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The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury Mysteries) Audio CD – Audiobook, April 6, 2010

Book 22 of 23 in the Richard Jury Mysteries Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Richard Jury Mysteries
  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142427969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142427965
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of bestseller Grimes's muddled 22nd Richard Jury mystery (after Dust), the body of an unidentified woman, who reminds Jury of a Pre-Raphaelite beauty, lies in a mortuary in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Shot outside the Black Cat, a local pub, the victim was wearing expensive clothes, decorous yet sexy. The Thames Valley police wonder why Jury, a Scotland Yard superintendent, is intruding on their turf. The victim proves to have been a professional escort, the only witness to her murder the pub's black cat. Cats and dogs can share their thoughts, mostly mundane, with one another, but, alas, not with humans. More escorts get killed. Unresolved cases from Dust and its predecessor, Old Wine Shades, complicate the plot to little purpose. Off-kilter details jar. No London copper would ask a London cabbie if the cabbie knows a particular street. This subpar effort from one of mystery's major stars will appeal mainly to fans of the talking animal subgenre. 8-city author tour.(Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Many reviewers felt obliged to note that a Martha Grimes novel requires a taste both for the British "cozy" mystery and Britain's particular brand of tongue-in-cheek humor. But it was a taste that all those critics seemed to share; Patrick Anderson of the Washington Post wrote that he would gladly set down more superficially thrilling fare for any of Grimes's books. While some critics raised eyebrows at some of Grimes's odder touches (like the telepathic color commentary by the local dog and cats) and plot twists, all of them recommended The Black Cat and the rest of the Richard Jury series to new readers. Meanwhile, they hinted that longtime fans should be satisfied with how Grimes ties up certain loose ends from previous books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Martha Grimes's Richard Jury does it again!
Victoria A. Pickrell
If I hadn't read other books by Martha Grimes I might have rated this three stars.
Jean Speiser
Unfortunately, after that it was pretty much downhill for me.
L. Burns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 93 people found the following review helpful By L. Burns VINE VOICE on April 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jury is less than pleased to be assigned a case outside his district - a case that's already making the tabloid headlines. A beautiful young woman working as an escort is found murdered outside a pub called The Black Cat. Two more `escort' murders, this time in London, follow and Jury struggles to make a connection between the crimes.

I liked the premise and the set-up of the story. Unfortunately, after that it was pretty much downhill for me.

Early on in the book I was dismayed to find myself back at `The Old Wine Shades'. Yep, Harry Johnson figures prominently in this book. Back again to those boring, circuitous conversations between Jury and Harry. Countless references to the murder that Jury is convinced Harry committed. I disliked `The Old Wine Shades' so much that I've blessedly forgotten the storyline and the author's efforts to remind me in this book weren't very successful. I don't share the author's affection for Harry's character but it seems she's determined to make him a recurring character in this series.

Nothing about the story flowed gracefully. There's a scene with Melrose and Jury in Long Piddleton that seemed like an afterthought; an awkward effort to acknowledge the series `regulars'. A couple chapters dedicated to an animal rescue. A silly and distracting chapter detailing the telepathic communication between Harry's dog, Mungo, and a kidnapped cat. Overall it felt choppy and disjointed.

On the plus side, this entry brings back Jury as we've come to know him over the years - melancholy, introspective and intelligent. Melrose makes only a minor appearance, but a scene that takes place at his club, Boring's, is very entertaining.

What can I say?
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on April 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I stopped buying Martha Grimes Jury series a few books ago and I'm very glad I got this one at the library.
What happened to these books? I've read the series from the beginning and used to look forward to each new book, but no more.
The story line could have been improved and the whole "wall of shoes" seemed forced and silly, as if the author has watched too many episodes of SATC.
I agree with other reviewers that the Harry Johnson character should be put to rest. His conversations with Jury are boring and pointless and I don't understand the author's insistence in keeping the character around, especially when the cast of regular characters, especially Melrose Plant, are so much more entertaining.
One thing I noticed in this book was the lack of police procedure, which seems almost laughable. Since the murder victims depended on their mobiles for contact with their respecitive services, why was no mobile ever found or even looked for? I would think that would be the first thing the police would look for in order to find the phone numbers of their contacts and therefore point them in the right direction. Apparently, Ms. Grimes is too caught up in the boring us with Harry to actually put some thought into the storyline.
Unfortunately, I doubt that there will ever be a return to the quality of the first books.
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60 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Grandstaff on April 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I would follow Richard Jury and Melrose Plant anywhere they want to go, so I approach a new book in this series with delighted anticipation. I've never been disappointed and The Black Cat is no exception. Long time Jury readers will not be confused by the shorthand banter and whimsical asides we've come to appreciate. Jury's poetic melancholy is still in place; you can feel how profoundly weary he is, and no wonder. Obsession can knock the stuffing out of a person, and his love affair and subsequent tragedy with Lu has worn Jury down to an exposed nerve. Obsession runs through this mystery like the Thames through London, whether it involves sex, shoes, mothers, rescuing victims, or a festering grudge against an old nemesis with telepathic pets. The whodunit part is tricky enough to satisfy, and although we don't spend much time with our friends in Long Piddleton, it's reassuring to know Melrose Plant is still living with one foot in a Great Britain that no longer exists (if it ever did). Long time fans will find much to love in this latest Jury, and hopefully new readers will want to go back through 22 books to see where it all began. Note: I was disappointed not to have a Kindle version as well, but am pretty sure Martha Grimes has no control over what her publisher chooses to do. If books don't sell because of bad Amazon reviews given in protest it's ultimately the author who is hurt most.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Bell on June 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used to eagerly await every Martha Grimes novel featuring Richard Jury. No more. Apparently recognizing that her last book's Harry Johnson shaggy dog story was a disaster, she spends most of her most recent book trying to "fix" the shaggy dog story. She does so by having Jury and Johnson drink gallons of wine, while recapping the shaggy dog story, essentially replaying the incredibly boring stuff from her last novel. Even worse, she then morphs the shaggy dog story into a shaggy cat story. The dog and 3 cats talk to one another. Yes, chapter after chapter of pet conversations, as if this murder investigation was intended for 6 year olds! Finally, this book is not a whodunnit. The reader will spot the killer in the first 20 minutes. That is a blessing, since it gives the reader a chance to quit reading before reaching several chapters of pet chatter.
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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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