Help the Poor Struggler by Martha Grimes

GrimesHelpThePoorStrugglerWhy I Read It: I liked Martha Grimes‘ autobiography she cowrote with her son concerning alcoholism (Double Double) and decided to try out her fiction.

Where I Got It: A review copy from the publisher (thanks!).

Who I Recommend This To: Looking for a weekend English mystery that features fancy cars and has a little bite to it? This is worth your time.

Narrator: Steve West

Publisher: Simon&Schuster (2013)

Length: 6 hours 27 minutes

Series: Book 6 Richard Jury

Even though this is Book 6 in the series, it worked perfectly fine as a stand alone mystery.

Richard Jury of Scotland Yard is on the case, a case which entails catching whoever has murdered a handful of children near Dartmoor. The web of these murders pulls in a cold case file a generation old that has haunted constable Brian Macalvie for years. Peppered with fast sporty cars, a sizable inheritance, and a cozy pub, this mystery kept me engaged through out the tale.

Lady Jessica (Jessie) in her mechanic’s coveralls with her questionable dog (is that a dog?) Henry was my favorite character. She was precocious as only a rich 12 year old heiress could be. A ward of her young, good looking uncle, she is constantly attempting to drive off the prettiest tutor, governess, or servant.

The story is speckled with a variety of suspects, but tracing a motive becomes the difficult part. Indeed, I did not expect the story to turn out as it did. Richard Jury himself is an engaging character, not holding back from using pleasantries and perhaps a little more to obtain a lead in the case.

Martha Grimes has a twisted turn of phrase for telling a story that I found both humorous and inventive. Her descriptions of each character’s quirks made the ambiance of the story just as interesting as the plot. Hooray for Fisherman’s Friend cough drops!

The Narration: Steve West was a great voice for Richard Jury, providing just the right amount of thoughtful pauses. He also had a stuffed-up-nose voice for the poor sick side kick. His feminine voices were indeed feminine, but sometimes a little hard to distinguish from one another. However, the storyline was often very clear about who was talking, so I was not often confused.

What I Liked: The list of suspects; dragging in a cold case file made it extra interesting; interesting sporty cars; Jessie and Henry were my favorite characters.

What I Disliked: Jessie recovers a little too quickly from a nasty scare she receives at one point in the book.

RIP8Tis the season for the mysterious, the thrilling, the criminal and I’m celebrating by participating in Stainless Steel Dropping’s R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril. You can join in the fun too!

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