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The Stargazey: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury Mysteries 15)
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The Stargazey: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury #15)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,608 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
On a bleak November day, Richard Jury rides old double-decker bus #14 travelling to Fulham Road when a woman boards the bus in front of the Stargazey pub, leaves, reboards, and leaves again. Curious, he follows her to the gates of Fulham Palace. Had he gone beyond the gates, he might have averted a murder and later another at a crusty old men's club. Jury and his band of l ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 581 pages
Published December 31st 1999 by Thorndike Press (first published November 5th 1998)
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Janet It is my impression that Dana stole the painting and killed the char woman because she would be able to identify Dana, having come in to the ladies…moreIt is my impression that Dana stole the painting and killed the char woman because she would be able to identify Dana, having come in to the ladies room while she was taking apart her walker. There is no explanation of the distraction that caught the guards' attention while she cut the painting out of the frame or how she smuggled it out. Not very satisfying!(less)

Community Reviews

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Sherry Chandler
Dec 27, 2007 Sherry Chandler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Although they operate on the level of mystery, all Martha Grimes novels are also parodies. This one goes after noir -- cherchez la blonde in sable -- with a little bit of Nick and Nora Charles thrown in. Part Hitchcock, part Dashiell Hammett. Grimes is always more fun when she's having fun.
K.B. Hallman
As always, for me, Melrose outshines all the other characters.
Feb 10, 2011 Johnny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

While I am a fan of the Richard Jury series, I have to confess that this mystery was the most improbable and disjointed effort of the series. While I wasn’t surprised as to the murderer, I was briefly taken aback by the identity of the same. I feel like this story depended far too much on capriciously handled international intrigue without the kind of emotional involvement I’m used to seeing in either Melrose Plant or Richard Jury. In this episode, it seems like Jury manipulates Melrose like a p
Dec 04, 2010 Tasula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Grimes always comes out with a thoughtful mystery, and perambulates around the core mystery with vignettes of her favorite characters from Northants and London's Scotland Yard. If you read her books without a break between them, you might get tired of the descriptions of Wiggins' hypochondria, Carole Anne's charm, or Cyril the cat's ongoing war with Racer (Supt Jury's boss at Scotland Yard), but I guess for new readers, some of the descriptions are necessary. And some of the little side s ...more
Jury sees a woman in a sable coat on the bus. When she gets off the bus and walks a ways, then gets back on the bus, then gets off again, he follows her to the entrance to a public garden. The next day a woman is found dead in the garden wearing a sable coat. Is it the same woman? Then the coat on the dead woman is linked to a famous old movie star and the family of an art dealer. The case keeps Jury and his friend Plant puzzled. Another twisty English plot.
I didn't like this one as much as I h
Well into Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series, one finds the quality of each individual book sometimes a bit hit or miss. This one was definitely a hit for me. I enjoyed it quite a lot, even though I suspected pretty early on who the culprit(s) was(were). Or maybe it was because I figured it out pretty early and was able to watch Jury and his friend Melrose Plant struggle to the same conclusion.

It's a somewhat complicated plot with definite noir tendencies. It involves art forgery and theft, the
Jun 29, 2009 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm losing my taste for Martha Grimes. I get tired of her characters' self-conscious approach to everything--they're always feeling complicated things. Why is Jury so lame with women? Why is Melrose always sliding so easily into unlikely situations (and he's lame with women too)? These two characters have become very unnatural. I don't think they bear much resemblance to real men. I also thought this book was slow to get started and then the mystery itself was a little unconnected. I thi ...more
May 09, 2012 Stobby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading a light mystery once and a while. Martha Grimes creates fast paced, well-written pocketbooks that aren't pieces of literature you feel morally committed to, although some of intertwining characters can require a pen and paper.

