The Five Bells and Bladebone (Richard Jury Series #9)

( 4 )

Overview

When a dismembered corpse is found in the compartments of an antique secretaire a abattant, Marshall Trueblood, recipient of the precious piece of furniture, is the first to protest: "I bought the desk, not the body, send it back." Who would want to kill Simon Lean, the greedy nephew of the wealthy Lady Summerston?

Leave it to Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard to suggest a connection to the murder of brassy Limehouse lady named Sadie Driver, found dead near Wapping ...

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The Five Bells and Bladebone

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Overview

When a dismembered corpse is found in the compartments of an antique secretaire a abattant, Marshall Trueblood, recipient of the precious piece of furniture, is the first to protest: "I bought the desk, not the body, send it back." Who would want to kill Simon Lean, the greedy nephew of the wealthy Lady Summerston?

Leave it to Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard to suggest a connection to the murder of brassy Limehouse lady named Sadie Driver, found dead near Wapping Old Stairs...if that stone-cold body on the slipway is really Sadie. Not even her brother, Tommy, on a visit from Gravesend, can swear to it.

In this ninth Richard Jury novel, a beautiful antique offers more than its market value when dealer Marshall Trueblood unwittingly discovers a corpse stuffed inside the rosewood desk he has just haggled out of a wealthy estate owner. "(Grimes) best . . . as moving as it is entertaining . . . a laudable achievement."--USA Today.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury, visiting his friend Melrose Plant in Long Piddleton, looks into the murder of Simon Lean, whose body is discovered stuffed into an antique secretaire a abattant. Working with help from the usual cast of zany characters, Jury goes about his business in his customary leisurely and self-assured manner and pieces together a very strange tale of greed, jealousy, and murder. The careful reader will have solved the mystery long before the ending. But this ninth in a series, though not Grimes's best, is a welcome addition and sure to be popular. BOMC alternate. JV
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451410382
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/4/2002
  • Series: Richard Jury Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 380,156
  • Product dimensions: 6.64 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.96 (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:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Love Ms Grimes

    But since I read this book YEARS AGO how can it have a 2013 pub. date? If you can, buy ALL the 'Richard Jury' series by Ms.. Grimes. This was one of the first few and you'll fall in love with him, his butler 'Ruthven'(pronounced 'Rivven'), his best friend,the reluctant Lord;Melrose Plant and Plant's greedy Aunt Agatha. You'll love all of them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2001

    Grimes is at her best here!

    In ¿Five Bells and Bladebone¿ Martha Grimes is at her most suspenseful. In this Richard Jury episode, Grimes clearly establishes herself as one of the best of the genre. In this book, a dismembered corpse is found by Marshall Truebood in an antique desk and naturally alerts Supt. Jury of Scotland Yard, who soon establishes a connection between this body and the murder of a woman by the name of Saide Driver of Limehouse. Jury--and crew--is off and running. Grimes fans will recognize Jury¿s ¿team¿--the faithful Sgt. Wiggins, close friend Melrose Plant, his Aunt Agatha. All provide independent and worthy contributions to the overall book. Grimes¿ Jury books are all titled after the names of actual pubs, usually in England. This is a series that is riveting, amusing, suspenseful, colorful, and Grimes is a master at the literary allusion. Not a series to be missed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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