“Jerusalem Inn”, by Martha Grimes

20151229_203806Actually, I managed to get through three in the series about Superintendent Richard Jury and his friend, the ex-earl Melrose Plant. I started with “The Dirty Duck” around Lucia (the 13th), where a crazy murderer starts disposing of American tourists in picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon. This was not the most inspired of stories, the most memorable part of it being, perhaps, that Jury´s love interest from the first book, Vivien, shows up all made over (sexy in that blatant 80´s way, or so I interpreted it), with an Italian fiancé; a count, no less.

Jerusalem Inn” takes place during Christmas, which was very fitting, and this was a really fun one. Jury meets a woman by accident; they immediately feel at ease with each other and notice they look so alike they could be brother and sister. They plan a date, but she does not make it. Jury spends the rest of the story trying to find out who killed her. The theme is family, the longing for and love of children (Jury´s own biological clock is definitely ticking). Of course, Vivien shows up here too, being a bit ambivalent about the Italian fiancé and charmingly disheveled again; Jury is frustratingly passive. There is a vicar on the early pages talking about psychoanalysis and a crib plays a big part in the story. As in every book, there are children which Jury connects to with ease. I think the way she writes children is probably one of the things I like best about Grimes´stories.

The last in the row is “Help the Poor Struggler“. Here, children are the victims, and on the team this time is a half-American Chief Superintendent Macalvie, who has his own theories about the murders. I didn´t enjoy this one as much, as there was little progress in the story about Jury himself; I´d really like to see that one come along a bit further. I certainly can´t find any fault with the story though, I couldn´t figure out who´d done it. It´s not literature with a big L, this, but a very enjoyable mystery series!

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