Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes
Rating: 3 Stars
Description: Beautiful Tess Williamson had been found dead at the bottom of a long flight of stairs in what was assumed a casualty of her spells of vertigo. In that exact same spot 5 years before a little girl with a not so nice character had been found dead at a children's party. Tess's death has never sat well with her husband who after many years of living with his suspicions comes to Jury hoping for answers. With old friend Melrose Plant and assorted other friends in tow Jury goes out to solve this mystery along with the mystery of the beautiful woman in red found at the foot of a tower.
Why I Picked This Book: I had devoured Grimes' earlier books when I was in college and always enjoyed her straight forward clean British police procedural. I was excited to see what Richard Jury was up to now.
Pros: I love Richard Jury. He's nice, he's quiet, he's smart and he's got a sly sense of humor. He's a sucker for people who need rescuing but I'm not sure even he knows it. If I had a book crush it'd be on him. Melrose Plant, Jury's titled aristocratic friend who gave up his titles, is snarky and kind off the wall which provides a nice contrast to Jury's solidness. The mysteries are both interesting and compelling and I really wanted to find out what happened in all 3 deaths.
Cons: Reading this book felt like being at a party where you really only know one person well and are just on vague first name basis with everyone else. I felt like I was constantly scrambling to remember who everyone was and what their relationships were. There's a Diana, a Vivian, a Trueblood and a few other people who I kind of know. It wouldn't have been a real issue if they'd had true parts in the book but they just periodically pop up to have random conversations at pubs so you never really get to figure out who they are again. Both the mysteries of Tess/little girl and the woman in red are really interesting but the switching back in forth didn't work well for me. It was annoying if they weren't connected because I thought both could stand on their own and annoying if they were connected because it would be coincidence piled upon coincidence.
Overall: I enjoy Grimes' writing. Her primary characters are good and the mysteries are well done. While this one didn't work for me I do want to go back and read her earlier books.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes I probably would because I do enjoy her writing and I love Jury.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Probably not. It's just a little to convoluted. If you like good British murder mysteries give her earlier books a try though.