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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 ·  16,194 ratings  ·  586 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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Zbegoniac i have often thought robson greene. colin firth.
Ann Chaney not really. i first read the old contemptibles (sp) and was totally confused so i'd read the man with a load of mischief first.

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 ·  16,194 ratings  ·  586 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
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
Julie  Durnell
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
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
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
Deanna
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Well now, this a nearly 40-year-old mystery, a debut novel, the first in a long-running series, and new to me. As a British crime series, it’s in the genre that’s my reading cocaine.

Despite not quite knowing how to take the over-the-top aspects of the novel, including naming conventions and dispositions of bodies (satire, farce, irony, whimsy?), and sophomoric aspects to the unfolding of the clues, I found it readable enough and a largely competent mystery.

My disappointment is in the
...more
Andrea
I listened to this on my bedside clock, which says something for the fun technology of today. [An Amazon Echo, to be precise, and surprisingly good at reading kindle books aloud, if anyone's looking for text to speech options.]

The first in a very long-running mystery series. Each book is titled with the name of an English pub, and this particular outing is themed on the same topic. Relatively progressive for 1981, although several marks off for the seeming obsession with the food eaten by the co
...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
Nancy
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery, period detective readers
Recommended to Nancy by: Goodreads
Shelves: grimes-martha
First book in series and first of the Richard Jury I read. I enjoyed the writing more than Agatha Christie's style of writing. Read gets a bit frustrating at times as the characters are lengthened out for dramatic effect. But all-in-all a very good read. Also, as it was her first work in the series I imagine the others will improve as they progress so am looking forward to reading them.
Lobstergirl
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not the absolute worst mystery I've ever read, but it was a struggle to stay awake as the pages flipped themselves. Very cozy - snow-covered villages, vicars and antique shops, bosomy barmaids, cantankerous spinster aunts. Inspector Jury is likeable. Martha Grimes, oddly, writes like a lecherous man, and though written in 1981, the descriptions of women and poncey gay men make the book seem at least 10 years older.
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.
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
Sarah
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
A Christmas themed murder mystery.

(This is as "merry" as I get!)
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
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
LJ
THE MAN WITH A LOAD OF MISCHIEF (English Police Procedural) – VG
Martha Grimes – 1st of series
An Onyx Book, 2003 (Reprint from 1981) - Paperback
It’s Christmas time in Long Pittleton. When the second of two murders occurs with the bodies found in two separate pubs, one with his head stuck in a beer keg and the other draped over the pub sign beam, Det. Chief Inspector Richard Jury is sent to investigate.
*** Talk about a full cast of characters, that word being truly appropriate, including two sma
...more
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.
Tracey
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio, scribd
Wasn't sure I was enjoying this first reread in many years - but in the end the Jameses made me smile for the first time in a while, so on to the next.
ShanDizzy
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
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
Jaksen
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite mystery authors, and one of my favorite mysteries. The characters are colorful and distinct; the dialogue crisp and witty. I have just re-read this novel as I plan to read all of Grimes' Richard Jury mysteries more or less in order. (I missed a few over the years.) I do feel her earlier books are better written, unlike some writers who continue to improve as they go, but I am still one of her biggest fans.

As the murders pile up in this first in the series, Jury remains calm an
...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.
Julie
Solid introduction to a mystery series. Written in the early 80's but a fairly timeless English village cozy setting. Looking forward to reading more.

#popsugar challenge 2020/ a series with more than 20 books in it
Midwest Geek
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy detective series and police procedurals.
Shelves: mystery
This is the first of a series of 24 very popular mysteries involving Detective Richard Jury of Scotland Yard. I had read none previously. I enjoyed the book, first published in 1981, although I found it rather slow moving, even for a police procedural. The time period when the action takes place is imprecise, but undoubtedly earlier. Nobody had a cell phone; indeed, handheld phones did not become available until after 1983 or so. On the other hand, the first portable police radios began to be us ...more
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1,124 followers
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 25 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)

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