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The Horse You Came In On by Martha Grimes
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The Horse You Came In On (1993)

by Martha Grimes

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The first Martha Grimes to disappoint me. A total change from the author's usual writing. Much darker, very confusing. Mainly set in the United States as opposed to Britain. I understand the author wanting to change her style, but rather than do so within an already established series, start a new one. This was sadly the last Grimes I ever finished. Tried to read the next in the series but was again disappointed and could not get through it. ( )
  Riyale | Mar 15, 2011 |
Twelfth in the Chief Inspector Richard Jury series. In this book, Jury and Sgt. Wiggins and his friend Melrose Plant are reluctantly off to America, to investigate two different murders at the behest of two different friends, wandering into the literary world of Johns Hopkins University, Edgar Allan Poe and a football franchise for Baltimore! This was another of Grimes’ weaker Jury novels; I don’t know if it was the setting, if being away from the UK weakened the book or what, but it wasn’t a story I enjoyed overly much aside from being glad for a visit with all the recurring characters. There were a lot of side trips away from the mystery part of the story and it wasn’t, in general, very coherent nor cohesive. ( )
  Spuddie | Sep 26, 2008 |
No. 12 in the Richard Jury series.

Jury is on sick leave but when have such trivialities ever deterred Chief Superintendent Racer from his pathetic attempts to harass Jury? As a result, it is from Racer that Jury learns that Lady Cray, whom he met on a recent case, has asked for him specifically to investigate a strange murder in the US, that of Philip Calvert. Along with Melrose Plant (who has his own personal reasons for visiting the US) and that martyr to health, the long-suffering Sgt. Wiggins, Jury arrives in Baltimore, where the three are greeted by Ellen Taylor, Melrose’s “personal reason”. Ellen gives Melrose a guide to Baltimore that provides a fair amount of humor throughout the book, as Melrose, in between detecting tasks, sight-sees the city with one of the city’s finest—no, not a police officer or fireman, but a cab driver, the redoubtable Hughie, who is a tourist attraction in and of himself. Hughie the Cab Driver compensates brilliantly for the extended absence of Aunt Agatha and the rest of the Long Piddleton crew. Apart from Travels With Hughie, one of the better scenes in the book is Melrose’s introduction to American football in the pub of the book’s name.

The investigation into Philip’s murder leading nowhere, Ellen involves Jury in the case of the murder of a graduate student, Beverly Brown, who claimed to have found a previously-unknown manuscript by Edgar Allan Poe. Intrigued by the possibility that Brown and Calvert’s murders may somehow be connected, Jury, Wiggins and Melrose start tracking down answers to the “why” of Brown’s murder.

The plot is workmanlike with a somewhat bizarre denouement that strains credulity a bit; the story, however, is really just a vehicle and matrix for a fond tour of Baltimore . Grimes, who has taught at Johns Hopkins, through Ellen gives us a glimpse into an academia replete with the usual vain professors and somewhat absent-minded scholars. There’s also a look at the problem of plagiarism faced by successful authors that provides interest to the book. Although in the end irrelevant to the main plot, the subplot of the alleged Poe manuscript is extremely well-done and provides at least a superficial exploration of how such claims are authenticated.

While not one of the better mysteries, the book is well worth reading if only to share Grimes’ obvious affection for Baltimore and its denizens. Highly recommended. ( )
  Joycepa | Feb 12, 2008 |
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Civilized, and gay, and rotted and polite
F Scott Fitzgerald, on Baltimore
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To
Laura Scott Perry
a friend in Nickel City
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The blind man smelled something new in Cider Alley, a new scent mixed with the old ones of urine and sweat, beer and whiskey, coming from some doorway (he imagined ) where a little cluster of men liked to gather.
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Book description
The murder is in America, yet the call goes out to English police superintendent Richard Jury. This is only the first unique aspect of a case that would try the keen talent of Scotland Yard's sleuth. Accompanied by his aristocratic friend Melrose Plant and by Sergeant Wiggins, Jury arrives in Baltimore, Maryland, home of zealous Orioles fans, mouth-watering crabs and Edgar Allan Poe.

Amid a puzzling scenario of literary larceny, dubious descendants, football franchises, and monstrous murder, Jury bends elbows with a delicious and suspicious cast of characters who introduce him to the delights of the city.

And as the evidence of the murders he's been sent to solve becomes too tangled to understand, Jury finds answers - and liquid refreshment - at a unique tavern called The Horse You Came In On.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345387554, Mass Market Paperback)

"Intricate and entertaining . . . A delicious puzzle." The Boston Globe
The murder is in America, but the call goes out to Scotland Yard superintendent Richard Jury. Accompanied by his aristocratic friend Melrose Plant and by Sergeant Wiggins, Jury arrives in Baltimore, Maryland, home of zealous Orioles fans, mouth-watering crabs, and Edgar Allan Poe. In his efforts to solve the case, Jury rubs elbows with a delicious and suspicious cast of characters, embarking on a trail that leads to a unique tavern called "The Horse You Came In On" . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:52 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"The murder is in America, yet the call goes out to English police superintendent Richard Jury. This is only the first unique aspect of a case that would try the keen talent of Scotland Yard's sleuth. Accompanied by his aristocratic friend Melrose Plant and by Sergeant Wiggins, Jury arrives in Baltimore, Maryland, home of zealous Orioles fans, mouth-watering crabs, and Edgar Allan Poe. Amid a puzzling scenario of literary larceny, dubious descendants, football franchises, and monstrous murder, Jury bends elbows with a delicious and suspicious cast of characters who introduce him to the delights of the city. And as the evidence of the murders he's been sent to solve becomes too tangled to understand, Jury finds answers-and liquid refreshment-at a unique tavern called The Horse You Came In On ..."--BOOK COVER.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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