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3,9 von 5 Sternen
3,0 von 5 SternenDISAPPOINTING ENTRY IN AN OTHERWISE GREAT SERIES
12. August 2015 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I am a big fan of the Richard Jury series but this one disappointed. First off, it was confusing. It begins with a series of mysterious pet deaths in a small English village and builds to some suspicious deaths of the human variety. I could never figure out what the pet deaths had to do with the story and there were so many characters, many superfluous, that I had to keep going back to remember who people were and what role they played. For example, there is a photograph that figures prominently in the plot and even after finishing the book, I'm not sure who is in the picture, or how it provides the basis for a blackmail scheme that is part of the plot. As far as I could see, the person being blackmailed had little to lose by the picture becoming public. Beyond the confusion factor, what bothered me most about the plot was that it was (spoiler alert) another case of someone hiding their true identity just like the previous book, and even their roles were similar. There was definitely not enough Melrose Plant in this one, and although I find Aunt Agatha annoying, she is a perfect foil for Plant and the way they play off one another is generally very funny. I laugh out loud at some of the comments Plant makes about her, or to her. I don't know about anyone else but I am tired of Polly Praed, the mystery writer, and don't feel like she adds much. The worst part though was the ending. It was so abrupt that I went back and reread the last few pages several times to see if something was missing from my book. I just couldn't believe it was the end. I'm still not exactly sure how some of the plot lines were resolved (I think we were left hanging in some cases) and the conclusion was both depressing and VERY disappointing. Characters, especially regulars, behave in ways that just don't ring true. If I had not read other Richard Jury mysteries, this would be my last. However, I think Grimes is an excellent mystery writer, and a very skilled writer in general. Her character development and plots are definitely first rate. So I'll keep going in the series. But, if you haven't read this one, my advice would be to skip it.
3,0 von 5 SternenThe Deer Leap by Martha Grimes: A review
5. Oktober 2014 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
All the usual elements of a Martha Grimes mystery are here - the sleepy and quirky English village where everybody knows everybody's business; the beautiful women who are attracted to Superintendent Richard Jury and he to them; the hypochondriacal but indispensable Sgt. Wiggins; Jury's civilian sidekick Melrose Plant; the charming children; and, of course, the animals.
It is the animals that are at first the center of this mystery in the village of Ashdown Dean. Something terrible is happening to the pets of the community. Several have disappeared and some have later been found dead. The pets have a champion in the person of fifteen-year-old Carrie Fleet who lives on the estate of the "Baroness" and operates a pet sanctuary there. She rescues them whenever she can - sometimes at the point of a shotgun.
One of the animals that she unfortunately wasn't able to rescue was a dog belonging to the local post mistress. The dog is later found in the woman's garden shed - dead from poison. The event is almost enough to cause a fatal shock to the dog's elderly owner who has a heart condition. A few nights later the woman's telephone goes out and she walks up the hill to the public call box to make a call.
Mystery writer Polly Praed is in town, staying at the local B and B, which doesn't have telephone service for its guests. She walks to the booth to make her call, opens the door and the elderly woman's dead body falls out of the booth at her feet. She is questioned by the local constable and she calls her friend Melrose Plant for help. Melrose, in turn, calls Richard Jury and they both descend upon Ashdown Dean.
At first the dead woman appears to have died of natural causes, but Jury is suspicious and begins to ask questions and investigate further. Soon, the mystery deepens when another local woman, the wife of the local pub owner who was a bit free with her sexual favors, dies under strange circumstances. Again, there is no obvious cause of death other than natural, but it all seems just a little too convenient.
In the course of asking questions, Jury discovers another mystery - Carrie Fleet. It seems that the Baroness "discovered" her in London where she was a child living with a family in rather squalid circumstances, but she was not a member of that family. She had been found wandering in a park with a head wound and apparent amnesia. She couldn't say who she was or where she came from. She couldn't even remember her name and chose "Carrie Fleet" on her own.
The Baroness gave the family a thousand pounds for Carrie and took her home to Ashdown Dean where she has lived since. The irascible Baroness is quite fond of her and nobody else and, as much as she cares for anybody other than animals, Carrie seems to care for her. Jury is intrigued by her history and determines to discover who she is and where she came from. As luck would have it, Carrie's history turns out to be at the center of the Ashdown Dean mysteries and the ultimate reason for the deaths of two people.
I was quite enjoying this book up until about the last third and then the whole thing just kind of petered out for me. I couldn't really get too excited about the ending. Still, overall, it was another pleasant entry in the Richard Jury series.
2,0 von 5 SternenGraphic animal abuse story line ...
17. November 2015 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I wish someone had warned me about this. I love the Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes, but I have no tolerance for animal abuse, real or imagined. There is so much of that in just the first little bit of this book I abandoned it. I am certainly not done with the series, but The Deer Leap is appalling in its description of animals being hurt or killed. I gave this two stars - one only for the book and an additional one because I love the series. Reader beware if you love animals ...
maybe 3 stars is too much? this story, now that I think about it is all over the place and only the characters hold it together, and they are sleep walking; even Cyril. very disappointing after the previous books. When I first read 'Load of Mischief" I quickly went through the whole series I enjoyed the characters so much. Now, at a slower pace I can see where the plots are weak. In those cases the characters stand out more and if they just do the same things it is a truly bad read. Fortunately Grimes is rarely weak on both points at the same time; and when she gets it balanced it's one of those books you don't want to end and when it does you start to re-read it right away. There are others in this series like that. Not this one though.
This one was fun, but again, no tip of the hat to the psychic abilities of the Scotland Yard detective to pull all the bits and pieces together that make the plot. The characters in the book are interesting, but some of it's a bit hard to follow, especially when the twists and turns have you wondering if everyone already knows who Carrie is. Teen-aged girls really don't fare well in this series, but then neither do women.