Betted's Reviews > The Black Cat

The Black Cat by Martha Grimes
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's review
Mar 20, 2011

really liked it

Here is another Martha Grimes Richard Jury novel, but not JUST another novel. As always, Grimes is full of fresh ideas and plot twists and it isn’t always the murder investigation that holds your attention when you read one of her books. Her characters are often highly improbable but loveable. For instance, in one book the very rich Melrose Plant, who gave up his title but not his estate, and is a friend and sometimes unpaid assistant to Superintendent Jury, hunted for scones with or without clotted cream throughout the book...but... I digress. And by the way, one of the charms of a Martha Grimes book is her ability to digress and delight you with wonderful meandering asides.

In this book, dedicated to the author’s own much loved, late black cat, a black cat is kidnapped (or is she?) possibly because she was a witness to a murder.

This particular mystery features clues from the world of high fashion because the first victim is dressed to designer dress and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Martha Grimes might come late to the world of Jimmy Choo shoes, that any self respecting fan of the fashionable Carrie Bradshaw and “Sex and the City” will be familiar, but she also pays homage to many of the other great designer labels during the course of Richard Jury’s investigation. Her hero is less dark and depressed than in some previous novels. There is a thread of fun and whimsy throughout this fast paced murder mystery, a love of animals shines through and as always, Grimes does not take herself or her characters too seriously.

My one objection to the book is that one of her characters—Richard Jury’s beautiful, young new-age neighbor—works for an “astrologist.” Someone must please tell Ms. Grimes that the proper terminology is “astrologer.” The none-existent word “astrologist” was one of my mother’s pet peeves and in her memory and on her behalf I hereby object to Martha Grimes’ use of the word in print. Tsk, tsk, dear Martha. But, we will quickly forgive you if there is another book. Soon.

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