, when you take the doll apart. There's enough plot and character development here for 6 novels.
I graded the book down mostly because no one should read this novel without having read quite a few of the earlier ones in the series. Most of the best references and ironies won't mean much otherwise. And many of them are rather long sections. Even in a series, authors need to make novels as stand-alone as they can.
I also graded the book down because one plot element just didn't make sense to me (the location of the missing heroine for two years).
On the other hand, I thought that the development of the theme of honoring animal rights was well done. I don't remember a novel that does it any better.
Along the way, I had a lot of fun. Regular Richard Jury and Martha Grimes fans should definitely read this one! The Grave Maurice is one of Melrose Plant's best and most humorous outings. You see new sides of Richard Jury, and they will make him more appealing to you.
I also appreciated the reference to Josephine Tey's wonderful book about Richard III. Despite the errors concerning horse racing, the book's context in that exciting sport made the book more fun for me.
After you finish this story, think about the moral priorities for you in protecting life and liberty! What comes first?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
As much as anything else, "The Grave Maurice" answers the question so loudly issued in
"The Blue Last," the previous Richard Jury mystery. In that exciting and well-written episode, the
final pages closed with a bang and the readers could only wonder: will our hero survive? And now
we know, thankfully--and with really not much of a surprise--that Superintendent Jury does live and
he's on to No. l8 in Grimes' immensely popular police procedural mystery series. He's still in
hospital, but a mystery opens up to him (as Grimes says, ala Josephine Tey and "The Daughter of
Time") and he sets out to solve it, bandages, headache, scars, and all.
A 15-year-old daughter of his physician has been missing for two years and presumed dead.
Of course, the doctor and the family have not given up hope and this is where Jury, ably assisted by
Melrose Plant and the Long Pid gang, comes in. Taking all the known facts, they begin to splice,
glue, cut, and paste the parts extraordinaire into a viable, working case. The girl, Nell Ryder, was
abducted, along with a famous race horse she was attending. No clues and no ransom note either.
The scenario is intrigue for his soul (and mind) and Jury, with his Dr. Watson (Melrose) wanders
into the very lucrative business of horse racing and breeding. He is mesmerized by the personality
of Nell, who was described by one of the trainers as "a filly dressed up in a girl costume," so
complete was her love for horses. As the local police have virtually given up on the case (after all,
there were no active clues for past two years!), it appears that the effort would be futile; yet, as Jury
acknowledges, there are a few elements that don't add up.
And, of course, Grimes, through the efforts of Jury, Plant, et al., races on, heading for the
final furlong and then, finally, at breakneck speed. With the author's usual style, grace, and
timing, the book is more than a photo finish--it's a clear winner, another "winners circle"
appearance for Grimes. That said, however, "The Grave Maurice" is clearly intended for the
legions of Grimes fans. Without having read previous Jury books, treaders will quickly find
themselves somewhat confused over references to previous episodes. Grimes must know this, of
course, but this book is not a "dead cert." New readers will not find it so captivating and they can
only be urged to start at the beginning ("The Man with a Load of Mischief" and "The Old Fox
Deceived" and the best of the early Grimes "Jerusalem Inn"). Small price to pay, of course, as
Grimes is quite an odyssey--if nothing else just to see which actual pub she uses as the title of each of
these books!) "The Grave Maurice" may not be win-show-or-place, but it goes the full length. Tally
ho! ...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2002
While I love the characters of Richard Jury and Melrose Plant, I'm getting a bit tired of them (especially Jury, in this case) learning nothing from mistakes committed in previous novels. How often is Jury going to sleep with a woman involved in the case before he figures out it's a bad idea? How many inappropriate women is he going to get involved with? How many incredibly poor personal choices is this very smart man going to make? And, while we're on the topic, does he have no friends aside from Melrose?
Does Grimes know nothing about recuperation from gunshot wounds and operations? For someone who's just been released from the hospital after being shot, undergoing an operation, and being in a coma, Jury's in unbelievably good shape. He helps break down a door, he engages in some (presumably) active love-making, and travels from London to Wales and back, London to the countryside and back a number of times. All we hear in reference to his recent (potentially fatal) injuries is that his side aches.
And, just once, could the plot be a bit less convoluted and the countryside not be littered with the numerous dead bodies of the innocent by the end of our story?
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on 13 September 2014
Cant wait to read the next book. The story of Harry still hanging. Hope it beomes sorted. Love Mungo the dog he is brilliant.
Enjoy the Richard Jury saga.
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on 13 October 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Couldn't put it downhill I finished it.I love martha grimes stories especially the Richard jury ones.
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on 1 October 2013
Brilliant read, full of twists and turns, would thoroughly recommend and will definately try more by this author. My kinda book
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on 3 April 2014
After the original book was damaged I was a little anxious about the condition of the replacement but it was fine
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on 28 July 2014
Another fun book by Martha Grimes
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2003
In typical Grimes fashion the reader is whisked into the world of the American version of how the English aristocracy and police operate. No Superintendent nowadays introduces himself as coming from New Scotland Yard - a terse CID usually suffices.
I have managed to overcome my antipathy to this because her stories are entertaining but I baulked when I read that one of the horses in this book had raced over fences in the Epsom Derby!! Add to this the fact that the Grand National course is made up of hurdles and you will understand why I am unable to give this book more than 3 stars in this review.
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