In my opinion, Stargazey wasn’t as entertaining as her other novels. I predicted the climax while meandering through her endless descriptions of rooms and gardens. The dialogue induced a laugh or two but the crux of the book was a thriller and I didn’t finis
Sep 05, 2016 Marsha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is my 1st Martha Grimes mystery featuring Richard Jury. There is little character development, except for Jury's friend, Melrose. The mystery is improbable and features a mysterious blonde in a sable coat, which isn't even Jury's to solve. Grimes' writing is fun though, so that is the only reason I will finish the book.
Lin Wollen
Jul 25, 2013 Lin Wollen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Grimes is another really, really good mystery author. Her characters live their lives inside your brain. You care about the murder ( it's always murder!) but you care more about the characters.
Apr 22, 2011 Marge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifteenth book in the Richard Jury series and another clever story that adds another layer to the friendship between Jury and Melrose Plant.
Marian H.
May 10, 2012 Marian H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Made me want to read all the other Richard Jury books - delightful balance of humor, mystery and great characters.
Great writing with a twist that always make you think!
Note: Although this is Book 15 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone.

The book opens on a cold night with an assassin in waiting. She has a been of a clean up to do as someone saw something they weren’t suppose to while she was on a job. From this brief prologue, we jump into Richard Jury’s life, superintendent with Scotland Yard. It’s a boring Saturday, at least for Jury. He has few friends, and most of them are police such as he. So he finds himself riding a bus just to be out of the ap
Sandra Strange
This series contains really good British mysteries, and features a host of repeating characters, Jury, a Scotland Yard chief inspector (so goes all over England and other places when asked), along with his rich aristocratic friend Melrose Plant, with the people (many eccentric, many real characters) surrounding both--Plant in his Northamptonshire estate and the small towns surrounding him, and Jury at his London apartment and with all the helpers and local police officials that surround him, whe ...more
Jill Hutchinson
I like to read Martha Grimes stories for the characters surrounding Melrose Plant (Lord Ardrey) small village could have that many eccentric people and sometimes they can be tiresome. But for the most part, I find them rather delightful. Richard Jury from Scotland Yard, who is Melrose's best friend gets him involved in one more case, this one involving hired assassins, stolen art, murder, and mistaken identity. As this series proceeds, it is Melrose who becomes the central character and d ...more
Josie Cheney
Sep 19, 2016 Josie Cheney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read many of the Martha Grimes Richard Jury series, and I have started listening to the series from the beginning on audio book. I love Steve West's narration, and so enjoy his voices for all of the characters. This story was one of my favorites - not much side story, not too much Aunt Agatha - but instead focused mainly on Richard Jury, Melrose Plant, and Detective Wiggins. Jury seems to be struggling with some internal/relationship-avoidance issues, and the friendship between Melrose an ...more
Jul 14, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another Richard Jury novel. Interesting and a page-turner. I like books where I can get a general idea of what's going on and "whodunnit," but you don't know for sure and a lot of details aren't revealed to the very end. In this one, I knew there was something fishy about a certain character but couldn't put my finger on it until Jury himself figured it out. This one has to do with the art world. As always, Jury's sidekicks such as Melrose Plant, Marshall Trueblood and Wiggins are well-developed ...more
Because of the characters I keep reading another "Richard Jury Mystery". I think these stories should be called the "Melrose Plant Mysteries". Does Richard Jury really do anything but become infatuated with women and play the straight man for Sgt. Wiggens? It seems Melrose does all of the heavy lifting. It is hard to believe that Melrose can even tolerate the Cripps family, but he does. Oddly they become endearing.

With each book I got to know the cast more, and eventually could laugh when their
Apr 30, 2016 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book in the Richard Jury series that I read and it took some getting used to since the characters and their relationships seem to have been well established but not well described here. On the other hand, once I got into it, the mystery was quite good. Jury sees a beautiful blonde on a double decker bus who gets off and walks into a garden where her dead body is later found. Jury thinks it's not the same woman and spends several hundred pages trying to prove it. The death is c ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after traveling to the UK and loved it. Martha Grimes is not from London,but she describes the city well enough that if you were just there, you recognize landmarks, street names etc. This mystery is great, there are tons of twists and turns in it that keep you guessing until the very end. I love British Mysteries and have recently discovered Martha Grimes after reading The Man with a Load of Michief prior sometime last year. I loved how that novel was sets in British pubs and w ...more
Dec 06, 2016 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me. I love the earlier Richard Jury books and re-read them often. Richard Jury is on a bus when he spots a beautiful woman wearing a sable coat. He follows her to a local park but doesn't go in. The next day the body of a woman wearing a sable coat is found in a herb garden in the park but when Jury arrives to the morgue, it isn't the same woman. This leads him, and Melrose Plant, on a journey into international intrigue and art theft. The book is a good one and the mystery ...more
Dave Holcomb
Sep 26, 2014 Dave Holcomb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, a fun read. This time the culprit is pretty clearly revealed (unusual for a Grimes mystery), although retribution is uncertain. The supporting cast in this book, particularly Melrose Plant, plays a greater role than the detective, which suited me just fine. Murder and art, Russian aristocrats and the inimitable Cripps family are all here.

