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Cold Flat Junction Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Books on Tape; Unabridged edition (March 14, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736658327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736658324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,686,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Emma Graham is quizzical and persuasive, imaginative and pragmatic, shy and belligerent. And curious--oh, so curious. The cat hasn't been born that could challenge Emma in that department.
I can't let go of a thing--a puzzle, a person, a place. Once it gets my attention, I have to keep worrying it until it comes clear. I have to hang on, and it makes life really tiring. I work on these questions down in the Pink Elephant, a small chilly room which was once used for cocktail parties underneath the hotel dining room. The room's cold stone walls are painted pink, and there's a long wooden picnic bench and hurricane lamps. The candles give the room atmosphere. Cobwebs and dust and ghosts help too.
Wrestling with quandaries small and large--there's nothing like it to lift a 12-year-old girl from the humdrum vagaries of life in La Porte, a small resort town whose crown jewel, the Hotel Paradise, is drifting into threadbare but dignified obscurity. Emma, who has lived at the hotel all her life (her mother is the hotel's cook), is a charming mix of David Copperfield, Scout Finch, Harriet the Spy, and Rudyard Kipling's mongoose, whose motto is "Go and Find Out." In Hotel Paradise, Emma tried to unravel the mystery surrounding the 40-year-old drowning death of young Mary- Evelyn Devereau. In Cold Flat Junction, that death takes on new resonance with the murder of Fern Queen. Fern was the daughter of Ben Queen and his wife Rose Devereau, Mary-Evelyn's aunt. Ben spent 20 years in prison for Rose's murder, and Fern's body is found just days after Ben is paroled.

Convinced of Ben's innocence, Emma sets out to track down the real killer. Her investigations mirror a delicate web of small-town relationships, expectations, and preconceptions. She slips through diners, garages, abandoned houses, and train stations, befriending taxi drivers, schoolteachers, and poachers: "You have to sneak up on what you want to know; you have to peek through windows at the facts so they won't run off and hide. You cannot go smashing through doors." When Emma looks through windows, she sees not only facts, but dreams, questions, and possibilities. Her quest is for answers, certainly, but also for her place in the world she interrogates so persistently.

Hotel Paradise was compared by certain readers to To Kill a Mockingbird and was in turn found wanting by some. Although both novels have powerfully personable preadolescent girls as protagonists, the comparison is perhaps less than just. Harper Lee's novel is rooted in the dust and grit of a particular time and place, and at least part of its power comes from its evocation of participation in or responsibility for that particularity. The Emma novels, however, are narrative tapestries with threads tantalizingly resistant to such grime. Their strength lies in the author's ability to slip the bonds of context; she has fashioned a shimmeringly lovely world that resists our impulse to categorize, to locate, to fix. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Grimes made her reputation with her Richard Jury mysteries, but she has also successfully produced character-driven psychological fiction. This smartly written, quietly paced sequel to her 1996 hit Hotel Paradise revisits precocious 12-year-old sleuth Emma Graham, working in her family's fading resort hotel on Spirit Lake in smalltown America. Setting this narrative a week after the close of its predecessor, Grimes chronicles Emma's investigation of three family murders. Ben Queen has recently been released from prison after serving 20 years for the murder of his wife, Rose Devereau Queen. Fern Queen, Rose and Ben's daughter, who "had always been touched in the head," is found shot, and Ben is once again the prime suspect. Emma knows that Ben could not have committed either murder. Unfortunately, she can't tell the sheriff without letting on that Ben is hiding in the old Devereau house. Emma is aware that all these events began 40 years ago with the mysterious drowning death of 12-year-old Mary-Evelyn Devereau, who was being cared for by her three aunts, Rose's half sisters. And who is the spectral "Girl" who keeps appearing and disappearing? Skillfully constructed as a smart, independent child learning to be a self-aware adult, Emma has a talent for indirect routes, self-fulfilling lies and pumping her unwitting sources for a great deal of information. Her meditations can occasionally make slow reading, and she tells her story in almost as roundabout a way as she investigates, but the effect is surprisingly satisfying. Like Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine, Grimes obviously enjoys straying from more traditional mysteries, though under her own name. Fans of Grimes's Richard Jury series undoubtedly read her in both incarnations, and the sophisticated jacket design should help lure general readers to this well-wrought narrative.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Martha E. Nelson on October 24, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
What a wonderful book and audio-book! This is an extraordinary coming-of-age novel, with characters that you really care about and a haunting, ambiguous story. Bernadette Dunn is a wonderful narrator for this story as well. I bought a copy of the book after listening to it on tape first, and her voice echoes through my reading.
Emma Graham is a wonderful, rare, twelve year old narrator, perched right on the verge of adulthood. Her imaginative child self and her growing intuition about the interesting adults in her life sometimes work together here and sometimes battle each other in a fascinating mix.
This is also a beautifully lyrical novel that takes place in a world that seems quite timeless. We are in a recognizable world but not necessarily a specific time.
Definitely worth it! It's a gem!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Miss Ivonne on March 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Cold Flat Junction" is the conclusion of the mystery/coming-of-age tale begun in Martha Grimes' magnificent "Hotel Paradise." (Be sure to read "Hotel Paradise" first!)

