A seductive lead detective, a dark WWII secret, and the works of Henry James are all integral elements of this Martha Grimes mystery featuring aging New Scotland Yard superintendent Richard Jury.
When a wealthy bachelor is found shot to death in a hotel room in Clerkenwell, Jury is called to the scene by Benny Keegan (featured in 2001's The Blue Last), a 13-year-old boy working at the hotel who unluckily found the body. The case is taken over by Detective Inspector Lu Aguilar, a drop-dead-gorgeous investigator who practically exudes sexuality. With Jury assisting, the undertaking turns out to have numerous unforeseen complexities -- first and foremost, the unlikely duo's "volcanic" love affair. But between encounters, there are countless unanswered questions: Why was the dead man, Billy Maples, staying at Lamb House in Rye, the historic home of Henry James? What was behind his fascination with WWII? And whom was he waiting for in his hotel room the night he died?
Comparable to mysteries written by authors like Ruth Rendell, P. D. James, and Elizabeth George, Grimes's lengthy Richard Jury saga (Dust is the 21st installment) has succeeded in captivating readers for almost three decades, in large part due to her masterful character-driven plotlines and her meticulous and realistic description of present-day London and its surrounding areas. It's somehow fitting that the titles of this series are all taken from local pubs or bars; Grimes's Richard Jury novels are comfortable, familiar and always full of old -- and sometimes eccentric -- friends. Pull up a chair, grab a hot toddy, and enjoy… Paul Goat Allen