Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery Hardcover – June 3, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
*Starred Review* Grimes, recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America in 2012, shows what mastery is all about in this compelling new Richard Jury mystery. To begin with, Grimes is superlative at describing the physical world; the view, for example, from the champagne bar called Vertigo 42 on the forty-second story of a London skyscraper lets Grimes give the reader both an overview of the Thames and its history in a few evocative sentences. And, when Grimes takes us into interiors, whether it’s a posh country home or a down-at-the-heels flat, she is like Dickens in linking human character to habitat. Vertigo 42, as a setting, is a deliberate reminder (developed throughout the book) of Hitchcock’s film. It also is a reminder to the widower who summons New Scotland Yard Superintendent Jury to the bar that the mans wife, who suffered from vertigo, died 17 years ago in a staircase fall that the inquest ruled an accident. The widower, Tom Williamson, is haunted by his wife’s death, which he is convinced was murder, and asks Jury to reinvestigate. Williamson is convinced that his wife’s death is linked to that of a child who drowned in their pool five years earlier. Two other murders occupy Jury as he confronts the puzzle of the past, and Grimes ingeniously links all of them to Hitchcock. One of the highlights in a stellar series. --Connie Fletcher
The character sketches Grimes provides are more satisfying than other authors’ full portraits. Longtime fans will find this tale fully worthy of Jury and his regulars. (Kirkus)
Grimes, recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America in 2012, shows what mastery is all about in this compelling new Richard Jury mystery...[many] murders occupy Jury as he confronts the puzzle of the past, and Grimes ingeniously links all of them to Hitchcock. One of the highlights in a stellar series. (Booklist starred review)
Four years is much too long to go without a wonderfully loopy Martha Grimes mystery featuring her Scotland Yard detective, Superintendent Richard Jury, and his eccentric friends—and their dogs. A forlorn Staffordshire terrier named Stanley makes an appearance in Vertigo 42, as do a winsome stray named Joey and some unnamed pit bulls victimized in a cruel dogfighting racket operating under the radar in London. Hurting an animal is like betraying a friend to Grimes, who draws on literature to develop her themes of friendship and loyalty and extend them to Jury’s murder case. (Marilyn Stasio The New York Times)
"Grimes, who excels in atmosphere as well as plot, again concocts an absorbing tale. With a nod to — and a clever twist on — Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo, she treats readers to an intelligent, literary whodunit marked by her wit, her wisdom and, most of all, her sympathetic understanding of humanity." (Richmond-Times Dispatch)
It's been four years since I had a chance to delight in the company of Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard and I'm so glad he's back. He and his colleagues are grand companions. Once again, Martha Grimes has written a whodunit with terrific characters and a grand plot mixed with her unique droll wit. Vertigo 42 is one smart mystery! (Susan Isaacs, bestselling author of The Goldberg Variations)
Like all great satirists, Ms. Grimes sees the world from the other side of the looking glass and invites us to come along for a wild and wacky ride. (Nelson DeMille, bestselling author of The Panther)
Gloriously quirky…Grimes is no slouch at creating vivid characters. (The Seattle Times)
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The story begins promisingly enough when Jury, on vacation from the Yard, is asked by an old acquaintance to look into the long ago death of the wife of one of his friends, Tom. Tom is a sympathetic enough character, and his wife's "accident" ambiguous enough to raise questions about what really happened. Jury's probe leads to more questions about another death, that of a young girl who was attending a party at the couple's country home several years prior to Tom's wife's death. Jury travels to and from various locations, including Melrose Plant's estate, during the investigation. He interviews a number of adults who were children and present when the country house death of the girl occurred and who may have killed her. He calls on his colleague, Wiggins, for assistance. The portrayal of Wiggins is lackadaisical.
Readers who've never read this series will do well to start at the beginning -- or at least with an earlier volume -- to experience Grimes and Jury et. al. at their best. This is a wonderful series worth reading.
Although Vertigo 42 is not up to Grimes' usual standards, it was good to spend some time with the cast of characters who have all too long been absent from the mystery scene.
To me, the change in plot style - though I commend Martha Grimes for trying a new dimension - lacked the warmth and amusing approach of her other books in the series. If I were new to the series, it would not entice me to read the others, and that would be unfortunate.
Once again, Jury is called upon to investigate a cold case, this time as a favor to a friend. Seventeen years before, Tess Williamson died in a fall down stone steps in the garden of her house in Devon. The verdict on the death was left open, as no definitive conclusion could be reached, but the inspector in charge of the investigation at the time leaned toward an accidental death due to the victim's known problems with vertigo. Her husband, Tom, is convinced that her death was murder, and, in that conclusion, he has an ally in another detective who was involved in the original investigation, Jury's friend, Brian Macalvie.
Tom is also friends with Sir Oscar Maples, another in Jury's circle of friends, and it is Maples who suggests to him that Jury might be willing to investigate the death, and it is he who delivers the request to Jury. Jury meets with Williamson at Vertigo 42, a bar in a City of London tower, hears his story, and agrees to look into the case.
One curious aspect of Tess's death is that five years before, a nine-year-old girl had also died in a fall at the Devon home, during a children's party that Tess was hosting. The victim was a particularly nasty child who was not liked by any of the other children, or, for that matter, any adults. There was suspicion that she was pushed and Tess was a suspect, but, again, there was no conclusive evidence and the verdict was left open.
So, two suspicious deaths seventeen and twenty-two years earlier, but before Jury can get very far into his investigation, another death occurs near the village where his friend Melrose Plant lives. A woman dressed in an expensive red silk dress and four-inch-high red heels dies in a fall from a tower. Did she jump? Was she pushed? How did she climb to the top of that tower in those four-inch heels? When it turns out that this woman was one of the children who were present at that party in Devon long ago when the little girl died, Jury sees a pattern and suspects that there may have been three murders.
Then, the woman's husband also turns up dead of gunshot wounds with his dog Stanley standing guard over his body. Four deaths - two in the past and two in the present - dot this intricate and compelling plot. How will Jury ever sort this puzzle out?
This is the latest entry in the Richard Jury series, number 23, and it isn't clear if there will be any more. If indeed it does turn out to be the last one, then Grimes will have ended on a fairly high note. This was a strong effort, more so than some of the recent books in which she seemed to be just phoning it in.
As usual, the plot meandered all over the countryside between Devon and London and it encompassed visits with most of the recurring characters that we've come to know and love (or hate) over the years. It had the usual quirky animals, but at least this time we didn't spend time inside the animals' heads watching their nonverbal reaction to events. There were no charming children this time around, which made for a bit of a change. But, all in all, particularly with the literary allusions, it hit all the notes that we've come to expect from Martha Grimes and it was a fun summer read.