It's been three long years between books in the series, but this week the 22nd Richard Jury mystery, The Black Cat by Martha Grimes, is published by Viking.
The series, the titles of which are taken from real pubs in England, dates back to 1981 when the Scotland Yard detective, initially a Chief Inspector and later a Superintendent, was introduced in The Man With a Load of Mischief. For years prior to its publication, Martha Grimes sent out manuscripts, unsolicited, to the major New York publishing houses, before the book was accepted by Little, Brown. That era is completely gone, as most publishers routinely throw out unsolicited manuscripts today.
The third book in the series, The Anodyne Necklace, won the prestigious Nero Award in 1983.
Martha Grimes is also the author of a series of mysteries featuring 12-year-old amateur sleuth Emma Graham as well as several non-series and stand-alone titles.
Watch Martha Grimes discuss her latest Richard Jury mystery, after which more information about the book can be found.
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About The Black Cat (from the publisher): Three months have passed since Richard Jury was left bereft and guilt-ridden after his lover's tragic auto accident, and he is now more wary than ever. He is deeply suspicious when requested on a case far out of his jurisdiction in an outlying village where a young woman has been murdered behind the local pub. The only witness is the establishment's black cat, who gives neither crook nor clue as to the girl's identity or her killer's.
Identifying the girl becomes tricky when she's recognized as both the shy local librarian and a posh city escort, and Jury must use all his wits and intuition to determine the connection to subsequent escort murders. Meanwhile, Jury's nemesis, Harry Johnson, continues to goad Jury down a dangerous path. And Johnson, along with the imperturbable dog Mungo, just may be the key to it all.
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