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The Man with a Load of Mischief Mass Market Paperback – February 4, 2003

106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“For readers who value wit, atmosphere and charm.”—The Washington Post Book World

 

“Grimes captures the flavor of British village life…Long may she write Richard Jury mysteries.”—Chicago Tribune

 

“[Grimes’s novel] is cast in the mold of the great British mysteries and comes complete with all the classic elements.”—The San Diego Union

About the Author

Martha Grimes is the bestselling author of eighteen Richard Jury mysteries and also the acclaimed fiction Foul Matter, Cold Flat Junction, Hotel Paradise, The End of the Pier, and The Train Now Departing.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (February 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451410815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451410818
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Loren D. Morrison on April 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In her Richard Jury/Melrose Plant series of mysteries, Martha Grimes has developed an ensemble cast who play the same role, but with different levels of involvement from book to book. As one works his way through these mystery novels, all the members of the ensemble take on lives of their own. Another reviewer has stated that, in later novels, this being the first in the series, they become stereotypes. It is my opinion that they merely stay in character. This is not to say however that they don't show growth and appropriate change with time and circumstance. They do.
One should know that the name of this book, THE MAN WITH A LOAD OF MISCHIEF, is the name of an English pub where part of the action takes place. This approach is taken in all of the novels in this series. (18 to date covering over 20 years of writing)
Although any one of these novels can be read in any order, this one gives more character background than any of the others. (I read it after having already read 16 others and it didn't hurt my comprehension of the others a bit.) Each novel has an interesting and entertaining plot. That said, what really distinguishes Ms Grimes' writing is the humor and local color she evokes through the antics, interrelationships, and subplots involving the various members of her cast of characters. There are over a dozen of them and each is fully realized with personalities, weaknesses and strengths, likes and dislikes, and friends and enemies.
The plot here involves the murder of strangers visiting the English town of Long Piddleton. In order to solve the mystery of the murders, it is first necessary to determine whether the murders were the random work of some madman, or if they were somehow related in a way that is not apparent. That is the gist of the plot.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on June 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've read most of the Richard Jury novels, and it was a real treat to read the first in the series where all the characters are introduced. A number of the characters who later become a bit frozen in their stereotype behaviour are very real in this book-- I think particularly of Vivian and Trueblood-- and it's worth reading if you're a fan just for those points alone.
When a series of grisly murders shocks the town of Long Piddleton, Richard Jury of Scotland Yard is sent to investigate. It becomes clear all-too-soon that these were not the acts of a stranger and the small town is in the grip of suspicion and fear as the death toll continues to rise.
A satisfying whodunnit that keeps the pages turning.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 27, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first Inspector Richard Jury and Melrose Plant mystery deals with dark secrets that haunt the village of Long Piddleton, where a series of murders have taken
place. More over, this is where you get to meet all the lovable characters of Grimes
delightful British Mystery series, all named after Brit pubs. Jury is super investigator, but he must deal with the political side of his job, which he doesn't handle in the same deft fashion as he does solving cases. You also meet Melrose Plant, a mutli-titled Peer of the Realm, who has recently given up his titles, a spot on detective himself, though amateur. His dotty, social-climbing American Aunt Agatha Ardry, determined to be British by osmosis - leaching off her dear, long suffering nephew while eating all the faerycakes. Ruthven, the ever-efficient butler (who never did it!). Grimes loads the tale with a stable of supporting characters, and enough red herrings to make a lunch! Curry is the perfect narrator to bring Grimes prose alive. All her books can be stand alone, but you enjoy them so much more if you start with this one and work your way through.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those of you who, like me, discovered Martha Grimes when she was well into her series of books featuring Richard Jury, I highly recommend this first in the series. The well plotted, if somewhat overly complex story is a good read, but the real fun is in meeting Melrose Plant, Superintendent Racer (sans cat), Marshall Trueblood, Vivian and Little Pid for the first time. There is an added bonus in that one of the characters is an expert on the history of the strange and exotic names of English country inns. As the afficianado knows, Ms. Grimes has used these names to good effect as titles for the books in her Jury series
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am a Richard Jury fan to the core. I normally like to begin a series by reading the first book written. However, Man with a Load of Mischief was the second book I read by Martha Grimes. Here we are introduced to the main characters that appear throughout the Richard Jury series. Ms. Grimes does a wonderful job of giving her characters life and color. They seem almost real from the wealthy and charming former earl, Melrose Plant to his irritating aunt-by-marriage Agatha. Here we get a glimpse of Marshall Trueblood who owns the antique store and revals in dressing loudly, smoking colored cigarettes and teasing Agatha. Here Jury meets these characters and more for the first time and forms a lasting friendship with Melrose. Here we get the first glimpse into Jury's life where relationships with women are rarely successful for long periods of time. Martha Grimes cleverly mixes murder with humor to produce a very entertaining novel. A true literary success.
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