The Lamorna Wink (Richard Jury Series #16)

The Lamorna Wink (Richard Jury Series #16)

3.8 20
by Martha Grimes

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Detective Richard Jury is back in the 16th novel in Martha Grimes' extraordinary New York Times bestselling series—now enmeshed in a series of strange crimes and disappearances, and an age-old tragedy that consumes his sidekick Melrose Plant....See more details below


Detective Richard Jury is back in the 16th novel in Martha Grimes' extraordinary New York Times bestselling series—now enmeshed in a series of strange crimes and disappearances, and an age-old tragedy that consumes his sidekick Melrose Plant....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her 16th Richard Jury mystery, Grimes delays the great man's appearance until late in the game, but the novel is nonetheless as consuming as its 15 predecessors (most recently, The Stargazey, 1998). Here, Jury's pal Melrose Plant leases Seabourne, a lovely oceanside house in Cornwall, where four years earlier two children died from an inexplicable fall down a flight of stone steps. Their parents fled to London; their grandfather, who owns Seabourne, refitted a local stately home into a hospice/nursing home, where he now lives. Melrose befriends Johnny Wells, a vivacious teenager with ambitions to become a magician, who lives with his Aunt Chris. When Chris vanishes and another woman, whom Chris detested, is found dead in neighboring Lamorna, Melrose calls Div. Comdr. Brian Macalvie of the Devon and Cornwall Police Department, whom Plant and Jury first met as a hot-tempered constable in Help the Poor Struggler. As two more murders follow, Melrose and Macalvie realize they are investigating two different cases, with vengeance the motive for one, the other connected to a child pornography ring. At last, Jury arrives fresh from a case in Northern Ireland and helps solve the crimes, past and present, although it is the hypochondriac Sergeant Wiggins (now hooked on the Bromo Seltzer he discovered in Baltimore in The Horse You Came In On, 1993), whose voluminous note taking leads to the linchpin clue. In addition to richly portrayed characters and stunningly described settings, the tangled plot is strewn with a host of genuine clues, as well as red herrings that beguile as effectively as they mislead. Grimes fans will be particularly intrigued as Melrose contemplates his childhood, revealing more about his complex personality than ever before. Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; 12-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-Fans of Richard Jury may begin by regretting that this tale centers on his ally Melrose Plant. However, Plant is a more than worthy protagonist, and readers learn more of his background and some of the source of his disdain for his aristocratic title. While attempting to escape his ever-present and ever-annoying Aunt Agatha, he rents an empty manor house on the coast of Cornwall. That this house was the site of a grisly murder four years earlier intrigues Plant as much as the almost-empty music room, left much as it must have been on that fateful night. The crime does come to the fore, however, as two new murders occur in this otherwise quiet region, and he once again encounters the brusque now-Commander Macalvie. He also meets Johnny, an engaging young man who dreams of being a stage magician. His aunt's disappearance and subsequent suspicious behavior when the first body is discovered involves Melrose in the new mystery, while his presence in the old house involves him in the earlier deaths. Jury shows up at the end to pull the pieces together, but Melrose, Macalvie, and Johnny do a credible job of assembling clues and collecting suspects. The Long Piddlington crew shows up and Aunt Agatha is, of course, very present. The solution is unexpected and somewhat strained, but followers of the series will read this new entry as eagerly as the earlier ones.-Susan H. Woodcock, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
For most of the 16th in her Richard Jury series Grimes allows the great detective to lie fallow. This, then, is the greening of Melrose Plant, Jury's Watsonlike friend and admirer. Though laid back by definition—it's in his aristocratic DNA—Plant does make the most of his opportunity. That is, before you can say Lord Peter Wimsey, there he is up to his designer Wellingtons in homicides. True, a couple of the untimely deaths are four years old, but fresh ones loom. And it's all happening on the storied Cornwall coast where the inhabitants are famous for being sullen, secretive, and prone to intemperate behavior (see DuMaurier's Rebecca). In the village of Bletchley, Brenda Friel and Chris Wells operate a successful tearoom. Chris goes missing. Melrose suspects foul play. Ah, but there's a hitch. Not only is Miss Chris a missing person, she's a leading suspect—in the murder of a young woman she's reputed to have held in extremely low regard. While all this is going on in Cornwall, trouble breaks out in Long Piddleton, Northampton, home base to Melrose and his band of charming eccentrics (see The Stargazey, 1998, or any other series entry). Rampant complications, tear-away subplots, until, at virtually the last moment, Jury rides in on his deus ex machina to pull it all together—sort of. Discursive and overplotted, yes, though no more than is typical of this highly popular series. (Literary Guild/Mystery Guild selections)

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Richard Jury Series, #16
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.52(w) x 6.84(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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