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on August 19, 2004
I've read over a dozen of the Richard Jury books by Martha Grimes, but I only read Jerusalem Inn recently. I'd put it near the top of the list. I think The Man With A Load Of Mischief is a bit better, and The Old Silent has a much more complicated plot. Martha Grimes seems to balance the recurring elements of the Jury series much better in this book than in some others. In Jerusalem Inn, we start off with Richard Jury's angst and self-doubt, a recurring theme in the series, but it's not overly done. The mystery of the dead woman is well crafted, and the thread which connects her to the other protagonists is drawn out skillfully over the course of the book. The Long Piddleton characters - Melrose Plant, his aunt, Vivian, and butler Ruthven - add just the right humorous touch, again in better proportion to this book than in some others. There is a pub named the Jerusalem Inn, of course, peopled by a separate group of characters. And, in common with most of the Grimes books, there is an upstart little girl, although again this is more in balance with the rest of the plot than elsewhere. Having read almost all of this series, I'd suggest reading this one second, after The Man With A Load Of Mischief. If you enjoy English mysteries in the classic style, this will not disappoint.
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on February 12, 2005
Mystery and thriller series rely on repetition of character, venue and atmosphere, and Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series never disappoints. Set in the rugged Winter landscape near Newcastle, all our regular characters manage to congregate in an old manor house, near a working class pub named Jerusalem Inn. Grimes' books all take their titles from a pub, and this pub is a bit less homey and a bit more basic than some. Jerusalem Inn takes on a certain sinister atmosphere from the moment we first hear of it.

In this book, Jury becomes both personally involved as well as professionally, which leads to certain plot and character twists. As always, solving the crime - well multiple crimes - calls on the talents not only of Jury, but his well heeled friend and unofficial sidekick, Melrose Plant. The rest of the characters all arrive at the Spinneyton Manor - Vivian, Agatha, Ruthven - as well as the required appearances of Racer and Fiona ... but the Scotland yard crew is far less present in this work. Even Wiggins - Jury's faithful and always ailing assistant - plays a much more secondary role.

I liked this book more than others - I thought the pacing was a notch above many of the others. But in the end, you need to like the British Mystery genre to appreciate this - its not just about solving the crime - its about involving yourself in the characters, atmosphere, and joy of the place - that really define Grimes' books and other authors of the same. Great read. Great Grimes.
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on April 13, 2002
Christmas is definitely not merry for Richard Jury, who is a man without family and home at the start of this book. He meets a lonely, beautiful woman in a graveyard at the beginning, but a day later she is dead ahd he is left holding questions instead and trying to tie together the pieces of the woman's life, which seem oddly unfinished.
Along the way, he meets up with Melrose Plant, Agatha, and Vivian, on a Christmas visit at a stately home with a rather conventional cast of odd upperclass guests and hangers-on.
This is a novel that is strong on atmosphere and interesting side characters--the crumbling pensioners in the equally disintegrating seaside resort are especially powerful. The plot, which deals with changelings, sometimes seems contrived, but ends up havng its own power.
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on March 29, 2001
This was my intro to the Richard Jury series and I liked it so much, I've read most of them in the space of 6 months (while reading plenty of other books too!) I found this particular mystery to be very well thought-out. Interesting characters, a solid plot, great dialog. It's not a bad place to start, if you don't want to start at the beginning.
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on March 7, 2015
A different editor might have changed the outcome of this book #6 in Martha Grimes series. It was a mishmash of characters that you can't remember how they got there or why. It's a puzzlement that all the scenes where Inspector Jury appears are successful. If the ensemble characters are on stage, you almost give up. Jury is a likable character, which saves the book as far as I'm concerned. Do you play snooker? After pages about games that are being played, you probably won't take it up. Too much of a good thing. All of a sudden the crime is solved, a character that confesses...what? why? In all this confusion, I underlined some nice pieces of writing, a great metaphor, a description, a detail. I'm willing to give Grimes another chance, but hope Jerusalem Inn is just a poor example of her work.
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on September 18, 2014
Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard seems to constantly be meeting beautiful women to whom he is instantly attracted, but the attraction never goes anywhere. The women never stick. That's true again in Jerusalem Inn, but at least this time the beautiful woman has a good reason for not pursuing a relationship. She's dead.

