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The Man With a Load of Mischief

(Richard Jury #1)

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  15,101 ratings  ·  489 reviews
At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 4th 2003 by Berkley Books (first published 1981)
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Nancy Tom Hiddleston would be a perfect Richard Jury

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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,101 ratings  ·  489 reviews


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Mary-Beth
Jun 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Look, I am not going to apologize for loving Martha Grimes, especially the Richard Jury novels. I am fully willing to admit these are light reading, but that doesn't mean they aren't good.

I find that while Grimes continues writing for this series and pumps out a book a year, the cast of characters is still just damned entertaining. Grimes is good at capturing the same wit that I see in British comedy even though she's an American.

However, and this is a big caveat, don't look for realism here. A
...more
Julie  Durnell
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england-uk
4.5 stars- Oh my why has this series escaped me until now? A truly engaging and tantalizing British mystery, especially since it has an American author, includes even a grainy sketched map! Inspector Jury is an introspective and intelligent detective and I so look forward to the next book, assuming Melrose Plant will complement his detections! They are a delightful pair in this delicious sundae of a mystery, the antagonizing relationship between Melrose and his Aunt Agatha is the whipped cream a ...more
Julie
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-shelf
It's hard to believe I've never read a Richard Jury mystery. But, this is my first, but won't be my last. I loved it.
This the first book in the series. Jury is with Scotland Yard. He gets called into a small village after two murders have been committed. Jury makes friends with Melrose Plant, who is a big help in the investigation. I presume Plant will work with Jury again someday.
Grimes sets up a great, keeps you guessing, who done it. The author has a great sense of humor as well. I loved the
...more
Will North
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You know you are in the hands of a master when a mystery is simultaneously complex, lyrically-written, character-rich...and hilarious.

This was Grimes's first in the Jury series and she went on from strength to strength which, given how much time she must have spent in the pubs for which each book is named, is almost miraculous! In as sense, Grimes mysteries are character studies, and what a cast of regular characters she creates, from thoughtful and handsome Inspector Richard Jury and his hypoc
...more
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The first in the Richard Jury series, Man With a Load of Mischief introduces most of the recurring major characters in the series. We meet, to our delight, Melrose Plant, his obnoxious aunt, Lady Ardry, and Jury himself, who is not your ordinary Scotland Yard detective.[return][return]Alas, Long Piddleton, which could very well pose as the quintessential English village in the snow, is host to a double murder on the eve of Christmas. The local constabulary calls in Scotland Yard, and Chief Super ...more
C.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to learn a new word before reading this. It is me to a tee: "a completionist". It explains how I shop. I click into "collect every kind" mode. Over ten years, I filled in all but "The Man With A Load Of Mischief", 1981. Having started with the loveable Melrose Plant and Richard Jury, I am keen about the next; goodness knowing I own it and expect authors to improve! Series aside, it is why I go in order of release. By the end of this novel, the construction of Martha Grimes' chara ...more
Jane
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been planning on reading this author for years. I am very glad I finally did.
At first I thought it was going to be the Holmes-watson style. The genius amateur detective helps the less brilliant Police Inspector.
This was not the case, both men are intelligent and capable.
Richard Jury is a fascinating character. You learn quickly he is intelligent and very good at his job.
Melrose Plant is a very interesting character, someone who is clever and has all the advantageous anyone could hope fo
...more
IslandRiverScribe
This is the first novel in Martha Grimes’ long-running British police procedural series featuring Richard Jury and Melrose Plant. The book was originally published in 1981 so the reader must realize from the outset that there will be no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no pocket-sized personal cameras to aid in solving the murder. It will be an eyes, ears, brain and door-to-door investigation.

And, the author makes more than the identity of the murderer a mystery.

