Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Dust" by Martha Grimes

Years ago, I read "The Horse You Rode in On" by this author; I liked it, though not enough to seek out other examples of her work. But when the Signet paperback edition from 2007 showed up in my local paperback exchange I picked it up. It's part of the author's series starring Richard Jury of New Scotland Yard; characters and situations alluded to in the book refer back to other books in the series without much explanation (which is annoying if you have read the previous books). It's a relatively "bloodless" British murder mystery--more like a puzzle. I guessed the killer relatively early, but not the correct motive; nor did I see the oblique little twist at the end. The writing is smart, witty and sleek. This is the second or third novel I've come across lately that refers to Henry James; likely I am destined to try one of his novels again in the near future. (James is one of those authors forced on high school and college undergrads in English class. Few young people are ready to tangle with Henry James, in my opinion.) The cover art by Alan Baker seemed right for the novel. If you like Elizabeth George's work, but have a shorter plane ride, this might be just the thing.

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