We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Man with a Load of Mischief: A Richard Jury Novel, Book 1 | [Martha Grimes]

The Man with a Load of Mischief: A Richard Jury Novel, Book 1

At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer - except for one Melrose Plant....
Regular Price:$22.63
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub's sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking outside of town for the killer - except for one Melrose Plant. A keen observer of human nature, he points Jury in the right direction: into the darkest parts of his neighbors' hearts.

©2013 Martha Grimes (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (259 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (102)
3 star
 (39)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.0 (236 )
5 star
 (87)
4 star
 (89)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.2 (239 )
5 star
 (114)
4 star
 (79)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 05-23-13
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2006

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1060
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    223
    210
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    259
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favorite Revisited"

    I was excited about revisiting - in audio - a series of books which I have so enjoyed over the years. In one way, I was not disappointed, because the performance by Steve West is quite good, and all the quirky characters I remembered are still there. The aristocrats, the wannabes, the shop-and-bar keepers.

    But, on the whole, these characters have not aged particularly well. Although the "pub" title trademark remains interesting, "Aunt Agatha" and "Melrose Plant" now seem more the copies from older British mysteries that they actually are. There's a dated, self-conscious feeling here that is not as apparent in the original, classic series of Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Marjorie Allingham and, to some extent, Agatha Christie.

    Is it possible that American authors really can't quite capture the traditional, cozy British who-done-it? Maybe - and I think I'd rather just remember the Jury/Plant series as something I really liked 25 years ago. No need to revisit.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raylene Pickerington, OH, United States 05-22-13
    Raylene Pickerington, OH, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    174
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best mystery writers!"

    I love reading anything by Martha Grimes, so when Audible began to carry the series, I started back with the first Inspector Richard Jury novel. Grimes writes wonderful characters. Jury is a sensitive, intelligent person who carries those traits into his job. In this book, we are introduced to his fellow policemen and to a group of residents in a small village that will be featured in future books. Melrose Plant, the epitome of an idle English lord but with a great wry sense of humor. Agatha, Plant's snobbish American aunt who strives to be more British than her neighbors. Shop and pub owners add more depth and wit to this cast of characters. Not only are the characters great, but Grimes writes a good mystery that keeps the reader engaged to the end. She is also marvelous at portraying children and adults' reactions to them.

    This book is so good that I did not think it could get better, but narrator, Steve West, brought more life and depth to the book. Both his male and female voices are marvelous. I don't think I've listened to a better narrator.

    Audible has the second book in the series and is issuing the third in a few weeks. I hope they keep coming!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 05-10-13
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 05-10-13 Member Since 2010

    Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    202
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    268
    123
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I stumbled onto this series 20 years ago"

    Waited and waited for it to come to audible, only her last was on audible and without having read the series people might not really have developed the fondness for Jury and Plant that develops when reading a series.

    The books are witty and dry without being too graphic. Not as cutesy or silly as cozy mysteries tend to be; the gimmick is the inns so it doesn't seem as childish or staged.

    These are not modern mysteries with psycho serial killers and ritual murders, just plain old fashioned murder with a little wit and sadness.

    The only flaw is that after waiting soooo long, they picked the worst narrator. The dry humor is still there but he is so annoying it detracts from the overall enjoyment of the story.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DCinMI Fairview, MI 03-29-14
    DCinMI Fairview, MI 03-29-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    270
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    37
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love this series, but FYI"

    I've just finished listening to book 13, and I have absolutely loved every one so far! The recurring characters and the relationships between them are very entertaining and often hilarious. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys murder mysteries without all the stress.

    The FYI part is this:

    The first book in the series was published in 1981, and was contemporary fiction. Hard as it is for me to believe, 1981 was 33 years ago! I suspect, though, that the author never expected the series to take off and to still be writing the books all these years later. The main characters in the series are Richard Jury and Melrose Plant. I picture them in age as between 35-40. The thing is, I don't think they can ever get much older than that and have it all still work. However, time and technology continue to march on and, to keep the series contemporary, things like computers and cell phones have to come into play. Also, Jury having been a small child in WW2 was perfectly in line in 1981, but by now he would have to be elderly.

    What I do is just mentally keep the characters in the same approximate age frame they started in, and ignore any references to the passage of time that the author inserts in the text. Just sort of let time and world events go by in the background, while the characters stay the same. There were enough comments in book 13 about the passage of time and people not changing after all these years, that I'm guessing the author was maybe poking a little fun at her predicament.