First, she giv
...more
Bill
The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes is the first book in the Inspector Richard Jury mystery series. I've previously read 5 other books in the series but that was 3 or 4 years ago. I was glad to finally read the first book, especially glad as it introduced the core of characters who appear in many of the other books in the series (at least those that I've read)
Chief Inspector Jury of Scotland Yard has been assigned to a case in the town of Long Piddleton, where two murders are being
...more
Jenny
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man With a Load of Mischief is book one in The Richard Jury Mysteries. Scotland Yard Inspector Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury was called to help find the murder of two men in a small English village called Long Piddleton. However, everyone in Long Piddleton except Melrose Plant was looking for the killer outside the town. With the help of Melrose Plant Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury started to investigate. The readers will continue to follow Melrose Plant and Detective Chief ...more
Dorothy
I've decided to give myself a treat with my summer reading by indulging mostly in my guilty pleasures - that is to say mysteries. And in so doing, I plan to delve into some of the series which I haven't sampled before, starting with Martha Grimes' Inspector Richard Jury series.

This has been recommended to me at various times over the years, but, for some reason, I just never got into it. Maybe because I was busy reading several other series. But time to break new ground and meet some new charact
...more
Karol
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a rare occasion where I wish there were half stars. I would rate this one a solid 4 1/2.

I first became acquainted with the Richard Jury series a few years ago when I happened to read what were then the latest two books in the series. (The Old Wine Shades, and Dust). I believe at least three books came out after those two - but I decided at long last to go all the way back to the first book in the series if I could find it. I am glad I did!

I love Martha Grimes' writing style. She presents
...more
Sarah Booth
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This is first in series of well over 20 books. Richard Jury is an amiable and intelligent detective who must put up with inferior superiors. He's sent to a small village with clever pub signs to solve murders that keep growing in number until he solves them. He's added by an eccentric and brilliant self-renounced lord Melrose Plant who is plagued by his insufferable aunt who meddles and creates more than a small amount of annoyance to the characters and the reader. You just want to pu ...more
Kara
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know where to start, Im so excited about this series! I listened to it on audio, and I have to say the first 2 hours were rough, though I;m not sure why. There was a lot to follow at the beginning, and I think I was afraid it was going to be full of descriptions of characters I didn't know if I should be caring about or not. Somewhere right after the 2 hour mark the action picked up and I was hooked from there. I also think the narration took some getting use to. Though Steve West i ...more
Sarah
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
A Christmas themed murder mystery.

(This is as "merry" as I get!)
Anne
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've heard of Martha Grimes for ages and finally decided to give her a try. I was not disappointed. She had created a smart, somewhat sarcastic, Inspector I am goiyto enjoy following. There were a number of red herrings and unlikeable characters but Jury's sergeant grew into his role and he developed an intriguing relationship/friendship with a local aristocrat that is promising for good detection.
Patricia Kaiser
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Das war ein wirklich unterhaltsamer Krimi, der nicht zu blutrünstig war, mich aber trotzdem ständig in Spannung versetzt hat, weil es um eine ganze Mordserie geht. Leider kannte ich die Verfilmung dieses Falls (unter dem Titel "Mord im Pub") schon, wusste das aber nicht, als ich zu lesen begonnen habe. Die Eckpunkte der Handlung waren mir also bekannt, trotzdem war es kein enttäuschendes Leseerlebnis, da Sprache und Details wirklich interessant waren. Ich habe definitiv vor, diese Serie weiterzu ...more
S Dizzy
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the 1st time I've ever read this author and so far, I am confident that it will not be the last time. I'm sure to finish this entire series if this first in the series is any indication of crisp writing and engaging characters. I must add that the audio version of this story is great too. The narrator Steve West has an amazing resonant, baritone voice. His reading is fantastic!

The name "Fiona Clingmore" made me chuckle. Here is a funny description of her - Fiona Clingmore entered and get
...more
G.M.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I see she has a new book out in August 2019. Hooray! I love this author so much, and am beholden to her because after reading her books, I wanted to write something similar.
Suzy
The first in the Richard Jury mystery series, beloved by my niece and her Mom. And I see why! Everything I love in a mystery: A quirky/interesting protagonist (Inspector, Detective, Commissario, amateur sleuth, etc.), an assistant or two, a civilian side-kick who helps solve the mysteries, a superior who is superfluous/annoying, a wonderful cast of characters who add to the dynamics, humor, romantic/sexual tension, a place that is equally a character, crazy names (places and people) etc. This on ...more
Brandy Painter
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed this book at first. It is a classic who-done-it mystery in which there are multiple suspects and no real clear evidence. Yet the bodies keep piling up. I loved the portrayal of small British village life. I was thoroughly enjoying the character of Richard Jury and thinking this would be a book (and series) I could really get into do despite the sometimes overwrought use of figurative language. (Seriously, the similes in this are way over the top.)

