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The Grave Maurice Hardcover – August 26, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Richard Jury Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (August 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670030457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670030453
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this, the 18th outing in Martha Grimes's popular series featuring Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury and his aristocrat pal Melrose Plant, Jury, recuperating from a near-fatal shooting (The Blue Last) hears about the two-year-old abduction of his doctor's talented young daughter, Nell Ryder, who disappeared from her grandfather's stud farm, along with a champion thoroughbred horse. Pursuing the stalled investigation when he's released from the hospital, Jury stumbles on a complicated scheme involving murder, insurance fraud, and a scheme to replicate a popular menopause drug derived from the urine of pregnant mares. As readers of this popular series know, while there's a mystery at the heart of every Jury novel, the real payoff is in Grimes's lucent prose, wit, and complex characterizations. Fans of British mystery writer Dick Francis, who's made the world of thoroughbreds his own turf, will find this a delightful diversion, particularly since Francis recently announced his retirement from the genre. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

In the 18th entry in this popular series (after 2001's The Blue Last), Grimes serves up a convoluted hodgepodge of rape, kidnapping and murder, then throws in corporate greed, animal rights issues and assorted satires of modern British society. Supt. Jury is hospitalized following a shooting in an earlier case. His aristocratic assistant, Melrose Plant (aka Lord Ardry) overhears two women in a pub curiously called the Grave Maurice discussing the disappearance of horse enthusiast Nell Ryder, who turns out to be the daughter of Jury's doctor, the first of many implausible coincidences. Nell's devoted 16-year-old cousin, who's also named Maurice, has been in a grave mood following Nell's apparent abduction. This poor lad must also cope with his father's death, his mother's flight to America and a growth spurt that has left him too tall to be a jockey, his life's ambition. Most of this long and winding tale deals with the world of horse racing and its seamier sides. Pregnant mares are being badly treated at a stud farm where their urine is collected for a commercial menopause drug. People and prize thoroughbreds get snatched away in the night, and, to the dismay of his elders, a greedy stepbrother has left the Ryder farm to peddle IPOs in London. Jury's investigation gets off to a tardy start, by which time Plant has dug himself in deep, even buying his own horse to try to understand the lore of racing. Frequent digressions divert the sleuths (and the reader) from the investigative trail. (Aug. 26) Forecast: A 10-city author tour, on top of national print publicity and advertising, should help launch this one into bestseller territory.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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

