The murder is in America, but the call goes out to Scotland Yard superintendent Richard Jury. Accompanied by his aristocratic friend Melrose Plant and by Sergeant Wiggins, Jury arrives in Baltimore, Maryland, home of zealous Orioles fans, mouth-watering crabs, and Edgar Allen Poe. In his efforts to solve the case, Jury rubs elbows with a delicious and suspicious cast of characters, embarking on a trail that leads to a unique tavern called The Horse You Came in On.
©2014 Martha Grimes (P)2014 Simon & Schuster
I love this installment in the Richard Jury weird and I normally love Steve West's characterizations, but voice he uses for Ellen Taylor is so grating and annoying that it kind of ruined her character for me.
I have mowed through the first eleven and well into the 12th now, First, the driving force is Steve West's narration. I give five stars for every performance. The scene descriptions and the subtlety of observation is first rate. I also greatly enjoy when the reader can listen into Jury or Plant's internal voice.
I'm not sure if I'm missing something by listening and not reading, but I never have much of an idea what's going on with the mystery itself. Am I following Jury now or Plant? Why is he there? How do Plant and Jury communicate with each other? A plan is afoot, but I don't feel that the reader is let in on it. Each story, I'm convinced that I'll keep track of the mystery, but within 45 minutes I just rely on Mr. West to simply entertain me,.
One feature I like is that the mystery winds up and then there's a lengthy epilogue that leads you toward the next book in the series.
It's nice to read stories not loaded with angst. I never can get enough of the scenes when Cyril agitates Racer.
I hope I have motivated you to start the series.
Yes. Usually they are both excellent.
I enjoyed seeing Americans through British eyes.
this book was like a firecracker that sparkled but never went off.
I love well-written books in virtually every genre. Quirky characters delight me, and it breaks my heart when a good plot is badly done.
I read Martha Grimes' Richard Jury books in the past, and I think I was less discerning then. I've been listening my way through the series on and off and getting some pleasure from them. The books are quite light, the characters are fun, if stereotypical English people. This book, however, finished me off. I had noticed that Ms. Grimes doesn't seem to care for women or Americans very much. It's mostly been subtle; there are some beautiful and elusive Englishwomen who she is more or less kind to. Steve West is challenged in portraying women's voices and his American accent is pretty terrible. This book takes place partly in the U.S. and he has a southern American woman character who he does so very, very badly, it is like nails on chalkboard for me. He can't do southern, his women screech and his American accents have that extra flatness that British readers with a tin ear use. I literally could not finish listening (I have it on kindle). And I'm finally tired of Grimes' attitude toward Americans as well. I don't know Ms. Grimes' personal history, but these books definitely feel dated, both in class elitism and in attitude in general. They are not particularly clever or challenging as murder mysteries either, so I guess they would be classified as a cozy read, but not for me anymore. So, no I won't read anymore Martha Grimes and I will avoid Steve West as a reader forever.
Worse for me, because I'm fed up with her attitude, but the books are pretty consistent, so if you like one, you will probably like her others. (Do beware this one, don't say I didn't warn you about the screechy flat southern American woman's accent.
Could not listen.
No, not interesting enough. Her books are more about atmosphere than plot.
I do not understand how this terrible narration got by the producers. Publishers need to understand that the quality of the narration is crucial and take it much more seriously than some seem to.
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