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Help the Poor Struggler Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx; Reprint edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451411730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451411730
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A superior writer." --The New York Times Book Review

"A star in the mystery genre...An elegant writer and inventor of dazzling plots." --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Around bleak Dartmoor, where the Hound of the Baskervilles once bayed, three children have been brutally murdered. Now Richard Jury of Scotland Yard joins forces with a hot-tempered local constable named Brian Macalvie to track down the killer.

The trail begins at a desolate pub, Help the Poor Struggler. It leads straight to the estate of Lady Jessica, a ten-year-old orphaned heiress who lives with her mysterious uncle and an ever-changing series of governesses. And as suspense spreads across the forbidding landscape, an old injustice returns to haunt Macalvie...with clues that link a murder in the distant pass with a killing yet to come.

"A superior writer." --The New York Times Book Review

"A star in the mystery genre...An elegant writer and inventor of dazzling plots." --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Great plot, great pacing and wonderful characters.
Melinda Richards
For those of you new to the series, I would recommend reading them in order for the best reading experience; however, they are also fun as stand alone novels.
Happy Chappy
I love Martha Grimes's Richard Jury series, and this one is as good as the others.
Vangie Stice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Happy Chappy VINE VOICE on July 2, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Help the Poor Struggler, by Martha Grimes, is the 6th book in this excellent series. The book introduces us to the moody and blunt Brian Macalvie. Macalvie will become a recurring character in the series, appearing in some of the books to follow. This novel features a mystery involving a serial killer of children in the mysterious Dartmoor (famous for the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Hound of Baskervilles). This is a very strong entry in this compelling series. Macalvie, a local constable, is haunted by a previous case that seems to be related to this series of killings. Jury enlists the aid of Melrose Plant and soon the sleuthing is underway. A really solid read and an important book in the series.

For those of you new to the series, I would recommend reading them in order for the best reading experience; however, they are also fun as stand alone novels.

Here is the series in order:

The Man with a Load of Mischief
The Old Fox Deceived
The Anodyne Necklace
The Dirty Duck
Jerusalem Inn
Help the Poor Struggler
The Deer Leap
I am the only Running Footman
The Five Bells and Bladebone
The Old Silent
The Old Contemptibles
The Horse You Came In on
Rainbow's End
The Case has Altered
The Stargazey
The Lamorna Wink
The Blue Last
The Grave Maurice
The Winds of Change
The Old Wine Shades
Dust
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on January 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The tiny hamlet of Clerihew Marsh is the site of the murder of Rose Mulvanney. Her five year old daughter calls the operator to summon assistance. Wiggins and Richard Jury are interested in another matter years later in Dorchester. The victim is Simon Riley, son of a butcher. It is wondered if Davey White in Wynchcoombe is somehow connected to the incident of Simon Riley. The second boy has been placed in a church. His grandfather and guardian is vicar there.
Help the Poor Struggler is, not surprisingly in a book from the Richard Jury series, a pub. Molly Singer wears off the rack Oxfam clothes. She will not speak to the police. The latest victim is Angela Thorne. She is wrapped in a cape belonging to Molly Singer. It seems that Molly Singer is Mary Mulvanney, a daughter of the years-ago murder victim.
It is pleasant to read a Richard Jury mystery because he appears complete with ensemble players. Half-way through this book Melrose Plant turns up at the Jack and Hammer along with the Long Piddleton antiques dealer, Marshall Trueblood. Jessica Ashcroft, a child and Jury's candidate for next victim, is all ready to service Plant's Rolls Royce which fails just outside the wall of the Ashcroft manor house. She claims to know about cars and welcomes him into the premises which is the plan as conceived by Plant and Jury.
Chief Superintendent Racer is concerned over the nonsolution of the cases. As Jury continues his investigation he surmises that the cases are connected since the sites, Princeton, Clerihew Marsh, and Wynchcoombe are equidistant from each other and from Ascroft Manor. Simon's stepmother has an Ashcroft connection it is ascertained. The vicar of Wynchcoombe is related too.
The story is well-plotted. This is a lovely book. The character of the child, Jessica Ashcroft, is just right.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Fred Camfield on June 3, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an Onyx 2005 reprint of a 1985 novel. It is a little on the dark side, and a change of pace from the author's early novels in the Jury/Plant series. No side excursions into Long Piddleton, or side issues about flashers. Perhaps the author was developing a more serious side. You do need to read some of the earlier novels to understand the Jury and Plant characters.

The story starts with a prelude about a murder where the wrong man is convicted. The only witness, the victim's 5-year old daughter, is left catatonic and unable to point out the killer. The wrong man is convicted of the crime and sent off to prison, simply because he was infatuated with the victim.

Now it is 20 years later. A serial killer is murdering children in the same geographic area as the earlier murder. It appears to be the work of a psychopath. The police are attempting to link the killings and various suspects show up on the scene - the man, just released from prison, who was convicted of the earlier murder; an agoraphobic photographer who seems a bit mysterious; and various relatives who might inherit money if Lady Jessica, a 10-year old heiress, should happen to die.

Events and police work bring the story to some surprising conclusions. The novel is split into 28 chapters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This sixth novel in the series about Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard and his friend, the ex-titled Melrose Plant (is he ever going to tell us why he gave up his earldom?), is rather darker than the others. It features Chief Superintendent Macalvie of Dartmoor, a fearsome character with American roots who likes to talk like Sam Spade, and whose only unsolved case to date was the murder of a young mother in a village on the moor twenty years earlier. He's always believed in the innocence of the medical student who went to prison for it, and he's never forgotten the two daughters in the case, one of whom, after finding the bloody body, went into a permanent fugue state. Now a series of murders of children has the county up in arms and Jury, with Plant's undercover assistance, has to figure out what they have in common. Because the next victim might be the orphaned ten-year-old Lady Jessica Mary Allen-Ashcroft, whose guardian uncle may also be one of the leading suspects. This is perhaps the best in the series and the whodunit solution is a perfectly justified surprise resulting from subtle misdirection.
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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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