The Black Cat (Richard Jury Series #22)

The Black Cat (Richard Jury Series #22)

3.9 76
by Martha Grimes

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Unabridged CDs, 8 CDs, 10 hours

The inimitable Richard Jury returns in a thrilling tale of mystery, madness, and mistaken identity.

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Unabridged CDs, 8 CDs, 10 hours

The inimitable Richard Jury returns in a thrilling tale of mystery, madness, and mistaken identity.

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
Grimes can be many things—literate, lyrical, funny, funky, discursive, bizarre—but she is never clunky. Sometimes, reading her, you think you've stumbled on an improbable fusion of Agatha Christie and Monty Python, but that, in moderation, is not an unpleasant experience…This is, let it be said, a monumentally whimsical novel. You may find it bewildering at times, but if you are partial to whimsy it will dazzle you.
—The Washington Post
Marilyn Stasio
Okay, so the talking animals may be over the top; but for all its eccentric drollery, Martha Grimes's new Richard Jury mystery, The Black Cat, is a shrewd whodunit that plays on the facile assumptions we make about people based on their outward appearance.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
The 22nd book in Grimes's cozy series (after Dust) opens with the shooting death of a woman outside a village pub, The Black Cat. Though the case falls outside his jurisdiction, New Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury is called in to investigate and quickly learns of the curious disappearance of the pub's own black cat. What bedevils him is the identity of the dead woman, who turns out to be a librarian who moonlighted as a call girl. The investigation leads Jury to con man Harry Johnson, whose dog, Mungo, comes to Jury's aid again, as he did in The Old Wine Shades. Meanwhile, two other call girls are killed, this time in London. With the help of colleague Sergeant Wiggins and friend Melrose Plant, Jury searches for a deeper connection among the victims, even as he grapples with his feelings for his hospitalized lover. VERDICT The suspense, literary allusions, and humor are vintage Grimes with an uptick in the entertainment, thanks to Mungo's antics. For Grimes fans; this might also appeal to fans of animal mysteries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/09.]—Suzie Remilien, New York
Publishers Weekly
At the start of bestseller Grimes's muddled 22nd Richard Jury mystery (after Dust), the body of an unidentified woman, who reminds Jury of a Pre-Raphaelite beauty, lies in a mortuary in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Shot outside the Black Cat, a local pub, the victim was wearing expensive clothes, decorous yet sexy. The Thames Valley police wonder why Jury, a Scotland Yard superintendent, is intruding on their turf. The victim proves to have been a professional escort, the only witness to her murder the pub's black cat. Cats and dogs can share their thoughts, mostly mundane, with one another, but, alas, not with humans. More escorts get killed. Unresolved cases from Dust and its predecessor, Old Wine Shades, complicate the plot to little purpose. Off-kilter details jar. No London copper would ask a London cabbie if the cabbie knows a particular street. This subpar effort from one of mystery's major stars will appeal mainly to fans of the talking animal subgenre. 8-city author tour.(Apr.)

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Richard Jury Series, #22
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 5.82(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Martha Grimes is the bestselling author of eighteen Richard Jury mysteries and also the acclaimed fiction Foul Matter, Cold Flat Junction, Hotel Paradise, The End of the Pier, and The Train Now Departing.

Brief Biography

Washington, DC and Santa Fe, NM
Date of Birth:
May 2, 1931
Place of Birth:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
B.A., M.A., University of Maryland

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Black Cat (Richard Jury Series #22) 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 76 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A murder to solve with Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard is always a treat -- and this one delivers. It's a little slower-paced maybe, but that's not a criticism. The pace matches Jury's method. Most of the fans' favorite characters are back, Jury's sergeant, Wiggins; his flamboyant neighbor, Carole-anne; and his aristocratic friend, Melrose Plant and his cronies in Long Piddleton. However, I did miss a meeting with Jury's boss, Chief Superintendent Racer, and Cyril, the cat. As usual, the title is the name of a pub, where the first victim is found with only a black cat (a real cat) as a witness. Back is the brilliant, but scary Harry Johnson. And, there's a mystery of the first order that involves more than one black cat, designer shoes, mistaken identity and again, as usual, a child to vex Melrose. I loved the whimsical chapters that share the thoughts of Harry's dog, Mungo, and Morris, the cat and their attempt to transmit clues to Jury. It's not necessary to have read the previous book, "The Old Wine Shades," but it wouldn't hurt because Harry Johnson and another character were introduced then.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Black Cat, the newest Richard Jury novel is an okay addition to the collection. It is definitely not the best in the series - falling someplace in the low middle for me. I would have enjoyed having more of the regular faces show up a bit more in the book. The mystery just does not seem to flow the way some of the others did. If you are a fan of the Richard Jury series then by all means read this book as it contiues the saga. If however, you have never read any of the series, then this is not the book to start with - you will never read another of the entertaining series.
EdNY More than 1 year ago
W.C. Fields once said "Anyone who hates children and dogs can't be all bad..." However, Detective Superintendent Richard Jury doesn't subscribe to that philosophy. In every one of Martha Grimes', Richard Jury mysteries, there are children and animals and The Black Cat is no exception. Also, as in all her Jury novels, the title is taken from the name of an English pub. In this book, a beautiful woman, dressed to the nines, wearing Jimmy Choo shoes, is found dead on the patio outside the Black Cat. Spt. Jury is called in to assist the local police, Detective Cummins, in the investigation. He soon learns from Dora, the eight year old ward of bartendress at the Black Cat, that Morris, the pub's black cat mascot has been 'murdered or kidnapped'. Now Jury must investigate two mysteries. As you read, two more fashionably dressed dead bodies appear and Jury and his Sargent Wiggins get a lesson in designer clothes. Martha Grimes is a stalwart of the 'cozy' mystery. Her books are peopled with interesting characters. The plot takes various turns, arriving at a satisfying, albeit unforeseen, conclusion. While most of her books can be read independently, I heartily suggest that you read the two previous books, The Old Wine Shades and Dust before reading The Black Cat. A main character of the current book is introduced in The Old Wine Shades and the evolution of that character will help in the understanding of the subsequent books. If you're in the mood for a relaxing afternoon of mystery reading, Martha Grimes is a top choice. And you can quote me..."Anyone who loves children and dogs, can't be all bad..."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Especially regarding children in danger has had too many however if you think author has had it then read Foul Matters which is the funniest book about hit men publishing and authors you will read buska
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was Jury always such a grouch? The convoluted story line is interesting to follow and Mungo is a delight but this book is sometimes more about silly animal conversations than tight content. Grimes needs to better control her loose ends and correct Jury' s descent into being a grouch with a condescending attitude toward Melrose and Wiggins,though he can be forgiven for impatience with an increasingly irritating Carole Anne. A fun read, but Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie are much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NMS-62 More than 1 year ago
Martha Grimes' cast of characters captured my interest many books ago and have kept it. Richard Jury, Melrose Plant, Sgt. Wiggins, Carole-anne, Fiona and others who add to and enrich the plots seem like friends I can visit just by opening one of Grimes' Richard Jury books. Some day it would be satisfying to have Jury and Plant find women who fit into their lives, but perhaps then the series would have to end because the tension that helps keep the plot attractive might disappear. Or, maybe Ms. Grimes' creativity could easily handle such personal complications for the characters. Thank you, Ms. Grimes. I look forward to more Jury-based books.
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PamelaA More than 1 year ago
I LOVE reading Martha Grimes!   She intrigues me and makes me laugh!
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raj45 More than 1 year ago
The style seemed a little different from earlier works???? Still a good read but we need to hear more from Melrose.
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