And if you have never read a Martha Grimes' book, do not choose this one as an example.
Horsepoor
The plot, perhaps, is a little too complicated, with a few too many characters but some surprising twists.
Fred Camfield
And I'm angry about the fact that I knew what was going to happen at the end of the book.
frumiousb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was a big fan of Ms. Grimes' earlier works, but her last few Jury mysteries have been extremely disappointing. Again, she utilizes extremely chance meetings and far-fetched links amoung strangers to produce the mystery as well as solve it. She should also re-read her earlier books and reacquaint herself with her characters. In "The Old Fox Deceived", Melrose had backflashes about participating in a cubbing (pre-season hunt) as a 10-year-old and the trauma of having the fox's blood smeared on him as part of a bizarre ritual. In addition, in the 'Fox Deceived' story, he participated in a hunt -- galloping over fields and jumping ditches and fences -- during which a body was discovered. But, in "The Grave Maurice", he was portrayed as knowing nothing about fox-hunting nor about riding a horse. I think Martha is tired of her characters; maybe she should let them fade away gracefully.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This latest from Martha Grimes was easily put down through the first half. Picked up half way through with some notion of redemtion, but the ending left a fruther bad taste in the mouth. I can't say this was poorly done, but is is not representative of the Richard Jury series, more like her other books with dispondent aimless characters. (No matter how many time the work "focused" was used, unbelievably surmised from a photograph, she was aimless through out the book). The plot did not particularly hold together well, some characters stuffed in to plug obvious gaps in the ploting. I was expecting a more fun read Grimes, had I known, I would have read it a nother time.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Horsepoor on March 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've been a big fan of Martha Grimes, but this book was a terrible read! I nearly gave up after the first few chapters, but continued plodding through only because I was stuck at a horse show for a week with no other reading material. The plot is poorly done, the characters are shallow (I mean, I really didn't care anymore who lived or died or who ended up being the villian -- I just wanted to get through and done), and it just didn't meet the high expectations I had from my past experience with her books. I think I may have to go back and reread some of her previous works just to remind myself of how good she can be. And if you have never read a Martha Grimes' book, do not choose this one as an example. She can do so much better!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P A Brown on September 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I sometimes wonder why Grimes's books are called the "Richard Jury" books when more and more Melrose Plant seems to be taking on the job of New Scotland Yard. And how old are these guys now anyway? 50s? 60s? If Jury was 6 or 7 in 1945, well, you do the math. Still they still have their endless string of fillies, doomed and damaged, to fall in love with, bed (even with fresh bullet wounds) who are destined to either die or wither on the vine like old Viv-viv. "The Grave Maurice" is not a Grimes masterpiece, but it is still pretty good, and altogether tidier, plotwise, than "The Lamorna Wink" which had plently plot plus and lots of Plant exposition (at least we know why Plant gave up his titles) and a bad sub-plot featuring a most unbelievable child snuff film and just way too many characters. When Grimes is good, as with children and animals, Agatha at bay and Wiggins doing his Yard/Boots the Chemists thing, she is so ... good, clever and funny you will forgive her anything, but when she has Jury send Melrose the ertswhile Earl out to buy one more expensive item as a ruse (a painting, a car, a house, a horse, whatever)or as a pseudo expert (librarian, art collector, antiques appraiser, rider to the hounds) I start wondering if someone really ought to tell DCS Racer, or at Cyril the Cat, that Jury is not on the case, again. And she really is going to have to start introducing some foresenics into her crime scenes...she's dating herself. But here, she seems to have lost control of her characters, charming as they may be.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "dmlii" on October 24, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've dipped in and out of the Richard Jury series over the years, and generally I've found Martha Grimes' books to be entertaining and well-written -- though not perfect. By contrast, "Grave Maurice" is gravely flawed. How in the world could the mere photograph of a 15-year-old girl, Nell Ryder, engender such intense feelings of yearning and passion in every grown man who sees it? When Nell appears in the flesh, she's described as lucent and luminous but actually seems one-dimensional in the extreme. Meanwhile, the plot is awash in coincidences that rob it of honesty. Face it: Melrose Plant is the one decent character -- give him his own series, Martha, and give handsome Richard Jury's bullet-riddled, bed-hopping body a little rest.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As much as anything else, "The Grave Maurice" answers the question so loudly issued in
"The Blue Last," the previous Richard Jury mystery. In that exciting and well-written episode, the
final pages closed with a bang and the readers could only wonder: will our hero survive? And now
we know, thankfully--and with really not much of a surprise--that Superintendent Jury does live and
he's on to No. l8 in Grimes' immensely popular police procedural mystery series. He's still in
hospital, but a mystery opens up to him (as Grimes says, ala Josephine Tey and "The Daughter of
Time") and he sets out to solve it, bandages, headache, scars, and all.

A 15-year-old daughter of his physician has been missing for two years and presumed dead.
Of course, the doctor and the family have not given up hope and this is where Jury, ably assisted by
Melrose Plant and the Long Pid gang, comes in. Taking all the known facts, they begin to splice,
glue, cut, and paste the parts extraordinaire into a viable, working case. The girl, Nell Ryder, was
abducted, along with a famous race horse she was attending. No clues and no ransom note either.
The scenario is intrigue for his soul (and mind) and Jury, with his Dr. Watson (Melrose) wanders
into the very lucrative business of horse racing and breeding. He is mesmerized by the personality
of Nell, who was described by one of the trainers as "a filly dressed up in a girl costume," so
complete was her love for horses. As the local police have virtually given up on the case (after all,
there were no active clues for past two years!), it appears that the effort would be futile; yet, as Jury
acknowledges, there are a few elements that don't add up.
Read more ›
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