Jury meets the lovely Helen Minton in a snow-covered graveyard in the Newcastle village of Washington at Christmastime. He has taken days off to spend Christmas with his cousin's family in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and, delaying the inevitability of their company on a afternoon, is taking a walk in the graveyard when he comes upon Helen. She seems unwell and he walks her back to her home and makes a date to have dinner with her. But, on the appointed day, when he goes to collect her at the Old Hall museum where she works, he finds the local police already there. Helen Minton has been discovered dead.

She had a heart condition and at first it appears that her death may have been due to natural causes, but a postmortem confirms that she was poisoned.

Jury sets off through the snowbound countryside to find her only known relative, a cousin who is in a nearby village. Meanwhile, his aristocratic frequent sidekick, Melrose Plant, is already headed for that same village, along with Aunt Agatha and Vivian Rivington, one of Jury's previous "beautiful women who didn't stick." Melrose, Agatha, and Vivian are going to a Christmas house party at a famous critic's house, along with a number of writers and artists.

Tensions are apparent from the beginning among the various house partiers, but who would ever guess that those tensions would end in murder? Well, only someone reading a Martha Grimes cozy mystery perhaps.

Soon, a thoroughly disliked member of the party is found dead in the snow, having been shot, and Jury and the local constabulary, as well as Melrose Plant, seek the murderer. But was this murder somehow related to the murder of Helen Minton and why does the critic's wife seem to be fading fast? Another case of poisoning perhaps?

Well, we can be sure, of course, that Superintendent Jury will make all the necessary connections and that murder will out and justice be served. In a manner of speaking anyway.

This series is a fun and light read, not at all taxing for a hot summer day. All problems are solved and inconvenient facts are swept under the rug by the ending.

And the handsome Richard Jury who is always very attractive to the women and young girls in his cases still hasn't found a woman who'll stick.
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on August 7, 2014
The story was interesting but would have been better had Ms Grimes not found it necessary to bring all the original characters back.
Weaving all of them into the storyline prevented the story from flowing. The mystery itself was intriguing. It was a good read. Not one of her best but you cannot win every time.
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on August 19, 2004
I've read over a dozen of the Richard Jury books by Martha Grimes, but I only read Jerusalem Inn recently. I'd put it near the top of the list. I think The Man With A Load Of Mischief is a bit better, and The Old Silent has a much more complicated plot. Martha Grimes seems to balance the recurring elements of the Jury series much better in this book than in some others. In Jerusalem Inn, we start off with Richard Jury's angst and self-doubt, a recurring theme in the series, but it's not overly done. The mystery of the dead woman is well crafted, and the thread which connects her to the other protagonists is drawn out skillfully over the course of the book. The Long Piddleton characters - Melrose Plant, his aunt, Vivian, and butler Ruthven - add just the right humorous touch, again in better proportion to this book than in some others. There is a pub named the Jerusalem Inn, of course, peopled by a separate group of characters. And, in common with most of the Grimes books, there is an upstart little girl, although again this is more in balance with the rest of the plot than elsewhere. Having read almost all of this series, I'd suggest reading this one second, after The Man With A Load Of Mischief. If you enjoy English mysteries in the classic style, this will not disappoint.
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on June 24, 2014
The plot was too slow in developing. I figured out the relationships and the who's and why's too soon. Too much "snooker" detail--boring!!! I think a little more murder and mayhem at Spinney Abbey would have been fun. I read The Dirty Duck first, then decided to read the books in order. The relationships are developed as the series progresses and it makes more sense if read in order. I really love this series and the humor and quirky characters are so much fun! So far, the first four books I've read (this is #5) are Five Star books.
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on January 23, 2016
I was delighted to find this book on my kindle reader by accident, and read it immediately. Richard Jury is one of my favorite characters, and his low-key approach to crime, especially murders. And this one is set on the moors near Newcastle. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
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