The Grave Maurice
A Richard Jury Mystery
"Chew on this," says Melrose Plant to Richard Jury, who's in the hospital being driven crazy by Hannibal, a nurse who likes to speculate on his chances for survival. Jury could use a good story, preferably one not ending with his own demise.
Plant tells Jury of something he overheard in The Grave Maurice, a pub near the hospital. A woman told an intriguing story about a girl named Nell Ryder, granddaughter to the owner of the Ryder Stud Farm in Cambridgeshire, who went missing more than a year before and has never been found. What is especially interesting to Plant is that Nell is also the daughter of Jury's surgeon.
But Nell's disappearance isn't the only mystery at the Ryder farm. A woman has been found dead on the track-a woman who was a stranger even to the Ryders.
But not to Plant. She's the woman he saw in The Grave Maurice. Together with Jury, Nell's family, and the Cambridgeshire police, Plant embarks on a search to find Nell and bring her home. But is there more to their mission than just restoring a fifteen-year-old girl to her family?
The Grave Maurice is the eighteenth entry in the Richard Jury series and, from its pastoral opening to its calamitous end, is full of the same suspense and humor that devoted readers expect from Martha Grimes.
Baker & Taylor
In her follow-up to the best-selling novel The Blue Last, the author revisits sleuth Richard Jury, who is lying flat on his back recovering in a hospital bed but nevertheless is capable of overhearing a story that will start his next murder investigation. 125,000 first printing.
Blackwell North Amer
In a pub called the Grave Maurice, Melrose Plant overhears one woman telling another the intriguing story of a fifteen-year-old girl named Nell Ryder, granddaughter of the owner of Ryder Stud Farm in Cambridgeshire, the heart of Britain's racing world. The girl was abducted nearly two years before and has never been heard from since. No word from her kidnappers, no ransom demand. Just disappeared. Her family has pretty much given up hope. All except for Nell's stepbrother, Vernon Rice, a financial virtuoso with an investment firm in the City. He refuses to believe she's dead and insists that someday, "She'll just walk in."
This beautiful and enigmatic girl, whose arresting presence draws even strangers to her - including Melrose Plant - has such a keen understanding of horses and such empathy for them that Ryder's trainer says she must be "a filly dressed up in a girl costume."
The story of Nell's disappearance is especially fascinating to Melrose Plant because the girl's father is Roger Ryder of the Royal London Hospital across the street from the Grave Maurice, and Dr. Ryder is Richard Jury's surgeon. For Jury the puzzle of this young girl's disappearance is almost anodyne, something to occupy his time besides listening to the dire prognostications of his dreadful nurse.
But for Cambridge police, Nell Ryder's case is as cold as a case can get. Until another murder and another death heat it up again.
While flat on his back in a hospital bed, sleuth Richard Jury overhears a story that provokes his next murder investigation.
New York : Viking, 2002
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