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Belle Ruin by Martha Grimes

Belle Ruin (2005)

by Martha Grimes

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3181134,897 (3.34)19
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    The End of the Pier by Martha Grimes (EmScape)
    EmScape: Same "universe," some overlapping characters.

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My husband picked this up for me when I said "anything by Martha Grimes", me being completely unaware that she'd written books about any character other than Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard. This book is the second in a series about a 12 year old girl whose family owns and lives in a hotel somewhere in the non-specific southern region of the US. The book seems to expect the reader to have read the first book and is constantly referring back to events in that book without much detail so you're left in the dark as to what they're talking about. The girl works as a waitress in the hotel and spends much of her time being cruel to one of the elderly residents by putting hot peppers in her food and thinking it's funny. This book centers on the kidnapping of a baby that occurred more than 20 years prior and basically ends with no resolution whatsoever. I disliked the girl and I can't believe I wasted my time on this book. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Just loved it. I see one of the other reviewers remarked that there were some inconsistencies with the earlier books and said they did not mind at all. Nor do I. Having just re-read the earlier books I noticed them - but with affection! For me a really satisfying read, I really hated to have to put it down, yet I did not want to finish it too quickly. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
I have enjoyed the previous books in this series and this one had the same quirky characters and engaging narrator. But, the ending left me cold and wondering if Grimes was preparing us for another volume? ( )
  witchyrichy | Mar 29, 2012 |
A lot of how one feels about a book has to do with one's own personal taste. I just can't seem to develop a taste for Martha Grimes' books, thought I've tried a number of them. This one I liked least of all. Part of the problem was trying to listen to it while driving -- way too rambling a story to be able to follow well in bits and pieces. It also kept referring back to earlier stories in the series which wasn't very interesting if you hadn't read them, and would be redundant if you had. The narration was part of the problem to me -- I can't stand people trying to do a Southern accent, and this narrator had several dozen to try to make sound like "real people." She failed. Also, hardly a paragraph went by without reference to food, eating, cooking...way overdone. I'm a person who usually likes Southern stories, but this one seemed all wrong. I couldn't even nail down the time period. Another reviewer said it seemed to have happened in the 1940's, but seems I remember her mentioning the kidnapping at the heart of the book having happened in the 60's, twenty years earlier. And Emma Graham was not a likeable 12 year old. ( )
  MarthaHuntley | Apr 15, 2011 |
"People are always saying my stories have too many details..." states Grimes' character Emma Graham. This is the complaint many had about the last two books in this series, so possibly she was listening. Unfortunately the other common complaint, that the mysteries are never really resolved, went unheeded. Though this is the "last" book in the series, still no wrap-up or catharsis was reached. If you are a person who really needs for plots to come to a conclusion, and doesn't like ambiguous endings, this series is not for you. However, if you like a meandering, dreamlike story which is more about the journey than the destination. you will adore this book.
Emma is a genuine 12-year-old, sometimes bratty, often childish, ultimately likable. She goes off "investigating" on her own more than I would be comfortable with, but judging by some of the context this was the early 1940's, so possibly a less dangerous time to be an unaccompanied kid showing up at the houses of people whom she's never met in order to ask them about events taking place decades before she was born. The other supporting characters are pleasantly quirky and have interesting ways of relating to Emma, either as assets to her investigation or foils for her character.
The description of the play her brother and his friend convince her to take part in were much more entertaining than the descriptions of her imaginary vacation in the last book. That was an improvement.
The series as a whole, I feel needs at least one more volume. As I am a person who likes a good conclusion and that ending was just too ambiguous for me. ( )
  EmScape | Feb 22, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451219449, Paperback)

A waitress at her mother's decaying resort hotel, twelve-year-old Emma now has a second job as the youngest cub reporter in the history of La Porte's Conservative newspaper. But when she discovers the crumbling shell of a fabulous hotel- the once-sumptuous Belle Rouen-in the woods near her small town of Spirit Lake, Emma never imagines that the mysteries it holds will bring her one step closer to solving a forty-year-old crime-and force a new transgression to light.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Discovering the crumbling remains of a once-fabulous hotel in the woods near her small home town, twelve-year-old cub reporter Emma Graham stumbles on clues pertaining to a forty-year unsolved crime involving deeply buried secrets.

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