    I'm awaiting the Audible release of the next book at the moment, but I hope that she hasn't done anything to blatantly age the characters in the rest of the books. I like things just the way they are. Once you know of and accept the time anomaly thing, it need not interfere with the enjoyment of the books. They are definitely worth a listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilinca Romania 05-13-13
    Ilinca Romania 05-13-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    155
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the next best thing to Christie and Sayers"

    I'd been intermittently checking Audible for Martha Grimes titles, and finally they're here (or else I missed them when they first showed up...)
    For someone who loves Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers, this is the next best thing. It's got great, well-defined main characters with no frills and not too much pop psychology, it's got great plots and atmosphere (yeah, so what if the author is American and these are British village murders?) and a good sense of humor. So what's not to love?
    I hope more titles come up. This is a great series.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina NEWBURGH, NY, United States 10-25-13
    Tina NEWBURGH, NY, United States 10-25-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Good Old Fashion Mystery"
    What made the experience of listening to The Man with a Load of Mischief the most enjoyable?

    Yes, at first I was confused, 2 men died in two seperate places


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    In the beginning yes, until I figured out who did the murders. However I really could not figure out why.


    Have you listened to any of Steve West’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I never listened to Steve West before but, after this novel I did order more Martha Grimes novels.
    His portrayal of Lady Agatha Ardry, was exquisite. Like Jury you wanted to strangle her for her constant interference .


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Jury interaction with the brother and sister, James and James. Another Jury interveiwed Ruby Judd's family their cold and aloof treatment of their daughter


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 06-10-14
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 06-10-14 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    463
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    397
    260
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    86
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "first book in a crime series"

    First time author, Martha Grimes, who among other things once taught at the University of Iowa. The author early on was involved with poetry then at age 50 decided to embark on a crime series. This book is the first in the series and so far there over 20. The title of each book is named after a pub in England. This book and series is a bit different in that Grimes is an American author that writes crime thrillers set in England. She pokes fun of things British; the language and pronunciations, customs, royalty, the people, etc. The book had a bit of Sherlock Holmes and Watson in it using deductive reasoning. Her website describes her writing style as “literate, lyrical, funny, funky, discursive, bizarre”. I agree with the description although I admit I had to look discursive up in the dictionary. If you like this desciption of the author's books, you might want to give it a try.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KARA United States 03-20-14
    KARA United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2013

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A new series to follow!!!"

    I don't even know where to start, Im so excited about this series! Have to say the first 2 hours were rough.. Im not sure why. There was a lot to follow at the beginning and I think I was afraid it was going to be full of descriptions of characters I didn't know if I should be caring about or not. Somewhere right after the 2 hour mark the action picked up and I was hooked from there. I think also the narration took some getting use to. Steve west is awesome performing really unique voices for each character, and there are a ton, but his regular voice when narrating felt a bit stiff and flat for the first half of the book. I don't know if he got more in to his groove or I just got use to him, but it all came together rather well by that point!

    Martha Grimes is now one of my new favorites and Im so excited to have a new series to follow. The story was incredibly detailed and creative without being boring. I was hanging on every word instead of trying to force myself to follow along. Also, I loved the mystery being solved about an hour before the book was over, which left time to explain things and follow up with some of the main characters. I hate stories where everything is thrown at you the last 10 minutes and you're then left stunned with your mouth open in confusion.

    For me, this is the most well written mystery I've come across yet, even in comparison to Agatha Christie, who is brilliant but tends to wrap her stories up rather quickly at the end. I urge you to give this a try if you're considering. Its a great mystery with more wit than cheekiness, an incredibly talented narrator, and a genuinely good hearted detective who you'll quickly grow fond of... dare I say even crush by the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Littleton, MA, United States 02-27-14
    Brad Littleton, MA, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First Richard Jury Novel"

    I wanted to like this book very much, and enjoyed it somewhat....thud. The English characters are eccentric and there is an underlying mischief and humor. The first two murders are colorful and unique. There is a lot of fun in this book.

    My issue is that the solution to the mystery is something like an Agatha Christie plot. It is very, very far-fetched and has some of that smugness about a highly doubtful complex sequence with dead bodies that defies most logic. You may suspect the killer, but you will never understand the key detail that keeps the villain shielded...until the Sherlock Holmes-like final reveal. A reader gets the feeling that the characters' daily interactions are the thing and that the underlying motive of the mass killer is somewhat secondary. For that I give 4 stars...maybe 3 1/2. The narration is marvelous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope Toronto, ON, Canada 08-11-14
    Calliope Toronto, ON, Canada 08-11-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    109
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but not great......"

    Even though this novel is over 30 years old, it's the first time I've sampled any of Martha Grimes' books and so far I think they're good - but there's not much in this one that will make me rush to listen to the rest of the series. I've found I like the character-rich British mysteries more than American ones, and I guess I should have realized that even though these mysteries are set in small-town Britain, they're still written by an American and that will seep through. Too many of the players here seemed almost to be caricatures of themselves, or of a type. Not really my cup of tea, I guess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.