Fadeaway Girl: A Novel

( 19 )

Overview

For waitress and cub reporter Emma Graham, tragedy defines where she lives. Spirit Lake, La Porte, and Lake Noir have been held in thrall by intertwined crimes: the murders of Mary-Evelyn Devereau, Rose Queen, and Fern Queen; the supposed kidnapping of a four-month-old baby from the Belle Ruin hotel twenty years previously; and, most recently, the attack on Emma. And with the arrival of an unexpected visitor and a drifter, it looks like the bad times have only begun...

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Fadeaway Girl (Emma Graham Series #4)

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Overview

For waitress and cub reporter Emma Graham, tragedy defines where she lives. Spirit Lake, La Porte, and Lake Noir have been held in thrall by intertwined crimes: the murders of Mary-Evelyn Devereau, Rose Queen, and Fern Queen; the supposed kidnapping of a four-month-old baby from the Belle Ruin hotel twenty years previously; and, most recently, the attack on Emma. And with the arrival of an unexpected visitor and a drifter, it looks like the bad times have only begun...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A 20-year-old kidnapping with faint echoes of the Lindbergh case drives Grimes's convoluted fourth crime novel featuring Emma Graham, a direct sequel to 2005's Belle Ruin. Emma, a 12-year-old cub reporter who also helps out at the Hotel Paradise in La Porte, Md., where her mother's the cook, thinks that the accounts don't add up about the unsolved disappearance of Baby Fay Slade from the nearby Belle Rouen hotel. Emma's doubts center on the possible role of Fay's father, the shady Morris Slade; Morris's spoiled wife; his rich father-in-law; and his former neighbors. The abrupt reappearance of Morris Slade and the arrival of a smug new hotel employee raise further questions and end in sudden death. Grimes's strength is in her appealing characters, from the inquisitive Emma and her dipsomaniac great-aunt, Aurora, to the pretentious 16-year-old Ree-Jane Davidow and philosophical auto mechanic Dwayne, but gaps in logic, lack of red herrings, and frequent references to earlier entries in the series may put off some readers, especially those unfamiliar with the previous books. 4-city author tour. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451235640
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 615,234
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha  Grimes

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.

Biography

"No, I'm not English, but nothing quickens my imagination more than a fog-bound moor, windy heath, river mist in an old fishing village, and the names of British pubs like The Stargazey," Martha Grimes has written, and it's this quirk of hers that has made her one of the best loved modern practitioners of the venerable whodunit.

All of the titles in Grimes's bestselling Richard Jury series are taken from actual pubs, and all of them feature said pub in some fashion. "I can imagine the end of British hope and glory, but not the end of the British pub," she explains. So, too, it is hard to imagine the end of these deft, witty mysteries, begun in 1981 with The Man with a Load of Mischief, featuring a lugubrious Scotland Yard superintendent (Jury) and his art-collecting sidekick (Melrose Plant).

Grimes has a particular talent for combining heavy gloom with an unmistakable humor that's as subtle and dry as a soda cracker – a good thing, since the Jury casebook tends to be dark, twisted, and rather gruesome. But she always infuses her characters with human motivations and is careful to set up a chain of clues that ultimately discloses them. In addition, she's been known to thread in an unlikely theme here and there – NFL football, poetry references, animal rights, even hormone replacement therapy.

It's clear that Grimes likes to stretch her legs a bit, bringing Jury and his eccentric friends Stateside for a few cases and occasionally foraying beyond the series with novellas, standalones, and some interconnected literary fiction featuring teenage heroines. No doubt these changes of pace help keep the author's skills sharp and honed and ensure for her a wider and more growing readership.

Good To Know

Unlike many mystery writers, Grimes does not outline her plots ahead of time or even profess to know where they are headed when she begins writing. "I am not overly concerned with plot as such," she explains on her web site. "Obviously, if you start with a chapter such as the one above and intend the story to proceed from it, you could write yourself into a corner. I always do. In The Case Has Altered, I didn't know until I was nearly finished with it who had killed these women or why."

Grimes's father was city solicitor of Pittsburgh, and her mother owned a hotel in western Maryland. As a girl, she spent half her time in Pittsburgh and the other half at her mother's hotel in a little town called Mountain Lake Park.

Although her western Maryland-set series that began with The End of the Pier has earned its own fans, there's no denying that for most Grimes readers, it's all about Jury. If she needed a reminder of this, she got one in the loads of hate mail she received for abandoning Richard Jury to write Pier.

Grimes has taught creative writing at various colleges, including the small Maryland community school Montgomery College and the more prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Comparing the two in a Washington Post interview, the mordant Grimes noted of JHU, "Not one pompous ass in the whole program ... The pompous asses are at Montgomery College."

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 25, 2011

    No sample to read!

    All that's included in this sample are copyright pages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Sample?

    I have no idea if I want to read this book. The sample ends before the book starts! I hope some one fixes that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Not my favorite of Grimes' work

    This book is the third (or possibly fourth) book in the Emma Graham/Hotel Paradise series. It's also the most annoying and improbable. The book is peopled with unlikeable characters doing things that could never actually happen, in an area of Maryland that (to my knowledge) has never been much of anything, let alone a summer resort, a la the Poconos or the Hamptons.
    Emma is precocious to the point of being obnoxious, and the "pranks" she so loves inflicting on people, including an elderly guest, border on the psychpathic. Truly, she is not lovable, not believable, and not even plausible. If she were a real person, she would need serious.psychiatric intervention. Of course, so would many of the other.characters, including.the infamous "Ree-Jane."
    For a 12-year-old, Emma has a lack of supervision that borders on neglect, and yet none of the other adults in her life see fit to do anything about it.
    I gave this book one star because it isn't possible to give halves. I'm curious to see if this review actually gets posted, as there used to be a number of reviews from people who felt the same as i, and they have "mysteriously" (to quote Emma) disappeared. In short, this book is just this side of absolute crap.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    I Love this Series

    I can't wait for the next in this series. I could not put it down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    read this

    If you like Emma, then you will love this book. I hope we do not have to wait so long for the next one. There will be a next one. won't there?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted May 23, 2011

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    Posted December 21, 2012

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    Posted June 17, 2011

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    Posted March 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

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    Posted February 20, 2011

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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    Posted July 10, 2011

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    Posted April 14, 2011

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

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