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The Blue Last (2001)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451410556, Mass Market Paperback)Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury returns in a compelling novel, the 17th in Grimes's long-running series. Mickey Haggerty, Jury's old friend and colleague, is dying of cancer. So Jury can hardly refuse his request to look into what Mickey suspects is a 50-year-old case of switched identities. It surfaces when the last World War II bomb site in London is excavated for a new development, exposing the skeletal remains of a woman and infant. Mickey thinks the dead infant wasn't the baby of Kitty Riordan, Maisie Tynedale's nanny, as Kitty claimed, but was Maisie herself, the heiress to a brewery fortune. Did Kitty engineer the masquerade? And did Simon Croft, who was writing a book about London in the war years, discover it? When Croft is killed and his computer stolen, Jury sends his pal Melrose Plant to snoop around Tynedale Lodge disguised as a gardener. There he encounters a charming trio of amateurs: a homeless urchin and his extremely clever dog Sparky, and Gemma, a Tynedale ward whose mysterious background may hold the clue to Simon's murder as well as the still unsolved attempt on her young life.
As usual, Plant's world of eccentric friends and relatives is nicely evoked in a subplot that leads him on a surprising holiday in Florence, during which he acquires just enough knowledge of Italian Renaissance painting to pull off another disguise on Jury's behalf. Grimes weaves the threads of this rich tapestry together in a surprise ending that not even Grimes aficionados will sense coming. But it's an appropriate conclusion, given the book's brooding tone, established in the opening pages by a dying friend's obsession and sustained as the investigation forces Jury to confront his own haunted memories of the war. This is a solid page turner, marked by Grimes's unerring sense of pacing, respectful but provocative poking around in Jury's soul, and topnotch storytelling ability. --Jane Adams
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 04 Jan 2013 03:15:06 -0500)
Chief Inspector Mickey Haggerty asks his old friend Richard Jury to assist him in proving that the granddaughter of beer magnate Oliver Tynedale is in fact an imposter and that the real heiress died with her mother.
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