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The Grave Maurice: A Richard Jury Mystery    by Martha Grimes order for
Grave Maurice
by Martha Grimes
Order:  USA  Can
Onyx, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Those of you who are Richard Jury followers will remember in the last Martha Grimes mystery The Blue Last, that Jury was shot and left to die. The thought of Jury missing from my life did not sit well with me, so I was relieved to find our favorite Chief Inspector solving crimes from his hospital bed in The Grave Maurice. His great friend Melrose Plant overhears a conversation in a pub concerning a missing girl, and in spite of himself finds he is drawn to help - with Jury's suggestions ringing in his ears. This sixteenth Richard Jury mystery takes the usual cast of wonderful Grimes characters into the world of horse racing.

Complicated family relationships, dead or missing wives, the smell of a well run barn, the fleetness of horses' hooves, the thrill of the horse racing scene, the sadness of children growing up without mothers, all add to the unusual collection of circumstances that surround this excellent mystery. Murder, death, missing persons and intrigue grace the pages of The Grave Maurice, told with the author's familiar skill, which keeps the reader tied to the pages with an invisible cord of suspense until the final page. My only problem with this book was that it ended. Along with all this, I enjoyed a welcome dose of Melrose's impossible Aunt Agatha, a delightful and thoroughly aggravating woman. One wonders whether Martha Grimes knows such a person.

Treat yourself for the New Year. Get a copy of The Grave Maurice, curl up in front of a fire and hope it snows so you won't have to rise from the fireside until you have finished the last page. Enjoy.

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