BUT THEN....

There is insta-love
...more
Megan Haworth
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book was not for me.
I really enjoy a good murder mystery from time to time. I don't expect them to be Shakespeare. After all, a murder mystery is, by definition, formulaic. But I do expect reasonably good writing, well-developed characters, and an intriguing storyline to keep me interested in the outcome. "The Man With a Load of Mischief," I am sorry to say, had none of these elements to recommend it.
The writing was cliche laden and the characters were downright cartoonish. The whole book
...more
Marsha Cornelius
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of Martha Grimes, but a friend gave me a whole box of paperbacks, and I found this book in the pile.
British humor, but very clever and easy to get the subtleties. I'm planning on reading more of her books.
Carol
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Man With A Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes
Richard Jury Series Book #1
4 Stars

From The Book:
At the Man with a Load of Mischief, they found the dead body stuck in a keg of beer. At the Jack and Hammer, another body was stuck out on the beam of the pub’s sign, replacing the mechanical man who kept the time. Two pubs. Two murders. One Scotland Yard inspector called in to help. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jury arrives in Long Piddleton and finds everyone in the postcard village looking out
...more
Judy Lesley
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I began reading these mystery novels centered around English pubs in the early 1980s. This is the first Richard Jury, published in 1981, so I decided to spend some time reading this one again to see how it stands up for me after such a long time. I'm glad to say it was every bit as satisfying today as it was then. Martha Grimes gave me so much information regarding the historical meanings of pub signs. I love learning the origins of things such as the pub signs and seeing how they have been chan ...more
Victoria Miller
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In my humble opinion, Martha Grimes is right up there with Dame Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle as one of the greatest of British mystery writers. I'd read some of her books long ago, and recently ran across one, and decided to read them all from the first to the last. The book titles are all names of British pubs. In this first, a body is found.....well, let's just say what a way to ruin a keg.... Chief Inspector Richard Jury sets off to discover who done it, with, of course, Sargent Alfred Wig ...more
Teri-K
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I read this series when it first came out, and for a while a new Grimes in paperback was an automatic buy for me. Then Jury go so depressed and wrapped up in himself I stopped reading them. I haven't revisited them since, so it seemed about time to try one again.

The book opens with Melrose Plant, who becomes an important recurring character in the series. Two murders have taken place in local pubs and Plant isn't much interested but his annoying Aunt and all the locals are. Later we meet Richar
...more
Catherine Newell
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Several months ago, in anticipation of a much-needed weekend off, I asked r/suggestmeabook -- the Reddit page devoted to, you guessed it!, suggesting books -- for a cozy mystery, something that could be read in one sitting, that I'd have a hard time putting down, and something maybe with a cast of characters I'd like to visit with again.

I didn't get to it then, but The Man with a Load of Mischief was a suggestion from that conversation that stuck with me, and which I finally got to read this wee
...more
Vera 4theloveofwords
3,5 stars. Very entertaining. A typical English murder mystery. All the ingredients were there: a detective with a sad love interest in his past, his sidekick with his weird idiosyncrasies, the irritating bossy old lady, the very clever noble man and last but not least the difficult superior who in the end takes credit for solving the murders. Somewhat cliché, but that happens to be what I like about reading a cosy mystery. So no problems there. I loved Jury's interaction with the locals, especi ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Richard Jury (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • 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)
  • The Old Contemptibles (Richard Jury, #11)
“And so it continued all day, wynde after wynde, from a room beyond came the whistle of a teakettle. "Now, you really must join me. I've some marvelous Darjeeling, and some delicious petits fours a friend of mine gave me for Christmas.” 3 likes
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