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The Blue Last: A Richard Jury Mystery    by Martha Grimes order for
Blue Last
by Martha Grimes
Order:  USA  Can
Onyx, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Another Richard Jury mystery! Wonderful. Martha Grimes can't write fast enough for me. In The Blue Last, Jury confronts his past as well as present day murders. Grimes delves into the years of World War II (especially 1941) and the bombing raids on England by the Luftwaffe. A terrible time in history - but that history is vital to solving the current day crimes.

As always, I lose myself in Grimes' words, renewing old friendships with her characters. Several charming children join her regular crew. Their whimsies make for good reading, and their escape into fantasy is a new element in the author's work, but one she handles skillfully. I did find myself questioning Jury's and his cousin's ages as it was unclear to me when the events of their joint childhood occurred. It, however, did not diminish my delight in the mystery. I do wish there had been a little more of Melrose Plant's Aunt Agatha. She is an absolutely maddening personage. But one can't have everything.

The problems that trouble Jury are complex and Grimes never loses her grasp as she and Jury plow toward a conclusion. The surprise ending startled me and I won't give even a hint. Though it's trite to say it, this is really a page-turner. Martha Grimes has a finely honed talent for descriptive writing, which she puts to good use in this novel. When reading her work, I can almost smell the air of the English countryside, hear the traffic on the streets of London, and see her bevy of old friends gathered around a booth in the village pub.

Get yourself a copy, curl up in front of a fire and give yourself up to The Blue Last.

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