The Stargazey (Richard Jury Series #15)

( 3 )

Overview

After a luminous blonde leaves, reboards, then leaves the double-decker bus Richard Jury is on, he follows her to the gates of Fulham Palace...and goes no further. Days later, when he hears of the death in the palace's walled garden, Jury will wonder if he could have averted it. But is the victim the same woman Jury saw? As he and Melrose Plant follow the complex case from the Crippsian depths of London's East End to the headier heights of Mayfair's art scene, Jury will realize that in this captivating woman—dead...

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Overview

After a luminous blonde leaves, reboards, then leaves the double-decker bus Richard Jury is on, he follows her to the gates of Fulham Palace...and goes no further. Days later, when he hears of the death in the palace's walled garden, Jury will wonder if he could have averted it. But is the victim the same woman Jury saw? As he and Melrose Plant follow the complex case from the Crippsian depths of London's East End to the headier heights of Mayfair's art scene, Jury will realize that in this captivating woman—dead or alive—he may have finally met his match...

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Editorial Reviews

Margo Kaufman
The literary equivalent of a box of Godiva truffles. . .run out and buy it at once. —The Los Angeles Times
Newsweek
One of the established masters of the genre.
Ann Prichard
Delivers the escapist goods. The journey is such fun, the characters appealing. . .and the atmosphere to tapestried that Stargazey is well worth setting your sights on. —USA Today
Margo Kaufman
The literary equivalent of a box of Godiva truffles. . .run out and buy it at once.
The Los Angeles Times
Marilyn Stasio
Martha Grimes doesn't write them fast enough for me…
The New York Times Book Review
Newsweek
One of the established masters of the genre.
Ann Prichard
Delivers the escapist goods. The journey is such fun, the characters appealing. . .and the atmosphere to tapestried that Stargazey is well worth setting your sights on. -- USA Today
Kirkus Reviews
Another exotic adventure in never-never land for Scotland Yard's Richard Jury and his rich, titled sidekick, Melrose Plant. At the Stargazey pub, Jury observed a striking blond woman in an elegant fur coat. He idly followed her to the gates of Fulham Palace, which she entered while he went about his business. That night, the body of a woman fitting that description (but lacking identification) is found in the Palace gardens—murdered. But Jury knows it's not the same woman. The fur coat provides a trail that leads to old-time movie star Mona Dresser, who'd given the coat to Olivia Inge, her daughter by the late Clive Fabricant. Clive's second wife is Ilona Kuraukov, aristocratic mother of Nicholas and Sebastian, art gallery owners. At this point, Jury enlists old friend and unofficial aide Melrose Plant to find out more about the Fabricants. The murder victim has finally been identified as one Nancy Pastis, a widow with an alibi and a weird story of a vanished child to tell. Meanwhile, Melrose's efforts at the gallery and at Boring's, his London club, bring him a couple of good paintings, a lone dud, and a burgeoning friendship with elderly club member Simeon Pitt, one-time art critic for the Times and slated to become the second victim of one of Grimes's least believable killers. Melrose's own life is soon at risk, only to be saved by an unlikely rescuer. Vignettes of life in Melrose's village, Long Piddleton; a pungent take on the contemporary art scene; a steady stream of loopy characters—all help to make Grimes's 15th Jury outing (The Case Has Altered) great fun. Just don't look for common sense or logic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451408976
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Richard Jury Series , #15
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 422,027
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.20 (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

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2000

    Excellent Reading

    I was so pulled in to this book, I literally could not stop it. I can't express how disappointed I was when I came to the end of it, I didn't want it to be over! The characters are so wonderfully and creatively alive and there, it was the equivalent of watching a movie! The plot was not 1% predictable, neither was the ending. I was extremely impressed with the way in which the story and all the characters came together in such an enjoyable way. I highly recommend this book for unstoppable great reading!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted February 18, 2009

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