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Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: The Blue Last by Martha Grimes

This is my second Martha Grimes, Richard Jury Novel. Inspector Jury is asked by a Mickey Haggerty a DCI with the London City Police to help him solve a mystery surrounding two skeletons unearthed at the site of the Blue Last, a London pub destroyed during a bombing raid during World War II. Haggerty believes the child, now a grown woman, who supposedly survived the bombing is an impostor posing as an heiress to the Tyndale Brewery fortune. Sub plots include Jury's own painful memories of being orphaned during the second world war and the quest by his friend, Ambrose Plant, to help prove or disprove that a painting purchased in an antiques store by a friend is an authentic Masaccio.

Of course, there's a murder to be solved as well, when Simon Croft, a family friend of the Tyndales and son of the Blue Last's owner  is found murdered and a book manuscript he was working on detailing events during WW II is missing. Jury's investigation leads him into danger.

In her usual way Grimes creates memorial characters and sensitive descriptions and interesting plotlines which keep me turning pages. The ending, however, leaves plenty of questions, especially about Gemma Trimm, the mysterious ward of Oliver Tyndale. Grimes picks up those threads in the sequel but to determine how well she does that I'd have to re-read that book, The Grave Maurice, (which happened to be the first Richard Jury I read).

I thoroughly enjoy Grimes' sensitive style. I felt the ending could have been handled a little better...I had a lot of questions at the end. From now on, when I read one of her books, I plan to take notes in order to better track characters and sub plots. It may have helped with this one. I give this three out of five stars, primarily because I felt there we too many unanswered questions, but then, I could just be slow on the uptake.

Here's the link on amazon.The Blue Last

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