Fadeaway Girl (Emma Graham Series #4)

( 19 )

Overview

The beguiling young sleuth Emma Graham returns.

Martha Grimes returns to her twelve-year-old heroine, Emma Graham, in this suspenseful sequel to the bestselling Belle Ruin. Emma continues her investigation into the strange disappearance of the four- month-old Slade baby from the Belle Ruin Hotel more than twenty years before. The sudden appearance in town of the baby's father, Morris Slade, makes her even more determined to learn the truth. Then a mysterious drifter named Ralph ...

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Fadeaway Girl (Emma Graham Series #4)

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Overview

The beguiling young sleuth Emma Graham returns.

Martha Grimes returns to her twelve-year-old heroine, Emma Graham, in this suspenseful sequel to the bestselling Belle Ruin. Emma continues her investigation into the strange disappearance of the four- month-old Slade baby from the Belle Ruin Hotel more than twenty years before. The sudden appearance in town of the baby's father, Morris Slade, makes her even more determined to learn the truth. Then a mysterious drifter named Ralph Diggs appears at the Hotel Paradise, looking for work, ingratiating himself with everyone there. Everyone, that is, except Emma.

The perceptive Emma is bound once again to delight fans of the previous books Hotel Paradise, Cold Flat Junction, and Belle Ruin, and certain to win new readers with her intuition and humor.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Eagle-eyed little narrator/sleuth Emma Graham is back on the trail in this standalone sequel to Belle Ruin (9780451219442). This time, our intrepid twelve-year-old heats up a cold case about a vanished toddler that has been lying dormant for decades. The sudden reappearance in town of the baby's father piques Emma's interest, but it is the arrival of a mysterious drifter that arouses her full suspicion. Once again, this prematurely prescient amateur detective sniffs out the culprit and makes us laugh on the way.

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.)
Kirkus Reviews

The latest installment in the endless carnival of crime at sleepy La Porte, Md., involves still another return to the storied past.

Now that she's untangled the mystery of exactly which members of the Queen family killed which other members (Cold Flat Junction, 2001), Belle Ruin waitress/cub reporter Emma Graham, 12, is confronted by an even more vexing case: the disappearance 20 years ago of Baby Fay from the loving embrace of Morris and Imogen Slade. Or not exactly, since the infant was being minded, not very vigilantly, by babysitter Gloria Spiker, who returned from an extended phone conversation with Prunella Rice to find her charge gone. The setup echoed that of the famous Lindbergh kidnapping, right down to the telltale ladder, but there was never a ransom demand, and never a sign of Baby Fay since then. Rumor has long maintained that Imogen's father, Lucien Woodruff, kept the police investigation at bay for the first crucial hours, presumably in order to conceal some family secret. Now Emma, provoked alike by kleptomaniac spinster Isabel Barnett's claim to have seen Baby Fay after the abduction and the recent return of Morris Slade to town, is determined to get at the truth. Other 12-year-olds would be daunted, but Emma, who's already confronted armed killers and survived her brother's production of Medea, the Musical, methodically begins interviewing possible suspects, who just happen to be her friends and neighbors, and pondering possibilities. Is Baby Fay still alive, or was she killed in the course of the kidnapping, like the Lindbergh child? Did the kidnappers somehow lose her? Was she a changeling whose fate was intertwined with that of some other baby, or a hallucination of Isabel Barnett's? Was there a conspiracy to cover up the real facts of her disappearance? In fact, how many people actually saw her at Belle Ruin?

Emma is as enchanting as the eccentric cast of her hometown.

Marilyn Stasio
…Emma uses sheer cunning and devious methods of interrogation to pry information from the colorful characters she finds at well-trafficked spots like the Rainbow Cafe. They all quicken to life under Grimes's Dickensian touch, but none more so than Emma. She may keep losing herself in the past, but she's far too vital to fade away.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670022441
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/3/2011
  • Series: Emma Graham Series , #4
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 952,534
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.16 (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)

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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.

    1 out of 2 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 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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 March 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

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    Posted July 10, 2011

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    Posted June 9, 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 April 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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