One word of warning: "The Stargazey" is well worth a read, but don't start here: this book falls about halfway through the Grimes oeuvre, and you'll
Nov 02, 2007 L-V rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is actually the first Martha Grimes book that I read. I got started way in the middle. At first, I couldn't get into the book because all of the characters were new to me (and I could tell that I had missed some of their history in prior books). But this is where I fell in love with the Richard Jury series. After finishing this book, I started at the beginning and got caught up. I hope she never stops writing!
Nov 26, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, smart, British mystery

Really enjoy the Richard Jury series by Martha Grimes, this is the 15th in the series. I liked the first half of the book, but found the last half to be predictable. A lady is found murdered in a park, only Richard Jury saw her on a bus the day that she was murdered. He is not sure that the murdered woman is the same woman he saw on the bus, although the dead woman is wearing the same clothes.

Jan 16, 2016 Oodles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio of this book, forgetting that I had actually read it before. I didn't remember much about it though so I kept listening. I've read a lot of Martha Grimes in the past but I'd forgotten how wonderful her writing was. Her characters (Superintendent Richard Jury of Scotland Yard and his friend Melrose Plant, a peer who gave up all his titles) are believable and likeable. Grimes writes with skill, blending wit and humor with the drama of the mystery.
Aug 23, 2013 P rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-fiction
Bloated by bad writing, the only mystery in this book is why readers would settle for subpar writers like this one. The city that goes by that name in this book is a caricature drawn by someone who wouldn't know London if it bit her on the ankle. Skip it and if you are in the mood for a genuine British mystery written with a light touch, art theft and memorable characters set in the English countryside, check out the Miss Seeton series by Heron Carvic starting with "Picture Miss Seeton."
May 14, 2015 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Quirky characters that got a bit tiresome. Sometimes the book was a little obtuse due to 'inside jokes'. Maybe it's because this is the first Richard Jury book I've read and it's #15 in the series; maybe the earlier books all explain who the thousands of strange characters are and their relationship to each other. That all said, it was a good read and a good mystery - mostly a question of following the investigation since some of the villains were kind of obvious.
Jan 09, 2017 Sherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#15 most of the action takes place in very posh parts of London and ties to the theft of the only Marc Chagall painting in the Hermitage and a series of deaths and assassinations around the world, including the silent death of a reknowned retired art critic in Melrose Plant's father's Men's club, Borings, in London after he and Pitt figure out where the musing painting must be. Dopplinger fur clad ladies, lies and facades, bodies and a little girl who knows what she knows and saw.
Jul 10, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say enough about Martha Grimes' works on audio. Pure heaven! Her character development and storytelling are sublime. In this outing, Jury is intrigued by a woman on a double decker bus. When a murder is committed, he is intent upon finding her again. While I guessed most of where this was going, the journey was still fascinating!
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Martha Grimes is an American author of detective fiction.

She was born May 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to D.W., a city solicitor, and to June, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State University, and Montg
More about Martha Grimes...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Jury (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, #1)
  • The Old Fox Deceiv'd (Richard Jury, #2)
  • The Anodyne Necklace (Richard Jury, #3)
  • The Dirty Duck (Richard Jury, #4)
  • Jerusalem Inn (Richard Jury, #5)
  • Help the Poor Struggler (Richard Jury #6)
  • The Deer Leap (Richard Jury, #7)
  • I Am the Only Running Footman (Richard Jury, #8)
  • The Five Bells and Bladebone (Richard Jury, #9)
  • The Old Silent (Richard Jury, #10)

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