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Publisher's Summary

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.

Written with Martha Grimes' trademark insight and grace, The Black Cat signals the thrilling return of her greatest character. The superintendent is a man possessed of prodigious analytical gifts and charm, yet vulnerable in the most perplexing ways.

©2010 Martha Grimes (P)2010 Penguin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Un-listenable

What disappointed you about The Black Cat?

I don't know what was more unbearable: the conversations between the dog Mungo and the cat Morris, the endless descriptions of designer shoes and dresses (with prices), or the rushed reading by John Lee. After an hour or two I had to quit. Having listened to 15 previous Martha Grimes Richard Jury books, charmingly crafted and beautifully read by
Steve West, I found The Black Cat a huge disappointment.

What could Martha Grimes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not bothered to write this story and not trusted John Lee to read it.

Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

Never!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • Littleton, MA, United States
  • 07-22-11

Thoroughly Enjoyed Latest Edition to Series

First, this was my first exposure to a Richard Jury mystery and the writer Martha Grimes. She is extremely prolific and has a huge portfolio of works in print. I found the mystery very engaging and complex. Jury is drawn sparsely in this book, there are numerous call-backs to prior books, in particular The Old Wine Shades, that reintroduce characters. I found the flashbacks fair and transparent and did not suffer from not reading this 21 volume series. I feel like the narration was perfect and showed good versatility with the numerous characters. I would very much like to see key books of this series produced and released on Audible. This genre of mystery is often called, "Cozy Mysteries" due to the English pubs, small town feeling and emphasis on a less than high tech modern environment. This novel received marginal reviews in hardback form; but the rating on the audio version are quite good. This, in my opinion, is where an audio book becomes more than the flat page and actually enlivens the experience by creating a momentum of plot.

This is a very skillfully done book by a writer that is meticulous in making sure the clues and characters come forward in good form. Finally, there is a dog, Mungo and his friend, Morris, the cat that have telepathic conversations and play into the plot. They almost steal the show. This is a very entertaining listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Dreadful Narrator

What made the experience of listening to The Black Cat the most enjoyable?

I almost didn't listen to this book but made myself stick with it. The Narrator spoke way too fast and there is very little differentiation in his voice for the characters. They all sounded the same.

What other book might you compare The Black Cat to and why?

The story itself is classic Grimes. Love all her books in the Richard Jury series.

How could the performance have been better?

Never have him narrate a Richard Jury story again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sue
  • CHICO, CA, United States
  • 12-26-11

Jury did it againnisledingly funny and surprising

If you could sum up The Black Cat in three words, what would they be?

misdirecting. clever and fummy

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

the pace was easy

Which scene was your favorite?

the one with the 1 cats in the bar

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

dealing with the sargent

Any additional comments?

love jury and his neighvor

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Terilyn
  • Denver, Colorado
  • 10-08-11

Good story - need the back list!

I have been a Martha Grimes and Richard Jury fan over 20 years. I was delighted to find a Jury book on Audible and am hopeful that some of her back list will be added. The mysteries and characterization are excellent. The more books you read the more the characters feel like friends or people you have known. Grimes is an intellectual writer with frequent references to history and literature.

The narration was good, and having read every Jury novel prior to this the story was easy to follow. On the story, I would have liked to have seen more of Long Pid and the characters based there, but can wait for the next for that! Harry Johnson is fast becoming a nemesis that I hate, and cannot wait until Jury figures out how to take him down forever, despite his having the creativity and thought to name his cat Schrodinger.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Series Narrator

I have listened to the entire Richard Jury series on audiobook, after having read most of them 10 - 20 years ago. One of the things I love most about the audiobooks is Steve West as narrator. His voices for the characters are so perfect and now familiar. While John Lee is an accomplished narrator, it didn’t feel like the same characters at all. I missed Steve West. Thank goodness he is back for the final installment. I am sad to be at the end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not Steve West. odd, but Get over it.

Odd to have new voices for all these characters so far into a series & for only one book, but still a great job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Please wait for Mr. West

I have listened to all of the Jury mysteries including this one. To me Steve West IS Richard Jury. If there are more books in this series, please wait for Mr. West to do the narration. Mr. Lee's Jury, as well as all of the other characters,is difficult and painful to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What were they thinking??

After all of the previous Richard Jury books were so wonderfully narrated by Steve West, they go and switch to a new narrator for this book?? Why? I used to laugh out loud when Agatha would mispronounce Ruthven's name in the previous books...now to have a new narrator butcher it? And Carol-Anne Palutski?...say it right, dammit. As an avid listener, this was awful. I'm sure that John Lee is a good narrator, but not for these books. There wasn't enough difference in his voice from one character to the next and there was no continuity in the pronunciation of names. I found myself wondering who was saying what. What a disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Haven't finished it yet....

Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Cat to be better than the print version?

In this instance I'm going to guess the print version is better, since we've become used to hearing Steve West portray all the characters' voices with all their nuances.

If you’ve listened to books by Martha Grimes before, how does this one compare?

Terrible. Horrible narrator. Mr. Lee is simply reading the book to us (and too fast) in a monotonous tone rather than playing out the characters with his voice like we've come to know and love them when read by Steve West.

How could the performance have been better?

Never let anyone besides Steve West narrate this series.

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

Haven't finished it yet.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to finish this story so I can stop listening to it. Pleased to see Steve West is back to narrating the next in the series. I've listened to them all up to this point and love the characters as fleshed out by Steve West.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful