Friday, October 8, 2010

Opening Sentence of the Day: The Case Has Altered

"Dorcas hated the fens."

-- The Case Has Altered by Martha Grimes.

That is, she hated the low, swampy wetlands of Lincolnshire. Understandable. Especially as she was about to walk across them at 11:30 at night, in pumps.

This is the 14th book in Grimes's 22-book series featuring Scotland Yard detective Richard Jury. I've never read any of her books before. While I am usually one to read a series in order, I will occasionally take a flyer on a new series by jumping in out of order with one of the books I picked up along the way.

So far, I have a mixed reaction to this one. I get a little sense that Grimes, who is American, is trying to out-English the English, with place names and characters that are just a bit over the top.

And maybe the point is more to read the series and get to like the recurring characters and their personal story lines, but the actual mystery solving seems a little thin. I'm three quarters of the way through and there's been only rehashing of the same circumstantial evidence on the one hand and, on the other, Jury sticking to the idea that his friend didn't commit the murders because he knows her.  There is a lot of repetition and not much forward progress.

I'd like to hear from fans of the series. Am I missing something?

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