It's set in an indeterminate time (there's a mention of nouvelle cuisine and the United Nations on the one hand, yet the novel is riddled with train travel, small-town drugstores with soda fountains, a McCrory's, records and horsehair sofas)in an indeterminate place (somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard north of Maryland). You get the sense that both books are a fable of sorts.

Grimes' sequel (a continuation really) surpasses the first novel in recounting the cleverness and tenacity of its 12-year-old heroine. Every character is true-to-life from the sympathetic sheriff with the philandering wife to Maude, the good-hearted waitress at the Rainbow Cafe, to the speech-addled Wood brothers to the nasty and domineering 16-year-old Reejane, Emma's nemesis. The ending gives me hope that Ms. Grimes will continue the saga with yet another book about Emma Graham.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By cheesygiraffe on December 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
First thing you need to do is throw out any ideas of this being like a Jury novel. Then get Hotel Paradise so you can read it and understand what is going on in this book.
Emma is simply a wonderful character and she jumps out of the book and comes to life. It's almost hard to imagine she is 12. The mystery still isn't quite over I wonder if Martha Grimes will tell us more in another installment.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on March 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for another Richard Jury mystery, this isn't it. Period. However, that said, this is Martha Grimes writing as Martha Grimes, and an excellent job she does, too. (There's no compelling reason all her books have to be about Jury & the Long Pid Gang--much as we wish they were!)
In "Cold Flat Junction," Grimes returns to the scene, as it were, from an earlier book (which did involve Jury) called "Hotel Paradise." In an interview in October, 1999, Grimes explained that she was returning to that scene, not that she was tired of Jury, but that she felt that this story needed to be told, as well. Here, we find young Emma Graham, 12 years old (and most curious!), and a sleuth in her own "write." The setting is small town America (Grimes is, surprisingly, American) and picks up some three weeks after "Hotel Paradise" ends. Emma, precocious that she is, sets out to investigate not one, but three family murders. Sound like too much? Surprisingly not. Grimes, truly, is in good from here (yes, yes, get on with it: it's NOT Richard Jury!) and with the precision of a talented, if not competent, surgeon, she makes "Cold Flat Junction" a worthy read.
Grimes' style is fresh, filled with good literary allusions and at times a sharp wit. While the book, granted, is not her masterpiece (maybe "Jerusalem Inn"? Yes--it's Jury!), Grimes holds her own--and she commands a large literary field--with this one. Read it with an open mind.
Besides, she also stated that Richard will be back! (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on October 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Martha Grimes is a master, and this second book in her Emma Graham story proves that. I really do enjoy her Richard Jury series, but these two books are wonderful in their own right. If you decide to embark on the journey, you should read Hotel Paradise first since a lot is not explained in this book. This is a wonderful coming of age tale starring a very curious and intelligent 12 year old girl. And before you think "Oh children's story", it's not anything at all like that. There is much to learn about human nature in these two books, and Emma's friends and acquaintenaces are absolutely wonderful. And Ms. Grimes' sense of place is so realistic that you are right there with Emma in this pokey little New England town. The Rainbow Diner, BrokeDown house, Slaw's Garage, and Windy Run Diner seem as real as any places that are in your own life. And to steal a sentence from Emma "My life had become crowded with people" - can be what you are thinking when you read this story. Lovely book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diane Davis on December 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Martha Grimes boggles my mind. She's written a lot of books I admired, a few that seemed lacking, and at least one that struck me as a total disaster (see "Bite the Moon"), but here she dispels all fears that her skills as a writer have atrophied.
There is scarcely a paragraph in this book that doesn't contain a gem of humor, poignancy, or simply character observation worth savoring. It's especially interesting that the theme is similar to the one in the much maligned effort mentioned above - a lonely and resourceful kid tackling some very adult problems. But here there's something very genuine about the emotions. The characters are wonderfully realized and their interaction is often hilarious. It's a coming-of-age story as well as a mystery, evocative and lyrical and clearly the work of a master.
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