onsdag den 23. december 2009

Martha Grimes, Jerusalem Inn (1984)

[Den eneste danske krimi, jeg har kunnet finde af Martha Grimes, er den glimrende “Min mor er død”fra 1992]

This novel is the fifth volume in the Inspector Jury series. As usual, this American writer has set her cozy crime novel around an old British pub in the countryside.

A taste of Martha Grimes´ style:
“It was on a windy December day, with only five of them left until Christmas, that Jury saw the sparrows quarreling in a nearby hedge as he stood looking though the gates of Washington Old Hall. The sparrows – one attempting to escape, the other in hot pursuit – flew from hedge to tree to hedge. The pecking of one had bloodied the breast of the other. He was used to scenes of carnage; still he was shocked. But didn´t it go on everywhere?”

Inspector Richard Jury happens to meet the beautiful but mysterious Helen Minton in a graveyard where she studies the gravestones, taking notes in a gold-covered notebook. She tells him about her interesting place of work, Washington Old Hall. The following day Jury goes to see the place (or the lady?) only to discover that Helen Minton has just been murdered.

At the same time, some of Jury´s friends, including the nobleman Melrose Plant, are staying at Spinney Abbey, near the pub Jerusalem Inn where he watches a snooker tournament. Another murder takes place in Spinneyton, and as the two crimes are related, Richard Jury is involved in both cases. As usual Melrose Plant is pleased to lend his friend a hand – and escape the boredom of the affluent bachelor gentleman for a while.

Other pieces of the puzzle are a blizzard, and - not quite unexpected - a neglected, little girl who is far too wise for her age, plus a number of orphans. As connoisseurs of traditional, British crime may have guessed, Martha Grimes´ series has much in common with Dorothy L. Sayers´ Lord Peter Wimsey series and Elizabeth George´s Inspector Lynley series with its romantic depiction of ´England´s green and pleasant land´ (to quote one of the faithful participants in my bait game - and William Blake).

12 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

Dorte - I so enjoy your reviews : ). Thanks for this reminder of a terrific Inspector Jury novel : ). You really capture what makes the novels so well worth reading (at least in my opinion).

Kerrie sagde ...

Thanks for this review Dorte, and your contributions to Suggest a Christmas title. This is yet another book I haven't read!

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: yes, this one is not as gloomy as some of the Scandinavian novels, but for a bit of cozy British flavour they are terrific :D

Kerrie: I think you´ll enjoy it, and it shouldn´t be too difficult to get a used copy.

R/T sagde ...

Once more, Dorte, you delightfully complicate my life by recommending another title that I must add to my "must read" list. Thanks! ;-)

Dorte H sagde ...

R.T. You are welcome. Grimes is rather pleasant company for anglophile readers :D

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

This is a wonderful read and one of my favorite Grimes' books. The setting and characters make the series for me.

Hope you're having a happy Christmas Eve!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Philip Amos sagde ...

Ooh, my dear Berte, I must rush to avert the misconception that in quoting "England's green and pleasant land" you were quoting me. I think you know, Berte, but for any visitors not so well-versed in English culture, that phrase is from William Blake's poem 'Jerusalem':

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And leaping to the fourth and last verse:

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

Well, that was another good idea that didn't work out so well, but people keep belting it out at the Royal Albert Hall once a year as if they mean it, full of sound and fury and not one whit of conviction.

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: as you know, I also enjoy a cozy crime now and then, and I agree, this is a good example of that genre, and very suitable for the season.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Dorte H sagde ...

Philip: you are right that I recognized your quotation, but I am not so well-read that I would dare put a name to it without checking it out somewhere. I have added it to the post now.

I shall try to find a photo of our local church choir singing the yearly Christmas concert to put up for you. We are certainly not in Royal Albert Hall league, but you may find more conviction. (Not that it is for me to judge).

Beth F sagde ...

I loved this series, and then for some reason got away from them. I'll have to get back to Plant and Jury.

Philip Amos sagde ...

Dorte, your choir will, I hope, be far superior in quality of singing. What I was thinking of was the audience letting loose at the Last Night of the Proms -- not exactly the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth: I think it is a series where you should not read too many in a row. I enjoy one once in a while, and they are excellent Christmas cozies.

Philip: well, it is not for me to say, but we do our best :D