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The Case Has Altered (Richard Jury Mysteries) Hardcover – October 15, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Richard Jury, the brooding Scotland Yard detective-hero of many of Martha Grimes's mysteries, is back in The Case Has Altered, but--as usual--his sidekick Melrose Plant steals the show. Set in the fens of Lincolnshire, Jury must investigate two murders in which his true love, Jenny Kennington, is a suspect. But while Jury deals with the evidence, Melrose uncovers the local color, interviewing everyone from uncommunicative pub owners to chatty cooks. Even murder seems a little less grim with Melrose Plant around.

From Library Journal

Poor Dorcas, dead in a ditch in the fens. And she's not the only one. Vera Dunn, the manipulative ex-wife of Max Owen, master of the local estate, Fengate (where Dorcas was a servant), is also dead. Enter Grimes stalward Richard Jury, who's not officially on the case but who gets involved anyway because Lady Kenningston, a woman he cherishes, has been accused of doing in Dunn, with whom she has been seen quarreling. Jury gets pal Melrose Plant to pose as an antiques dealer so that he can snoop around Fengate, then goes off to do some investigating on his own. Naturally, there are puzzles, e.g., why was Dorcas out on the fens that night? Why didn't Lady Kenningston come clean on her relation with nasty Verna? The result is a delicious ebb and flow of tension?first, we get a trial for Lady Kennington, then more twists and turns as the real killer is finally, surprisingly revealed. In the process, there's beautifully rendered atmosphere and perhaps a bit too much of Melrose's litigious aunt. Vintage Grimes; for all collections.
-?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Richard Jury Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1st edition (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805056203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805056204
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martha Grimes is the bestselling author of twenty-one Richard Jury novels, as well as the novels Dakota and Foul Matter, among others. Her previous two Jury books, The Old Wine Shades and Dust, both appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. George on April 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I will admit that NOT ONLY have I NOT read all of Grimes' work, but that what I have read has been all out of order. In her works before 2000, that didn't seem to matter too much. There was some related themes between the books - like Viv's engagment to Count Dracula - but mostly reading her books in any order was fine.
However, recently, there seems to be much more carryover between books. To start, there's a growing list of women that Jury and/or Plant both 'love' - Vivian, Polly Praed, Ellen Taylor, Bea Slocum, and Jenny Kennington to start with. Jenny Kennington was the focus of this one, but while apparently she is Jury's true love, I felt so detached because I had never read about her before. There were many other such references that went over my head while new 'regulars' had been added that I didn't really know.
In addition to being ripped out of my comfortable old crowd at the 'Jack and Hammer,' I sometimes felt like I must have missed reading a couple of chapters in this book. Grimes keeps referring to an event where Melrose searched all over for Jenny Kennington, and somehow this caused a problem with Jury. At first I thought this referred back to another case in another book, but as the tale went on it seemed like it happened at some point in this book. I was thoroughly confused.
For those who don't know, the main focus of the book is a double murder (one following the other by 2 weeks) out on the desolate fens of England. One victim is of the minor movie star Vera Dunn, the vicious ex-wife of Max Owen, who owns the estate where Dunn was visiting when killed. The other murder is of Owen's vegetable cook. This young cook was a nosy unattractive girl whom everyone overlooked and forgot. What motive could anyone possibly have to kill two such different woman?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a book!! The best I've read since I've forgotten when. It made me realize why I love the English language so, beautifully written. I understand perfectly why Miss Cornwell says Grimes' work is poetry for the way she writes and the words Miss Grimes uses are those of a poet. Beautiful scenery, lifelike characters and a thoroughly satisfying end. Undoubtetly it has been said before but for once I don't mind repeating another man's words: an absolute must!! Since this was the first Richard Jury (and Martha Grimes) book I've read I'll be drawn inside every bookshop by an irresistable force: the other books by Martha Grimes!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
It had a good plot (I was able to name the murderer about halfway through, but that's not necessarily a bad thing), and had a lot of typical Melrose Plant in it.(Thank you for finally letting us know exactly why he rejected his title). Jury's character can be a little boring.However, I was somewhat disappointed, because at the end of Rainbow's End, the previous book, it appeared that Melrose would end up with a girlfriend, at last. It was not to be. It would not hurt the story if, at the end of one of these novels, we would see one of the characters NOT walking away, disappointed yet again. And let that poor girl either marry her count or come back to Long Pid and marry Melrose (or Jury). That subplot has ben dragged out too long. I would agree that the characters involved in the murder took a backseat in interest to the regulars. Why not involve them more in the murders, as in previous novels?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gordon L. fuglie on June 22, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
Serious readers are wary of abridgements, often for good reason. Not having read this book in its unabridged form, I have my suspicions of what got cut from the audio version of "The Case" -- the background of the various suspects seems a bit less developed here, although I still wondered "whodunit" until the protagonists arrived at their conclusion. There also may have been some deleting of the descriptions of the bleak Lincolnshire fens, but with little loss to the overall effect of the tale.
And what a tale that is! Not so much due to Grimes taking the English detective mystery to any new level - she doesn't do that nor intends to. The real laurels here go to reader/actor Tim Curry. He gets all of the character nuances just right, moving with ease and flair across British class, age and gender lines. He brings out with brio the fullest comedic potential of the text, clearly relishing his fleshing out of the eccentricities and peculiarities of Grimes' range of characters and situations. This is the perfect tape set for anyone facing a long commute. You'll be well entertained and amused. For Curry's perfomrance: six stars!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of the Inspector Jury novels and enjoyed each of them. Not so with this last. The writing was weak from beginning to middle (where I finally had had enough and put it aside). I am still hoping that the next book might revive the previously memorable characters to their former readable selves. I won't make the same mistake though and buy the book but will wait to get it from the library!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The Case Has Altered disappoints on several levels. Ms. Grimes has obviously run out of steam and her weary characterization of Richard Jury in this latest offering shows it. He's not running the show --big mistake-- and is written like a supporting character, disappearing from the scene for several chapters in a row. The minor characters are more interesting than the majors who are, with the exception of Melrose Plant, colorless and enigmatic to the point of being obscure. The author's attempt to cast suspicion on them by cloaking them in mysterious motivations and cryptic dialogue backfires. We could hardly care less about Grace and Max Owens, Jenny and company. Probably the worst flaw in the novel is the author's tiresome and endless retelling of the events of the crimes. Every character must rehearse these tidbits until the reader is ready to scream, "enough!" This latest in the series featuring English pubs is stretched so thin that if it weren't for the author's track record, I doubt if it would have made it into print. She has also committed the unpardonable sin of raising a question and then leaving it unanswered. What IS Zel's real name?
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